OERs Rule, MOOCs DROOL

Just put in this proposal to a conference, thought it was worth reposting here as a discussion starter:

The “wrapped MOOC” has gained attention over the past year as a way to integrate MOOCs into traditional education. This presentation will present results of interviews with practitioners of this method to show that in practice most educators are not “wrapping” the cohort experience, but are instead using the MOOC as robust OER.  This trend is discussed in terms of “distributed flip” and “distributed blend” models, as well as David Wiley’s joking but correct observation that MOOCs are distraction from the potential of DROOL (DistRibuted Open Online Learning). Implications include a hidden but high demand for robust, course-level OER, and the possible desirability of approaching blended learning from the online experience “backwards”, as opposed to the traditional model which emphasizes the online refitting of an existing or assumed face-to-face experience.

That last part was crystallized by a chat with Kathy Chatfield down the street from here at Clark College. I’ve been fascinated with how much institutional reuse MOOCs are getting in blended scenarios, and how boundary-pushing many of those scenarios are compared to the generally conservative approaches you typically see with blended. I’ve attributed this to the robust and comprehensive nature of the MOOC materials, which provide for any level of blend and decrease what I’ve been calling “integration cost”.

That’s still all true, but what Kathy pointed out to me that it’s psychological as well; her research indicates it is much easier for people to look at a fully online course and think about what needs to be face-to-face than the other way around. Starting from a fully online course, people generally make better decisions about how to use class time. The other direction — not so much.

Thoughts? If it’s true, it’s yet another reason why we might be looking at a rebirth of open courseware as fully articulated courses designed and distributed in an LMS or LMS-like framework, with student and faculty support communities built around them.

And yes, the DROOL acronym is used here for humorous purposes only. PLEASE don’t let this become a standard term. New York Times, take note.

(P.S. I always struggle with how I write out open courseware. Obviously, with my background, I know the camel-case convention. But the convention makes it look too trademarked, to separate from more normal terms like open educational resources. So I’m trying to revitalize it by toning down the flash, OK?)

via Hapgood http://hapgood.us/2013/04/04/oers-rule-moocs-drool/

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5 thoughts on “OERs Rule, MOOCs DROOL

  1. roy williams says:

    Excellent food for drooling / thought. Thanks.

    Kathy is right, its easier to think systematically from the online side of the fence to the onsite side. However there are some interesting models emerging of what we are calling ‘courses nested within MOOCs’ which I guess does the wrapping from the inside (if that makes sense).

    Two variants / hybrids:
    1. Wrapped course / Nested Course with a MOOC
    The course runs pretty much as it did before, but is extended outwards into a MOOC. The course is possibly assessed in much the same way as before. This has been done in the UK, with interesting results.

    This is easier to do with an existing e-learning course. But there is no reason why it should not be done with an onsite course – seems like the ModPo, and the AI MOOCs were somewhat along these lines.

    2. Nested Courses within a Common/s MOOC
    This is even more interesting: a number of similar courses, at different institutions, are run simultaneously with each other, and simultaneously with a common (and ‘commons’) MOOC. With some luck this might get done in the UK too – we’ll see.

    see footprints-of-emergence wiki for more details …

  2. mikecaulfield says:

    Hey Roy — just saw you comment (got caught in the spam filter, sorry). I’ve been looking at use of MOOCs in F2F scenarios with Amy Collier and others, and it’s interesting. We interviewed a bunch of instructors using J. Widoms Databases MOOC in their class, and the most interesting thing was how they tended to use the MOOC as OER, mainly for foundational knowledge and simple application, and the class as their discussion forum and place for deeper application. We’ve settled on the name “distributed flip” for this model — it’s not a perfect name, but like you we were struggling with what was wrapping what.

    • roy williams says:

      Mike, love it. We’re writing yet another paper on MOOCs, and we have got to the point where we are no longer interested in creating yet another taxonomy of MOOCs. Call them all MOOCs, add a few words of your choice, and do just do it.

      Focus on practice, not branding.

      The words will follow – “MOOCs” has stuck, but it wasn’t in the original name, CCK08, and that doesn’t matter anymore.

      • mikecaulfield says:

        BTW Roy, I really like the recent focus of your work on balancing emergent and more structured elements of courses (and on the context-dependence of the mix). I’m looking forward to your new article, no matter *what* you call them. ;)

      • roy williams says:

        Mike, I’ll keep you posted. :)

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