What to do with MOOCs? Hmm……

My initial reaction, at the beginning of the course when we were first exposed to MOOCs, was that these courses offer a means of providing lifelong learning opportunities with access to experts in their respective fields. As with much of what we have researched pertaining to online education I find that MOOCs are designed for a more mature audience. As Zemesky writes less than 4% of students complete their MOOC. I cannot see most high school students learning for the sake of learning. They are very grade driven. In both the Zemesky article and the MacDonald /Ahern study the question of quantifiable learning is discussed. This, for me, is the greatest drawback to using a MOOC as educational option in K-12 education. My other concern is the sharing of incorrect information from student to student as much of the course interaction/feedback occurs between students and often very little, if any, between student and teacher.

As for transforming my course module into a MOOC, I’m not sure. I do feel as though my module design has a very structured flow, requires minimal background knowledge and connects to real-world concepts at the end. There are some aspects of MOOCs in the module as there are planned lessons with video introductions, discussion questions and limited assessments where all work is due using a relatively flexible schedule. I still plan on face-to-face lab time and discussion as I do not feel as though laboratory science is best learned in an online format.

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