A little cartoon about MOOCs

I found this on Twitter- a great cartoon about MOOCs by David Kernohan, whose blog and twitter feed I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Morris Snooks- remind you of anyone? This, and other more sophisticated but no less profound writings, should be carefully considered in the decisions to jump onto the MOOC bandwagon.

Surviving Disruptive Technologies

As part of my hands on investigation of MOOCs, I’m due to start a new course on Surviving Disruptive Technologies. This one is provided by Hank Lucas of University of Maryland.

The first lecture is available on YouTube.

Hopefully what I might learn in this course, which is a more traditional MOOC than edcmooc, will provide some useful insight into the impact of MOOCs on higher education as a business, and how we at Staffordshire could deal with this new technology.

The survival model considers the dilemma for the  incumbent facing a disruptive change from an innovation:

  • Denial
  • History
  • Resistance to Change
  • MInd Set
  • Brand
  • Sunk Costs
  • Profitabilitgy
  • Lack of Imagination

(Interesting to reflect that my view of MOOCs might be classified under these headings.)

Based on this, the organisation has to choose how to survive:

  • Change business model to accommodate competition and new opportunities
  • Abandion existing buisines model and adopt a new one
  • Failure – merger, buyout, liquidate

As I go through the course, I’ll post my thoughts and experiences.


My Latest on MOOCs

I’ve recently had a few weeks away from the University, and decided to use part of that time constructively. SO despite my previous protestations and antipathy, I decided to enrol on a MOOC offered by Coursera. The course I took was run by University of Edinburgh, on E-Learning and Digital Cultures.

I may have got lucky here -the topic is one that both interested and challenged me, but it would appear that the pedagogy used was very different from many other online course. In general  the approach seems to be weekly video lectures, supported by online tests and readings with a discussion forum – ie still very instructor led. The edcmooc (as we came to all it) was much more learner centred.

An interesting blog on the pedagogy used, in comparison with most courses is here.

The 4 weeks were split into topics of Looking to the Past, Looking to the Future, Reasserting the human and Redefining the Human. In each week a number of YouTube or Vimeo clips were offered as a starting point, together with recommended core and advanced readings, and reading specific to technology in education  There was a huge amount of interaction between the really engaged students through the discussion forums, Twitter  Google hangouts and Facebook. Assessment was leaner generated within quite wide bounds and peer assessed.

So was it all good news………….er, no.

I still can’t see how MOOCs are able to provide the utopian solution proposed by some view points  in this particular course – I sill see the impact of a widening digital divide between the haves and have nots, and the danger that for all our liberal intentions of using MOOCs to provide accessible  information and education to everyone  what we might fail to do is provide the education support needed. To be successful in the course that I took, you need to be a reasonably switched on, committed and connected learner. The MOOC can provide free education for someone like me, but I still don’t yet see how it replaces on campus or other forms of study, especially for new HE learners who need support.