Reclaiming SWAYAM

Today’s news article on the SWAYAM MOOCs and open-ness by Anil Sasi of the Indian Express raises some very important questions about the future of MOOCs in this country. The facts of the matter are as follows. A proprietary rather than open source approach has been adopted because open source seems not be open after... Continue Reading →

Exploring a future without textbooks

Let us imagine a future. In this future, textbooks have been removed for students. The only people that have to use them are teachers. This has solved many problems. No longer do children have to carry heavy bags to school. It discourages rote learning from a single source. It forces certain habits of learning to... Continue Reading →

#Rhizo15 Week 6 The Practical Guide to Rhizomatic Learning

A brief introduction Rhizomatic Learning is an important way to think about learning and teaching. It describes a learning experience where learning itself is organic and emergent, deeply driven by personal context, flexible boundaries and multiple pathways. It describes a teaching experience that sets the context, facilitates the inter-connections of ideas through conversations, and empowers... Continue Reading →

Whither Indian MOOCs?

Today, India is at an important crossroad when it comes to MOOCs. Much has been written and spoken about the potential of MOOCs in this country. Unfortunately, most of the conversation has been around platforms. It has also centered around xMOOCs or XBTs as I term them, ignoring the rather rich discourse around the cMOOCs.... Continue Reading →

MOOCs have arrived…what next?

First published in The Souvenir, FICCI Higher Education Summit 2014 Viplav Baxi makes the case that MOOCs have arrived in India. Now is the time to reflect on what pitfalls we should avoid and how we can fully leverage them in the Indian context. The past few years have seen the rapid growth of Massive... Continue Reading →

Udacity throws out the MOOC?

As Thrun was being praised by Friedman, and pretty much everyone else, for having attracted a stunning number of students--1.6 million to date--he was obsessing over a data point that was rarely mentioned in the breathless accounts about the power of new forms of free online education: the shockingly low number of students who actually... Continue Reading →

MOOCs are ecologies not episodes

There are two ways one could think of the life-cycle of a MOOC. MOOCs could be thought of as one-time and episodic. They could also be thought of as ecologies, sites or environments for continual learning (for example, a series of MOOCs on the same topics, such as CCK), not use-once-and-throw episodes of learning. I... Continue Reading →

The subversion by MOOCs

Stephen Downes puts it succinctly when he says: MOOCs were not designed to serve the missions of the elite colleges and universities. They were designed to undermine them, and make those missions obsolete. Yes there has been a great rebranding and co-option of the concept of the MOOC over the last couple of years. The... Continue Reading →

MOOCs as instruments of democratic politics

Democracy requires intellectually armed political activism to succeed. MOOCs (cMOOCs) provide an unprecedented occasion to demonstrate the power of connective learning for democracy, just as much as they demonstrate the democracy of connective learning. The four letters that make up the MOOC abbreviation are as apt as a stage for political protest as for our... Continue Reading →

MOOConomics

Carlos Salerno over at Inside HigherEd wrote a piece on the Bitter Reality of MOOConomics. The major point he makes is that because students need to acquire credentials from top universities/colleges for better employment prospects whereas colleges are loath to provide these credentials through MOOCs because they have no barriers to entry (in terms of... Continue Reading →

MOOC Dropouts

Audrey is grumpy and unhappy about the massive dropout rate vs. the hype of the open courses. She writes: I’m starting to get more than a little grumpy about MOOCs, what with all the hype about the revolutionary disruptions and game-changing tsunamis. I’m tired of the mainstream media punditry and their predictions that Stanford University’s experiments... Continue Reading →

Unflipping the flip

I have been really curious and a little wary of the "flip" (flipped classroom, flipping the classroom) kind of frenzy recently. Basically, it seems to mean that we flip: Students into teachers Homework into Classwork Classwork into learning by self or network, guided or unguided Hallways and Social spaces into Classrooms Closed curriculum to open... Continue Reading →

MOOCs and Content Stores

Every instant someone is learning, or trying to learn the same thing as you are. Every moment, someone apart from you is solving the same problem. Every moment, someone is searching for the same thing that you are. There is an immediacy in learning, in the learning at that instant, that has awesome proportions and purports... Continue Reading →

My life is a MOOC

I have been meaning to catch up with the interesting discussion happening around MOOCs. I believe that there will be and should be plurality of approaches and intentions - they are the inevitable accompaniment to change itself. The top tensions in the conversation are: How do MOOCs compare with other initiatives like the Stanford AI? Should... Continue Reading →

MOOC, DIY-U and Edupunk

I was reading with interest Stephen Downes' critique of Anya Kamenetz's approach in her book DIY-U. I am reading Anya's book, but could not help writing this post, even though that exercise is incomplete, so I beg your indulgence. The point Stephen is making is definitely not just academic. The term DIY (do-it-yourself) affords primacy... Continue Reading →

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