What are MOOCs?

This Prezi, What are MOOCs? History, pedgagoy, myths and media, explores where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going with the MOOC phenomena.

If you are still confused over what a MOOC actually is and what it could be, then this presentation is well worth a look. I also found the video from Dave Cormier useful that explains the original concept of the MOOC.

I have no strong opinions on the MOOC as a concept, I do think there is the possibility they are a bit of a fad, and in a few years we might have moved onto something else to talk about at edtech conferences on the Twitter. Think about how no one these days talks about the PLE in the same way they did back in 2009. I think we should also be critiquing the model of MOOCs where the focus is on content and not learning. Retention figures of 4% and 90% male dominated does indicate that this model still has someway to go.

However I also can see how they may change societal perceptions of what universities and colleges offer prospective learners, and allow a back door for publishers and private educational institutions to start offering, what they would call MOOCs, but in reality would be the privatisation of higher and further education.

I am hoping that the end result is not closed private universities, but that the open aspect becomes dominant and makes it much easier to share and reuse concepts, materials, structures and resources in ways that we have not done before. If we can create a culture of openness and sharing.

MOOCs could offer (for FE) an opportunity for FE Colleges to collaborate on building courses, however my experiences of doing that model back in 2000s with the WCC was that people like the concept, but either aren’t willing to share or more importantly have very little original content to share.

I don’t see MOOCs as particularly revolutionary or transformative, in many ways the concept has been around for a while, the key difference is the connected, participatory and collaborative opportunities that MOOCs offer. Maybe that is the revolutionary aspect.

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