By Joshua Kim
This week I’m in Cambridge for a Hewlett Foundation sponsored invited participant workshop on Learning With MOOCs. The timing of the gathering is good, as colleagues at my institution are working hard on developing our DartmouthX open online courses on the edX platform.
Spending a couple of days immersed in all thing open online learning has caused me to think about the MOOC myths that continue to endure.
Myth #1 – The people involved in open online learning are uncritical promoters of the MOOC phenomenon:
The reality that I’m seeing at this conference, and at every conference where the educators who are actually involved in open learning are present, is that MOOC practitioners tend to be the biggest MOOC skeptics. The people working on creating MOOC courses are asking the hardest questions about the potential and reality of learning at scale. These are folks that will accept no conclusion without data, and are committed to creating a research and evidence-based culture around open online learning.
Myth #2 – The people involved in MOOCs think that open online education will replace traditional higher education:
The MOOC movement originated and is being evangelized mostly by higher ed insiders. One of the goals for edX reads: “Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online”. Everyone that I speak with who is involved in creating, teaching, or supporting open online learning is motivated to find ways to leverage MOOCs to improve teaching and learning for our enrolled students. The MOOC community is committed to improving and evolving, not replacing, our system of higher education.
Myth #3 – The MOOC community and the existing online learning community are different (and maybe at odds with one another):
This criticism of the original xMOOC platform providers (Coursera and edX) is rapidly becoming outdated. The open online learning movement is quickly evolving into a community of practice. This community is made up of online learning professionals, educators deeply steeped in learning theory and best online learning practices.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/8-myths-about-moocs ]