Half an Hour: Like Reading a Newspaper – by Stephen Downes (on MOOC Completion)

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Dr. Pamela Rutledge‘s insight:

Downes highlights a society-wide heuristic about courses–that they are like books and argues that MOOCs aren’t all like that.   In some cases they are, of course; some materials in courses and books build upon what came before.  This is true in subjects like math and in mystery novels.  I sign-up for MOOCs for entirely different reasons.  Sometimes it’s to see the structure of a topic I know pretty well, sometimes it’s to get a reading list, sometimes it’s to cherry pick a lecture or two out of something I am interested in.  I have been known to read nonfiction books the same way, especially where multiple authors contribute chapters.  The biggest drawback to MOOCs for me is when the instructors don’t include transcripts of their lectures.  As an online instructor, I can appreciate that a tremendous amount of work that goes into creating a syllabus for online environments–more than you would ever believe!  Most MOOCS instructors not only lay out the topics, but in order to construct  courses that are accessible to all background and language levels, they break them down into 8 minute soundbites and record clean little videos, but frankly, I don’t have that much time.  I have a mountainous ‘to-do’ pile (by my own choice and/or inability to say no) so my learning time is precious.  I leave websites that don’t load in a couple of seconds, so I’m not going to wade through 10 little lectures when I could skim a PDF script for the whole lot of them in less than it would take me to listen to one. 

See on halfanhour.blogspot.ae


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