The Scan has tended to ignore MOOCs apart from “big” developments – Australian universities joining up with MOOC platforms (Coursera, edX) or Australian universities setting up their own platforms (Deakin, UNE, OUA). One of our most visited posts ever (from 2012) is UNSW launches a MOOC program. A search of our posts still reveals a lot of posts – dozens???? We posted something for The Summer Edition from the Christian Science Monitor – Are MOOCs making education a monoculture? – which has attracted an interesting amount of interest. We hope the CSM benefits – it’s a quality media outlet. We’ll do somewhat more on MOOCs in future – there’s a lot of interest …a little bit more than we thought.
For the last three weeks, I’ve been a student again. I’m following a MOOC offered by FutureLearn, an offshoot of the Open University in partnership with a number of other institutions. And I have to report that so far, I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Most of the pleasure comes from following a subject in which I am interested, but I’m also deeply interested in how a MOOC actually feels on the receiving end. The flexibility is highly impressive: I can study a little segment as and when I have the time, and I can do it wherever I want. I am not going to list all the places where I have MOOCed, but suffice to say that they include the kitchen and my car – anywhere that involves waiting, or an activity that doesn’t involve my conscious brain. And it is reasonably sociable too; the discussion space is busy and…
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