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Todd Suomela

MOOCs Find Their Audience: Professional Learners and Universities | EdSurge News - 0 views

  • In my last year’s analysis of the MOOC space, I concluded that there’s been a decisive shift by MOOC providers to focus on “professional” learners who are taking these courses for career-related outcomes. At the recently concluded EMOOCs conference, the then CEO of Coursera, Rick Levin, shared his thoughts on this shift. He thinks that MOOCs may not have disrupted the education market, but they are disrupting the labor market. The real audience is not the traditional university student but what he calls the “lifelong career learner,” someone who might be well beyond their college years and takes these online courses with the goal of achieving professional and career growth.
  • One of the lessons I learned from running Class Central is that to make money, you need to make others money. By targeting professional learners, MOOC providers are trying to exactly do that. To better serve this audience, every MOOC provider has launched products that range from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. As a professional learner, I feel a certain amount of comfort knowing that high-quality educational material exists for skills that I would want to learn in the future. But if you are true lifelong learner—the ones that helped start all the hype in the first place—the MOOC experience has largely been reduced to basically a YouTube playlist with a cumbersome user interface. Unless, of course, you are willing to pay.
Jennifer Parrott

Survey Finds Only Limited Public Awareness of MOOCs - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    What the general public knows and thinks about MOOCS
Jennifer Parrott

Coursera begins to make money | Inside Higher Ed - 0 views

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    MOOCs making moola: the article discusses new measures taken by Coursera to both increase potential for course credit and increase revenue
Jennifer Parrott

Online education may solve problems facing liberal arts, advocates say | Inside Higher Ed - 0 views

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    debate over the value and future of MOOCs
Jennifer Parrott

Universities in Consortium Talk of Taking Back Control of Online Offerings - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    Change in thinking over MOOC delivery
jatolbert

Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future? | EDUCAUSE - 1 views

  • Although the phrase sometimes refers to issues surrounding copyright and open access and sometimes to scholarship analyzing the online world, digital scholarship—emanating, perhaps, from digital humanities—most frequently describes discipline-based scholarship produced with digital tools and presented in digital form.
    • jatolbert
       
      A couple of points. First, there's no reason to assume that DS comes from DH. "Digital" was a term and concept before DH claimed it. Second, I would suggest that DS can be produced with digital tools OR presented digitally OR both. It isn't necessarily always both. I did digital scholarship that was both printed in a conventional journal and published online. Semantic difference, but still important.
  • Though the recent popularity of the phrase digital scholarship reflects impressive interdisciplinary ambition and coherence, two crucial elements remain in short supply in the emerging field. First, the number of scholars willing to commit themselves and their careers to digital scholarship has not kept pace with institutional opportunities. Second, today few scholars are trying, as they did earlier in the web's history, to reimagine the form as well as the substance of scholarship. In some ways, scholarly innovation has been domesticated, with the very ubiquity of the web bringing a lowered sense of excitement, possibility, and urgency. These two deficiencies form a reinforcing cycle: the diminished sense of possibility weakens the incentive for scholars to take risks, and the unwillingness to take risks limits the impact and excitement generated by boldly innovative projects.
    • jatolbert
       
      I'm not sure about any of this. There's plenty of innovation happening. Also, galloping towards innovation for its own sake, without considering the specific needs of scholars, seems like a mistake.
  • Digital scholarship, reimagined in bolder ways, is cost-effective, a smart return on investment. By radically extending the audience for a work of scholarship, by reaching students of many ages and backgrounds, by building the identity of the host institution, by attracting and keeping excellent faculty and students, by creating bonds between faculty and the library, and by advancing knowledge across many otherwise disparate disciplines, innovative digital scholarship makes sense.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • Yet, other aspects of the changing digital environment may not be encouraging digital scholarship. The large and highly visible investments being made in MOOCs, for example, lead some faculty to equate technology with the diminution of hard-won traditions of teaching and scholarship. Using new capacities in bandwidth, MOOCs extend well-established patterns of large lectures to audiences otherwise out of the hearing range of those lectures. Unlike digital scholarship, however, MOOCs make no claim to creating new disciplinary knowledge, to advancing the scholarly conversation, to unifying research and teaching.
    • jatolbert
       
