Advantages of the MOOC as an Educational Model

  1. Software agnostic - can use any online tools that are relevant
  2. Not constrained by time or geography - people with no access to formal higher education can participate
  3. Informal
  4. Can be organized quickly
  5. Content is built and shared as the course progresses
  6. Some learning is planned, but more happens as all participants are potential learners and teachers
  7. By design, participants learn from one another, not just the facilitators
  8. Enrollment open to anyone, anywhere; no fee, no credentials needed
  9. Participants expand their learning environment and personal learning network
  10. Participants improve learning skills
  11. Supports career preparation and advancement
  12. Peer grading
  13. Assessment for content acquisition NOT a priority; participant defines his or her own success
  14. The community or communities created often last beyond the course

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Challenges of the MOOC Model

  1. Chaotic environment is unfamiliar
  2. Digital literacy a per-requisite
  3. Amount of content can result in information overload
  4. Motivation and self-regulation is key
  5. The time and effort required is often great
  6. Course is 'organic,' so the direction it will take is not known
  7. The course may or may not have facilitators - sometimes it is difficult to know who to turn to for direction
  8. Drop out rate is high


Rewards and Challenges for Higher Education

  1. Accreditation
  2. Self regulation and motivation
  3. High dropout rate
  4. Standards and grading
  5. Automated grading
  6. Peer grading? Teaching assistant grading?
  7. The lecture dominates most courses
  8. Assuring academic integrity
  9. Application in the humanities
  10. Learning analytics - a digital portfolio of participants activities?
  1. Attract new learners, from broader demographic
  2. Lure back learners not interested in traditional courses
  3. Prestige, international reputation

Additional Resources

4 reasons why the Bonk MOOC is so interesting