MOOCs and Collaboration (for Thursday 3/13)

So our next section will be on MOOCs. Basically, we will be doing a crash course on this topic to see how much we can find out about it over the next few days. You will then draft a memo based on the information that you find.

This is a hot topic in higher education circles and there is a dizzying amount of information about it on the web. Much of this writing is new, with more and more articles and blog posts being written about it, and new lectures and discussions being posted about it every day. This is precisely why I think this makes for an interesting research subject for us. In this section you will have to sift through these resources and try the find the best and most helpful information, and then quickly produce an exploratory report on the topic in the form of a memo. Obviously you can’t take it all in so you will have to be selective about the sources you focus on.

Here’s a link to the assignment from last semester. This is basically what you will have to turn in for next week 3/20. (I’ll give you updated assignment guidelines on this in class.)

We will start out with some basic overview on the topic. Then I will have you break up into research teams to find out more about these companies, including Udacity, Coursera and edX.

Everyone should at least have read the Wikipedia entry on MOOCs. I also encourage you to get a head-start by skimming through some of the connected links about the topic on the page.

Hopefully this exercise will also introduce you to some resources that you may find useful later on when you want to learn about new subjects in various fields.

You were also assigned to read the part on collaboration from the textbook.  At the beginning of  the class we’ll cover a few things about collaboration to get us started. This is a topic we’ll come back to in more detail over the next three weeks.

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