Bringing the Social Back to MOOCs

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Moodle MOOC posts

An article on the efficient reproduction of traditional online courses as MOOCs – http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/bringing-social-back-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.»

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