Friday, October 26, 2012

sMOOChers: Smart MOOCs Higher Education Research Subgroup [#CFHE12}

The TLT Group is offering an opportunity to explore a MOOC and talk together not only about the topic but about the MOOC experience. The MOOC we have chosen is the "Current/Future State of Higher Education" (#CFHE12).  This is the second MOOC that I have participated in and one of my goals is to better understand and leverage the social networking aspects of the course.
If you want to pop into the sMOOChers discussion please join us later today, 2:00 pm ET at  It's midterm in CFHE12 and here is what we will be discussing.

Dale Parker will summarize and evaluate our 3 categories for reflection as we participate in CFHE12 and comment on implications for adult learners:

  • Process:  Reflection about Experience (about our shared experience in a MOOC as it happens - focus on process)
  • Content:  Adaptation and Application of Resources (to our own institutions and individual situations of the information and resources provided by the MOOC - focus on content)
  • Support:  Develop New Roles (to help students learn from MOOCs)

Nancy Smulsky will review and extend her comments about the quality and variety of resources within CFHE12, the effectiveness (or lack) of interactivities within CFHE12, and the significance of being unable to view/use MOOC resources prior to the week for which they are designated.  

Jane Harris will be unable to join us live on Oct 26, but will share some of her notes and list of recommended readings based on her experience within CFHE12 (and elsewhere).

Steve Gilbert will invite more discussion about the role of scheduled synchronous events within MOOCs and other online educational activities.  He will ask participants about their own experiences with synchronous online elements within larger courses, MOOCs, programs, including these and other questions:

·       In what ways are scheduled synchronous online sessions helpful to learners who prefer or need more external structure and guidance for their own learning, even when those learners are highly motivated to master the course content?  In what ways does it matter, if at all, if the synchronous sessions are required, recommended, or purely optional?
·        In what ways do scheduled synchronous online sessions deter learners who prefer or need flexible schedules from participating in online courses, MOOCs, et al. ? In what ways does it matter, if at all, if the synchronous sessions are required, recommended, or purely optional?
·       In what ways does it matter, if at all,  which media are used and which kinds of equipment are required for synchronous sessions?  Pure text?  Multi-way voice via telephone?  Webinar?  Two-way video?  Etc.

We will also discuss additional plans and questions to enhance our participation in the last weeks of CFHE12 and guide our preparation of final comments during FridayLive!  November 30, 2012.  NOTE:  Jane Marcus offered to prepare some notes and comments - based on her recent observations of MOOC-like developments at Stanford and elsewhere -  in time for the final session.

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