Thanks to Stephanie Sandifer!
From Gamco – According to Charles Handy, success belongs to those who learn to embrace complexity by reconciling the contradictions of this world. Gabe Zichermann gives an example of these contradictions with gamification: If you want to design a great educational game, focusing on making it educational as the main priority will make your game fail.
MIT Tech Review offers a synopsis of current MOOC studies – completion, etc. They cite a Princeton study that says “participation falls precipitously and continuously throughout a course and that almost half of registered students never post more than twice to the forums. What’s more, the participation of a teacher doesn’t improve matters. Indeed, they say there is some evidence that a teacher’s participation in an online discussion actually increases the rate of decline.” There is an art – and best practices – to facilitating discussion boards and I do wonder if these teachers/instructors are ever given that insight before diving in.
Georgia Tech’s experiment plays it relatively safe. Because it involves a master’s program, the students will have already earned undergraduate degrees, and many of them already have jobs in the industry. And the students who were admitted have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.58.
The inaugural class is also neither massive nor open. The program has admitted 401 students—360 men, 41 women—out of 2,300 candidates. Those who decide to enroll will begin classes on January 15, according to Jason Maderer, a spokesman.
From Stephen Downes
Forbes – Debates on the pros and cons of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) often overlook how these online sessions fundamentally change the dynamic of learning. I’ve been writing about the emergence of MOOCs in businesses like SAP as a flexible, fast option to teach developers about the latest technologies. While online surveys have yielded a significant amount of student feedback, I decided it was time to hear first-hand from some developers who have participated in recent SAP MOOCs, including Introduction Software Development on SAP HANA and Introduction to Mobile Software Development for the Enterprise.
Twenty-first-century learners have expectations that are not met within the current model of higher education. With the introduction of online learning, the anytime/anywhere mantra taken up by many postsecondary institutions was a first step to meeting learner needs for flexibility; however, the choice and determination of delivery mode still resides with the institution and course instructors.
Unlike students in small online courses or unaffiliated students in MOOCS, distributed flip students might not use community features. If MOOCs for blended learning are to fully realize the potential of online communities, we must investigate alternative forms of community that are more loosely coupled to content sequence and more distributed in terms of power.
Online education providers may very well disrupt the higher education establishment, but, first, these for-profit companies need to find a way to finance the mammoth technical infrastructure needed to support millions of students. It’s a challenge that all mission-based businesses wrestle with, and why many have wondered whether Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) providers will ever become big business — or be around in five years — let alone “transform higher education,” as they’ve so often promised.