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Discuss "pMOOC pedagogical pattern"

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Yishay Mor
30 November 2012

This cloud is set up for discussing an olds mooc blog post.

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I like this notion of a pMOOC (project-based Massive Open Online Course). Before I had only thought of MOOCs as being of two kinds as defined by Siemens (2012):

1) cMOOCs with the “c” reflecting connectivist and constructivist pedagogical origins of the kind offered by George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and others.

2) xMOOCs with the “x” reflecting what some see as their roots in behaviorist or “transmissionist” (teaching by telling) pedagogy.

The cMOOCs have primarily originated in Canada (another reason for the “c”?) whereas the xMOOCs are primarily emerging from certain elite universities in the USA (most notably Stanford, MIT, and Harvard), some seeking to make profits (e.g., Coursera) and some not focused on profits, at least at this time (edX and Udacity).

The notion of a pMOOC is very appealing because it combines a constructivist pedagogical orientation with a practical and authentic outcome. However, I think with respect to the OLDS MOOC more specificity is needed in terms of the nature of possible projects. Could a project be the design of an Open Educational Resource (OER) about rising acidity in the ocean, an interactive learning simulation about disappearing glaciers in Greenland, a “ten things every college graduate should know about climate change” article, etc.? Certainly!  Could a project be the design of a whole course about Climate Change? Possibly, but this might be too ambitious. What else could a project be within the context of the OLDS MOOC? For the OLDS MOOC to be successful for those people who complete the whole course (and earn all the cool badges), I think we must be more specific in describing what we mean by a project. For those people who are merely cruising the OLDS MOOC, hopefully there will be pieces of the whole pMOOC experience that they will find accessible and engaging, but I think our primary focus needs to be on those who are there for both the journey and the destination.

Tom Reeves
02:34 on 1 December 2012

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