Archive for June, 2015

An article on the efficient reproduction of traditional online courses as MOOCs –

«For MOOCs to be considered valued spaces for learning, they need to adopt aspects of the earlier connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) and reintroduce social elements. While it might seem logical to copy our largest traditional course format when creating MOOCs, the importance of social connections in learning has been recognized in environments highly relevant to MOOCs. Researchers have described social elements as key to self-directed learning.2 Referring to online learning environments in particular, Kreijns, Kirschner, and Jochems identified two pitfalls for social learning online: “the assumption that social interaction can be taken for granted and that it will automatically happen” and “forgetting the social-psychological/social dimension of social interaction that is salient in non-task contexts.”3 These shortcomings have been widely recognized in xMOOCs, with even the president of Stanford saying, “When I think about MOOCs, the advantage — the ability to prepare a course and offer it without personal interaction — is what makes them inexpensive and makes them very limited.»

A Report on a MOOC addressed to primary school teachers in collaboration with UNESCO/IITE, through Coursera platform, coordinated by Prof. Laurillard –


«A new company is jumping into MOOCs, but with a focus on teaching free courses in the arts. The new virtual art school, called Kadenze, has already teamed up with programs at 18 institutions, including Stanford and Princeton Universities, to create a digital platform designed for arts courses. According to a company co-founder, Perry R. Cook, an emeritus professor at Princeton, the platform will be “multimedia rich” and allow students to create online portfolios, upload music files and scanned art, watch videos, and participate in discussion forums.» (article on Chronicle of HE)

«Michael Harris is the author of “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection,” a new book about how technology affects society.

«Toward the end of the book, after having investigated our penchant for online confessionals, the perils of public opinion, and technology’s impact on everything from sex to memories to attention spans, Harris writes about his decision to take a month off from the internet. In the hands of a less talented writer or a shallower thinker, this might have been a bit of stunt journalism, and not a particularly original one either.»

«We have an immense amount of power, if we reach out and harness it. This is not just some new age abstraction. To be specific: anyone can create a website, a video, a tweet. People like me, from a working poor family, can go on YouTube and watch a lecture given by the authority of most any field for free. We have access to public spaces where we can define our own identity.» –