Archive for July, 2017

An interview with Barbara Oakley, a professor of engineering at Oakland University, who spends a lot of time these days thinking about how people learn. And she may have taught more students than anyone else on the planet, as one of the instructors of one of the most popular online courses ever, which has had two million registered students. The title of the course is Learning How to Learn.

Um artigo de investigação sobre um grupo de 12 participantes num MOOC –


Despite the increased attention given to MOOCs over the last four  years, learners’ voices have been noticeably absent. This virtual ethnographic study was designed to examine the experiences of 12 adult learners with bachelors’ and masters’ degrees, enrolled in a four-week MOOC on the topic of human trafficking. Through the lenses of self-directed learning and self-determination theories, we were interested in investigating learners’  motivations  for  enrolling in  the  MOOC, their perceptions of success and completion, and barriers encountered while trying to complete the  MOOC.  Reasons  for  enrollment  varied  from  personal  enjoyment  to  professional development, and  differing definitions emerged regarding completion or success  in a MOOC. Implications of  this study  include a proposed conceptual  framework  of adult  learner MOOC motivations  and goals,  which may  inform the  intentional instructional  design  of MOOCs  to  better meet adults’  self-directed learning needs. Results also pointed to the potential for social science MOOCs to promote activism and attitudinal and social change.


Toward Personal Learning

Posted: July 18, 2017 in Moodle MOOC posts

A new ebook by Stephen Downes «Toward Personal Learning – Reclaiming a role for humanity in a world of commercialism and automation» –

«As before, it’s a collection of blog posts, published articles, transcripts from talks, some interviews (I’m saving most of those for a separate volume, one day), diagrams and images, and photos. Why personal learning? Each age sets its own priorities, and personal learning I think captures what is important today. The first is the idea of autonomy in a connected world. We are reaching the end-game in the century-long struggle between individualism and collectivism. I reject both, and essentially for the same reason: they reject the humanity of individuals. A second is the idea that we need to reorganize knowledge in such a way as to better prepare people for a complex and changing world. And the third is the tension between commercial good and social good, especially with respect to open learning and open content, but also with respect to society and values generally.»


Friends in MOOCs

Posted: July 17, 2017 in Moodle MOOC posts

The first MOOC I have participated in was Instructional Ideas and Technologies for Online Success, University of Indiana,  by Prof. Curt Bonk, which, at the time (mid 2012), impressed me very positively. Since then I have participated in over 40 MOOCs, promoted by different Universities in  various platforms.

Prof. Bonk conducted a recent survey on the issue of friendship through MOOCs, but only presents a graph on friends made by instructors.

From my experience I can’t say that I made any personal friend, though I have received one or two emails from other peers and the exchanges in course forum may be very friendly.