#change11 Definitory Power on MOOCs

While the publicity of the term “MOOC” is rapidly increasing, also the danger is growing that its original meaning and principles will be watered down, and that the disbelievers feel fooled by the bloating bubble and will dismiss it as “nothing new”.

So since there is not a “trademark” on George and Stephen’s term which would enforce all 4 principles (including autonomy!), everyone can call their endeavour a MOOC, no matter how much they are actually willing to let go their “controletti mentality”.

I admit that I started to become angry about the hijacking of the term. But now, George has just published a wise attitude to this diversity of approaches, and in truly connectivist spirit he resists the (left hemisphere) desire to control the uncontrollable:

For some, that ripple will produce an entirely new conception of higher education. For others, it will result in iterative small-scale improvements in their teaching. I favour the former, and certainly appreciate the work of those who adopt the latter.

So let them water down the term, while we favor the former and go on “experimentation and exploring new modes”.

(A promising field to continue exploring is the conceptual layer of connectivism that has been somewhat neglected recently. Instead of scaling, automating, and more or less scaffolding the topics, I would be more interested in new methods of emphasizing the network connections of varying strengths between the concepts, instead of hierarchically organized pigeon-holes, or snap-in jig-saw puzzle pieces.)

George’s proposed questioning implies uncertainty which many people can’t bear, but we must bear that it’s uncertain whose definition of MOOC will stick.

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4 Responses to #change11 Definitory Power on MOOCs

  1. I am with you, in the continuing exploration of conception layer of connectivism. I have been thinking along the lines of fractals, in the developing of those network connections. Will elaborate on that in my coming posts.


  2. brainysmurf says:

    Thanks for the link to George’s post. I agree that the uncertainty and relinquishing of control that is inherent in moocs is very threatening to the masses. I am hopeful for change.


  3. Jaap says:

    Hi x28,
    Like your question on the conceptuali layer. What are your ideas about that topic?
    @Brainysmurf Adorno would add some remarks on the difficulties for the masses to choose new directions. I will read some of his texts on this. He was a composer and a philosopher, very interesting.
    regards Jaap


  4. x28 says:

    Thanks for the endorsements.
    Jaap, the quickest reply for me is to point you to an old post or even to my very first one about connectivism (below the blockquote), but I would also love to reply in more detail if you have more specific questions. Anyway, central keywords are trees vs. webs and complicated vs. complex.


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