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Re: [Osdc-list] MOOCs the Open Source Way



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On 11/02/2012 09:45 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> 
>> On Fri, 2 Nov 2012, Barry Peddycord III wrote:
>> 
>>> The perceived problem they are solving is one I've been fussing
>>> about for a long time: while EdX and Coursera are making a
>>> really big splash, they are relying on the brand-recognition of
>>> the Ivy League and Research Universities they partner with,
> 
> I think it's worth pointing out how inaccurate this statement is.
> I can't talk about Coursera, but EdX (and open courseware in
> general) started at MIT, with the goal of making available courses
> more widely available, for free - starting with MIT's "Open
> Courseware" initiative and growing into EdX.  A few other
> universities then jumped on board (notably Harvard).
> 
> It's a non-profit initiative, motivated by making existing courses
> more widely available.  Not, as implied by the above, by some
> outside entity capitalizing on the "brand recognition" of carefully
> selected partners.

That's a fair point, and thanks - it's rather easy to get carried away
making broad claims like these. I'm not trying to imply that the
organizations are using the name recognition to capitalize, but
rather, that it produces this perception (at least for me) that only
professors at some institutions are "worthy" to participate. True or
not, it irks me.

The openness that I'm referring to is open participation in the
*development* of the course - not just the courseware. Not that it
isn't valuable in its own right, what differentiates a MOOC from Open
Courseware (in my mind) is that a MOOC is the package deal: syllabus,
content, delivery, community, and assessment.

What I find interesting about "democratized" platforms (and
un-platforms, as Steve brought up) is that it makes it possible to
create courses on very niche subjects by teachers and researchers
working together to develop them.

Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone! I'm enjoying hearing
everyone's thoughts!

~ Barry

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