By Joshua Kim
Thank you to our colleagues at Columbia University for hosting the 2nd Learning With MOOCs gathering. The hospitality, warmth, and personal attention of our Columbia hosts set a new standard for gatherings such as these.
This conference is distinct from other educational technology gatherings as it is: a) focused on bringing together MOOC practitioners, and b) both MOOC producers and MOOC platform providers are represented.
The main theme that ran through all sessions, panels, and discussions at the conference was that the most important goal of MOOC programs is to improve learning at the schools that are developing and teaching these open online courses.
We are all working on open online courses, but we are thinking about how MOOCs can be a lever and a catalyst to evolve residential (and traditional online) teaching and learning.
If MOOCs are conceived as a means rather than an ends, a catalyst rather than a goal, then restricting discussions to MOOCs feels constricting and artificial.
We need to understand how we can effectively and productively leverage open online learning to bring new resources, new ideas, and new organizational structures to traditional postsecondary teaching and learning.
We need to go deeply into the politics, culture, and structure of our institutions.
We need to combine MOOC practitioners with experts on the structure, history, and future of higher education.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/some-reactions-learning-moocs-ii ]