The MOOC Debate, Really?

Ok, have you looked at the number of blogs and posts on MOOC’s and the movement, Wow, is really all I can say. Today I read and re-read a post “One Pitfall for Learner Data from Open Education. It really got me thinking. Why is this discussion on MOOC’s such a big deal? It’s a new avenue, It’s a chance some didn’t have before and if you get something out of it amazing. If you don’t I’m sorry, I think you need to go to class.

To quote Lou’s post :

Where novice to intermediate learners learn best when there is full guidance during instruction, experts “often thrive without much guidance”. So when we analyze the (most effective) learning of course completers in a MOOC our findings are skewed because we see the learning of experts. Translating those findings to the general population of learners would again ignore the well researched fact that novice to intermediate learners learn best from fully guided instruction.”

Here is how I see it and I beleive I responded quite similarly:

I agree. I personally do not believe the MOOC experience is for the unexperienced learner. I know as I know my hand that we have a great deal of students at all levels of higher ed that are not truly there to well learn. They are there because that’s what their parents told them to do, they are there because society says continue your education when they may not sure what their passion is. These students need a hand, they need a push, a great instructor, a mentor. They need accoutability. They need timeframes, assignments and due dates. My own son could never take an online course at 20, he’d forget he was in it. I’m really starting to believe that any type of MOOC is based on the type of learner you are.

I succeeded (well in my eyes) at my ETMOOC experience because it was what I am very passionate about, the topics that I love and really enjoy teaching and sharing. It’s true. I woudn’t have joined it if I didn’t think I would get something out of it, one connection, one thought. I wanted to connect more, I wanted more experience with blogging and building a PLN. I wanted to learn emerging technologies and I have. Don’t get me wrong, Lou states you need to be motivated learner. He is correct, I am a highly motivated person, and I always have been. Yet when I was just starting out, I would have needed more than a connectivist or xmooc provides.

So can we get off the data and the bad experiences of the MOOC and be grateful for what it can be and what it adds to our entire educational system. A way to learn. I just think it’s great that we are looking to TRY to fulfill the needs of the general population with educational options they did not have before. I have realized one thing I’m sure , it’s “who you are” “what motivation you have” and “where you are in your life” as to whether you as a person will suceed in any type of MOOC. Thank you for stirring some great thoughts. Alison, thank you for standing the cause I as love etmooc and your comments found here really helped me put things in perspective for me. 🙂