Online Learning Update

October 28, 2012

Online Learning: MOOCs will never replace traditional higher ed

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Trent Kays, Minnesota Daily

It’s not that I consider MOOCs to generally be a bad idea; it’s just that I think we should be more critical of them. Many are rushing into MOOCs without considering the class, societal and cultural issues inherent in their adoption. Navigating a MOOC requires knowledge that is not always available to participants. One must know how to interact in online environments in order to benefit the most; however, we often see cases of trolling, flaming and other similar behaviors on the Internet. This behavior can extend to MOOCs. Even in closed online courses, the instructor has to police or set ground rules for interactions. This form of sociality, one based on lack of body language and other social cues, is what drives online interaction. Despite my trepidations regarding MOOCs, they can be wonderful tools for accessing knowledge. However, we shouldn’t define them as something they are not. We need to understand the limitations as well as the potential for greatness.

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