This is an interesting Chronicle Wired article about a professor who leaves a Coursera MOOC over disagreements about how to best conduct the course.
Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching
I’m not sure if this professor has experience teaching online, but based on my limited MOOC experience as a participant, I think it is important that instructors teaching MOOCs have experience teaching in the online environment. I think that one of the reasons the E-Learning and Digital Cultures (#EDC) MOOC has been such a positive experience is that all of the instructors have extensive experience teaching online. These University of Edinburgh instructors teach in an online degree program and the MOOC they are teaching is a longer version of the EDC course within that program. They also invited their MA students to participate in the MOOC which I think is brilliant.
MOOC instructors should clearly understand how MOOCs are different than traditional online courses. I think this example as well as the recent cancellation of the Fundamentals of Online Education course also makes the case that MOOCs should be not be taught by an individual instructor.
One of the participants in the EDC MOOC shared a link to the upcoming “Learning Analytics and Knowledge” MOOC and after checking it out, I noticed all the open courses coming up on the Canvas Network. I know a lot of universities are moving to the Canvas LMS so I may register for a CN course and see it for myself. A couple of conflicting Coursera articles in the news this week:
American Council on Education Recommends 5 MOOCs for Credit (all Coursera)
MOOC Mess (MOOC suspended due to Tech Issues – Ironically the course is called “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.”
The E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC doesn’t begin for another week but there is already a lot of activity in the course. Many of the participants in this class have already set up several social media sites and have started tweeting about the class. This is the 3rd MOOC I’ve taken and the first hosted on Coursera.
Both of the other MOOCs I participated in were hosted on Blackboard’s Coursesites. The first was Curt Bonk’s “Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success” and the 2nd was “Designing an Exemplary Course.” Unfortunately I didn’t complete either of these MOOCs. I’m a bit skeptical and wonder if MOOCs are just a passing fad but I hope to complete the EDC MOOC so I can get a better sense of the full MOOC experience.
Check out some of the activity about this course on Twitter #EDCMOOC. You can find me on Twitter @kkeairns.