eduMOOC: (maybe) Online Learning Today… #eduMOOC

Gigi and Vivienne at Beaver Auction

eduMOOC is going to be one big MOOC. Looks like press The Chronicle brought in a new wave of registrants:

eduMOOC: Online Learning Today… and Tomorrow: “Enrollment Update! We are elated to see enormous interest in this topic!  Since the Monday morning announcement of the MOOC, we  have  enrolled more than 1,300 participants from more than three dozen countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas; still no one has identified as themselves from Antarctica, but we remain hopeful!  Those participating are from colleges, universities, community colleges, libraries, school systems, educational association, and many other entities. The Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Campus Blog has noted this MOOC, asking the question: What happens when you invite the whole world to join an online class? This is going to be a grand MOOC that will only improve with an expanded diversity of views and perspectives from around the world.  “

I’m not quite sure what the plans are letting the participants distribute themselves, or how the admins are going to handle that. As of today, the course looks more like a series of weekly presentations and sets of readings with a Google Groups discussion at a meeting-place center rather than a distributed array of interests and participants. No aggregator that I have spotted yet. A twitter hashtag of #eduMOOC, but no mention yet of how or why the MOOC would use it.

I come to the course with pedagogical baggage – not as much as some, but baggage all the same. I have a sense of what a MOOC (as a PLE) can be from #PLENK2010 and Weblogs and Wikis this last semester, and I’m hoping for that kind of distributed activity rather than the centralized discussions the plans seem to suggest. I’m not sure I’m really interested in hearing the same old arguments re-hashed on discussion boards. I want to see the administrators who registered for the course engage it by creating a graphic storyboard in response to a collection of readings; or see what the librarians on the course could come up with by way of ontologies, or plans for how a library might support a mobile MOOC. I want see participants create content that we can respond to, not have Yet Another Discussion.

And there’s this from the Chronicle blurb:

Siemens welcomed the growing interest from traditional universities. And he countered the more skeptical take offered by another open-education leader, David Wiley, who wrote recently that “MOOCs and their like are not the answer to higher-education’s problems.”

Um, I’ve never heard anyone in the know claim that MOOCs were an answer to higher ed problems (begging the question, there). In fact, I recall (I’ll find it somewhere) Downes denying that they are intended to be. They are an option in learning, as Siemens is pointing out.

This could be interesting. Or there could be tears before bedtime.


2 thoughts on “eduMOOC: (maybe) Online Learning Today… #eduMOOC

  1. morgan Post author

    Jason –

    I’m hopeful and positive, especially since the updates. And I admire and even envy the organizers: I wouldn’t have the energy to manage a 1500-strong MOOC, much less the tech support, but it would be nice to try it. I’m more apprehensive of the expectations of the participants. A lot of participants in other MOOCs I’ve been on register thinking there will be directed exercises and tasks, traditional lectures and readings. They tend to expect to play a largely passive role. But MOOCs demand more interaction, motivation, and self-guided direction than a casual encounter – that’s their strength, and that’s what takes a lot of energy and time. Of course, participants can lurk or engage in the course to whatever level they wish, but, again, many I’ve seen don’t quite get the idea that the degree of success is their own.

    My concern would be that if it this MOOC doesn’t meet the implicit expectations of the 1500 that MOOCs in general could get some bad press.

    But, even so, I’m hopeful.

  2. Jason Rhode

    I enjoyed reading your initial impressions of #EDUMOOC. I suspect that this MOOC will evolve, given the latest details updated this morning on the MOOC site at Like all MOOCs, it’s as much the responsibility of the participants as the organizers for it to be a success.

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