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Guy Cowley
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I am reminded of school biology and symbiosis - two organisms living together. This may be a long term, mutually beneficial relationship, like lichen or may be parasitic, with one organism benefiting from but not benefiting the other. If parasitic, it may be long term and benign, like mistletoe, or ultimately fatal for the host, like ivy. What is the type of symbiosis between xMOOCs and their FE sources? Will xMOOCs feed students to their hosts? Will xMOOCs draw students from their hosts? Will xMOOCs add value to their hosts, through any of the mooted business models, while depending on them for content? Whichever the model, there is clearly a dependence relationship, which may be fatal if unbalanced on either side. What is difficult to imagine is MOOCs ultimately surviving if they kill their hosts in the process.
Toggle Commented May 16, 2013 on Uncle MOOC at The Ed Techie
I am not an academic but I am taking H817, which seems to be unusual. I hope it allows me to try to be neutral in the MOOC wars. It seems that we have two worlds here. I accept the argument that xMOOCs are run by commercial interests looking for a return but, by the same token, cMOOCs seem to be run by academics for academics. I can't see the average college student having the skills, pedantic stamina or patience to construct their own learning environment and sieve out the conversations to which they can contribute as a mechanism for conventional learning. There seems to be a haughty disdain from academics for the idea of learning as a means to an end - to get the piece of paper that gets you the job or to get a usable skill - but this is the mass market. It seems to link back to the disconnect between research and teaching. I would certainly agree that we need pure theories on which to construct practice but I don't agree that they are the same thing. Academics often do not seem to 'get it' when it comes to the realities of normal life. I agree that the commercial models are far from proven but, if they do eventually come through and we have thousands of people accessing education (in whatever terms you define it) for free, isn't that a wonderful thing? My interest is in development education. Their experience is typically of a teacher-centred, repeat-the-facts world. For these markets xMOOCs are actually a step-up in terms of participation and self-determination. They wouldn't be able to navigate or participate in a cMOOC. So to my eye it is horses for courses. cMOOCs paved the way but are not the universal answer. xMOOCS aren't pretty but will be great if they can provide their free service in a sustainable way. H817open has been a laudable attempt to combine the two and has worked well. Perhaps participants should stop the war and just pursue their differing ends?
Toggle Commented May 2, 2013 on The MOOC wars at The Ed Techie
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May 2, 2013