Episode 86 — Ya Big MOOC

15 May, 20125 comments

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “mook” (with a ‘k’) as “An incompetent or stupid person”; apparently it’s a word that achieved notoriety from its use in the 1973 film Mean Streets. But we’re not discussing that kind of “mook,” no sir: on this episode of Digital Campus, we’re discussing Massive Open Online Courses with Audrey Watters of Hack Education. We argue that there are MOOCs and then there are MOOCs, speculate about the purpose and future of MOOCs, and (at least in Audrey’s case) relate our own experiences as MOOC students. It’s a MOOC-a-palooza. (And don’t forget that Dan predicted that 2012 would be the year of MOOC-o-mania last December: we’re proud.)

P.S. As promised at the start of podcast, Mills has now revealed the educational hoaxes perpetrated by his students in his course “Lying About the Past.” Well played, all.


Running time: 44:24
Download the .mp3

Categorized under course management systems, MOOCs, teaching

5 comments to “Episode 86 — Ya Big MOOC”

  1. Alan Selig : 23rd May, 2012

    Your conversation about MOOCs seems to make clear that the term is simply to large to be useful. There are too many variables at play which will affect both the enjoyment and the value of participating in a MOOC. Is a particular MOOC a termporary gathering of interested persons within various social media? Is a MOOC a digital version of the Correspondence Course model? Is a MOOC located within a particular higher ed institution and intended primarily for that group? What are the rewards and incentives associated with the MOOC and what groups of potential students will they appeal to? Does the MOOC focus on introductory, factual data in a field or does it focus on higher levels of learning? Until we begin to include these additional defining pieces we won’t be very successful in developing any general assessments of MOOCs as a learning methodology.

  2. Amanda French : 23rd May, 2012

    That’s a good point, Alan. Though I suppose I’d say that the content (factual, interpretive, critical) of a MOOC is not so much a defining factor in *whether* it’s a MOOC as to whether it’s a successful one. “Massive” could use some defining, but I’d say 1000+ qualifies; “open” is key, meaning anyone can sign up; “online” is pretty obvious, though I’m sure there are in-person study groups for some of these; and “course” actually does denote to my ear a coherent series rather than just, say, a collection of related educational links.

  3. ds106 It’s Own Space - CogDogBlog : 28th May, 2012

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