Research about MOOC pedagogy

Rita Kop, Helene Fournier and Sui Fai John Mak have published an article “A Pedagogy of Abundance or a Pedagogy to Support Human Beings? Participants Support on Massive Open Online Courses.” The article continues the research tradition (a short one!) which began after CCK08. I have read every research about this topic and participated in many open courses myself, tried to describe and analyze my own learning in this blog. I have found this a very challenging task.

This newest article gathers carefully information about living in open online courses (PLENK2010 and CCK11). We know very much about participants behavior and this information is nicely described in the article. I recommend to read it, I cannot refer it shortly. But how we could proceed, go further? To me, listening some participants’ discussions about MOOC have helped to understand myself. After CCK09 I found Dr Smetty’s Soapbox (which have been in my blogroll since then) a discussion of three European participants, one of them was Wilfred Rubens, and I had a feeling of insight after listening their open pondering. Another meaningful discussion happened after eduMOOC – I found Jeff Lebow’s blog and learned to appreciate the openness, the quality of COOLCasts. It is easier to capture the dynamics of learning via discussion, better than survey inquiries. We need both (I still remember some questions of Jenny, Roy and John in 2009) – but we cannot go deep with surveys and analyzing clicking behavior.

I am interested in why people come to participate in open online courses, what is their motivation? Why do we study and network, take the time for it? It is obvious that very few people continue, there are no massive courses, only 20-40 active participants, so why we continue? I know from myself that I want to broaden my perspective now when I am retired and I have time. I do not follow any courses any more, but I follow many interesting conferences, sessions etc. I feel free to participate, I have learned the basic skills for it. The biggest age group seem to be 55+ years, so I am not the only one. We experienced people could organize something interesting, integrating our experiences to this new online life. I am tired to hear that old people have stopped learning.

I should like to develop qualitative methods for virtual ethnography – methods that help to understand deeper. I love the heading of this newest article: A pedagogy of abundance is not enough, we need pedagogy to support human beings. And we already know very much about it, supporting human beings is not totally different in virtual environments. I have noticed that Roy Williams is pondering same questions, and Jenny Mackness and you three writers of the article which I comment here.

The Visitors and residents project is one way forward, how could I combine it with open online course behavior? Interesting sessions of JISC e-learning programs will happen in near future. What could I do next?