Skip to content

Massive open online courses as new educative practice

Interest in open online courses – and startups see this as an opportunity to automate and scale education. In a recent interview by Tamar Lewin for NYTimes, I stated that while you could call Udacity, Coursera, and Codeacademy examples of MOOCs (Massive open online courses), they are largely instantiations of existing educational practices. Their primary innovation is scaling. (See Jim Groom’s comments on this post…or Alan Levine’s thoughts on scaling in moocs). In the presentation embedded below, I evaluate how teaching, social, and cognitive presence in open courses that I’ve been involved with differ from those being offered by startups. In the process, I assault the spirits of both Alan and Jim in linking work that Stephen, Dave, and I have done with open courses and what they are doing with DS106.


  1. Alan Levine wrote:

    I don’t feel assaulted, although I suggest there is room to talk about the one to many approach of courses One course structure for everyone) versus making them in a format where they can mutate as in ds106.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  2. Mike C. wrote:

    Alan’s point is on target. ds106 is a franchise model in a way. I think that’s an extremely powerful way to scale. I think that is one of the exciting pieces of it. . .

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  3. Perhaps you might find of interest my two recent blog posts. I discuss there why MOOCs and the AI-Stanford like courses are two very different formats of open massive online course.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink