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MOOC’s, learning, and teaching, oh my!
From the Old Gray Lady: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/11/us/after-setbacks-online-courses-are-rethought.html?hp&_r=0
I watched with interest the fervor around online courses and online learning. As usual, the technology skeptic and the technology evangelist in me battled.
From the Skeptic:
This is a money-saving initiative. Solely using computer assisted instruction doesn't work (but blended models show promise). Teaching and learning is more than mere presentation of content. With no proven procedure to validate student learning (via a teacher), how do we know our students know? Won't MOOC's further create distance via the digital divide? Don't MOOC's only really help certain types of learners? Don't we know that lecturing is only so effective? Aren't the instructional delivery models limited in an online course?
From the Evangelist:
How else can a motivated learner access instruction from world-class faculty? Isn't this a noble experiment, where many people, working together, build a collective understanding? Doesn't this help us cull high-level content and present it coherently? With proper gamification, can't we make this style of learning much more engaging? Isn't this the "mother of all differentiated learning"?
I end with this question about learning and teaching. I always believed the ultimate goal of education was to teach students how to think. How does an electronic system understand how you think?
hint: it's more than passing a test.....