Learning and Connectivism in MOOCs ~ Stephen’s Web

MOOC Research Literature Browser

(Work in progress!) I’ve created this page in order to collect and share the various research articles I have come across about MOOCs. It is a work in progress at the moment and I will be adding keywords and further papers in due course.

Learning and Connectivism in MOOCs ~ Stephen Downes keynote on network interaction.


The End of the University as We Know It?

The End of the University as We Know It  – Nathan Harden


In the future, the primary platform for higher education may be a third-party website, not the university itself.

MIT is the first elite university to offer a credential for students who complete its free, open-source online courses. (The certificate of completion requires a small fee.) Harvard and MIT expect other universities to adopt the same platform and contribute their own courses. And the two universities have put $60 million of their own money behind the project, making edX the most promising MOOC venture out there right now.

edX won’t offer traditional academic credits, Harvard and MIT have announced that “certificates of mastery” will be available for those who complete the online courses and can demonstrate knowledge of course material.

The open-source educational marketplace will give everyone access to the best universities in the world. This will inevitably spell disaster for colleges and universities that are perceived as second rate.

MOOCs are Growing faster than Facebook

MOOCs are Growing faster than Facebook …..and even the new work making its way into Oxford English Dictionary.


Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle


The update of participants in MOOCs is highlighting a critical tension for Australian  universities in allocating resources when some are experiencing tension between determining what is valued and rewarded most  – research or teaching. Universities need to heed why MOOCs have taken off so spectacularly. One reason might be that “rock stars’ are  running courses..eg. people like Stephen  Downes since 2008.

Udacity courses are designed and produced in house in collaboration with Microsoft and Google. Google have even offered developers the platform they used for their MOOC ( not truly a MOOC) too teacher directed but never the less with the open platform and use of Google handouts.

The paint is barely dry, yet edX, the nonprofit start-up from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has 370,000 students this fall in its first official  courses. That’s nothing. Coursera, founded just last January, has reached more than 1.7 million — growing “faster than Facebook,” boasts Andrew Ng, on leave from Stanford to run his for-profit MOOC provider.


Pipe line or Pipe Dream?

The Year of the MOOC

As we unbundle assessment from the university, for example, it gets re-bundled with Pearson. As we unbundle the content from the campus classroom, it gets re-bundled with textbook publishers. With MOOCs, power might shift to the learner; it’s just as likely that power shifts to the venture capitalists.



Three Kinds of MOOCs…which help explain some of the different perceptions surrounding the dominance of the top universities in this space and the concept of openness.

Each type of MOOC has all three elements (networks, tasks and content), but each has a goal that is dominant.

Each type of MOOC has all three elements (networks, tasks and content), but each has a goal that is dominant.

MOOCs front page news in the Australian today

Only elite to survive slump in university funds by :Julie Hare,  From: The Australian  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/only-elite-to-survive-slump-in-university-funds/story-e6frgcjx-1226501913522

Ernst & Young report say exploding enrolments in massive online open courses, or MOOCs, and increased demand for tertiary degrees globally point to the need for Australian institutions to broaden their scope in how and where they teach.


Illustration: Igor Saktor Source: Supplied


Not only will the impact be felt in structural change, but so much so that the watchdog Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agencyresolves to monitor online courses by :BERNARD LANE  From: The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/opinion/watchdog-resolves-to-monitor-online-courses/story-e6frgcko-1226501785367

Universities must plan for a future in which they do not need to generate academic content for many of their courses. Instead, learning materials can be outsourced from elite global universities. These materials will be online and of fine quality. And they will be free, or at least inexpensiveIf the preceding analysis is accurate then the disruptive effect of massive online open courses may be mainly on one dimension of academic work, the delivery of content. This alone will have a substantial impact, for the knowledge and theory underpinning course content is the intellectual centrepiece and the cornerstone of academic values.

Brace for dawn of digital delivery by RICHARD JAMES http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/opinion/brace-for-dawn-of-digital-delivery/story-e6frgcko-1226501787306

Lots of coverage at the moment partly because of  Live-stream: Future of Higher Education symposium and the paradigm shift is a major concern to the not only the nature but the regulation and governance of unis in Australia. http://theconversation.edu.au/live-stream-future-of-higher-education-symposium-10196

10 million international students a pipe line or pipe dream…

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Buck Lewis

Unis were told to meet Asian demand – up from 700,000 students to potentially 10 million. AUSTRALIAN universities and colleges need to rewrite the rules of international education to meet unprecedented demand from Asia’s surging middle classes, according to opposition policy heavyweight Andrew Robb.


The design of MOOCs was for collaboration – not about accreditation through universities – although they have morphed as they have been taken up by universities –

What is a MOOC?

What does this mean for students in our schools? How does this alter the balance of being in control of your own learning?