      I don't see why any of this is necessarily a problem--unless you reject the notion of lectures as useful pedagogical forms entirely
  • In other words, digital scholarship may have greater impact if it takes fuller advantage of the digital medium and innovates more aggressively. Digital books and digital articles that mimic their print counterparts may be efficient, but they do not expand our imagination of what scholarship could be in an era of boundlessness, an era of ubiquity. They do not imagine other forms in which scholarship might live in a time when our audiences can be far more vast and varied than in previous generations. They do not challenge us to think about keeping alive the best traditions of the academy by adapting those traditions to the possibilities of our own time. They do not encourage new kinds of writing, of seeing, of explaining. And we need all those things.
    • jatolbert
       
      Somewhat melodramatic. What kind of innovation does he want, exactly? And what doesn't he like about the formats he mentions here? He lists things that scholars do, suggests they need to change, but makes no compelling case re: WHY they need to change.
  • Interpretation must be an integral and explicit part of the fundamental architecture of new efforts. Insisting that colleges and universities broaden their standards and definitions of scholarship to make room for digital scholarship is necessary, but it is only a partial answer. To be recognized and rewarded as scholarship in the traditional sense, digital scholarship must do the work we have long expected scholarship to do: contribute, in a meaningful and enduring way, to an identifiable collective and cumulative enterprise.
  • By way of example, the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond is attempting to build one model of what this new scholarship might look like. The lab combines various elements of proven strategies while also breaking new ground. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the historians Robert K. Nelson and Scott Nesbit and their colleagues are creating a digital atlas of American history. The first instantiation of the atlas, Visualizing Emancipation, will soon be followed by an amplified, annotated, and animated digital edition of The Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. Over the next three years, chapters of original and dynamic maps and interpretations will focus on key aspects of the American experience since the nation's founding. The digital atlas will allow scholars to see patterns we have never been able to envision before while at the same time it will make available to teachers of all levels visualizations of crucial processes in American history.
    • jatolbert
       
      This one example doesn't seem all that innovative--story maps, etc. have been around a long time. Also, what he's doing is still basically a repackaging of print scholarship. It could be useful, but it's not nearly as radical as he seems to think.
  • Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future?
    • jatolbert
       
      A problematic think piece about digital scholarship in general. Has some useful definitions. Unfortunately Ayers is doing a lot of hand-wringing over what he sees as the lack of meaningful innovation in digital scholarship. It's not at all clear, though, what he means by this. He argues that what innovation has happened isn't sufficient, then gives an example of a project--a digital atlas of American history--that he seems to think is radically different, but isn't in any way I can discern from his description.
Todd Suomela

"We do software so that you can do education": The curious case of MOOC platforms - Work in Progress - 0 views

  • edX’s case illustrates one mechanism through which this happens: the construction of organizational roles. Consider the separation of software and pedagogy within the edX ecosystem. As edX expanded its slate of partners, its first clients and patrons, MIT and Harvard, saw a decline in their own ability to set the agenda and control the direction of the software. These “users” argue that the software has an implicit theory of pedagogy embedded in it, and that, as experts on pedagogy, they should have more of a say in shaping the software. While acknowledging this, edX’s architects counter that they—and not the Harvard-MIT folks—should have the final say on prioritizing which features to build, not only because they understand the software the best, but also because they see themselves as best placed to understand which features might benefit the whole eco-system rather than just particular players. The standard template in the education technology industry is that the technology experts are only supposed to “implement” what the pedagogy experts ask. What is arguably new about the edX platform framework is that the software is prior to, and thereby more constitutive of, the pedagogy.
Jennifer Parrott

'Laptop U' Misses the Real Story | Inside Higher Ed - 0 views

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    Too much attention to MOOCs at risk of blended learning
Jennifer Parrott

Why Some Colleges Are Saying No to MOOCs, at Least for Now - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    Why Amherst College rejected a partnership with edX
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