I have a confession – I have decided to continue with taking a MOOC alongside this course, but have made the decision to audit the MOOC instead, and I am happy that I have made this decision as I am still allowed to move through the MOOC and take part in all aspects of the MOOC, I just won’t receive the certificate. Sometimes, we need to make these decisions in order to maintain a work/school/life balance. I am realizing that there are a lot of people whom actually choose this route when participating within the MOOC community.
Since this is an “off week” for my Learning to Read in Science MOOC (we have three weeks to complete 5 videos and I want to research what a MOOC is as well as what a MOOC feels like to participate in), I decided to further explore types of MOOC’s this week. Did you know that there are many types of MOOCs? If not, don’t worry, I didn’t either up until a few weeks ago. In this blog, I will be focusing on xMOOCs and cMOOCs.
xMOOCs are designed and based upon academic courses and follow the behaviourist learning theory in which behaviours (or in this case knowledge) is learned. Most of the time these are courses in which the learner can earn a certificate or credits from an academic institution. I am taking an xMOOC currently from Stanford University. These types of MOOCs are guided and organized according to the academic institution offering them. By offering xMOOCs, Universities can broaden the number of individuals taking a course at a time, thousands of people (even hundreds of thousands) can participate at the same time! These types of MOOCs usually follow a video format, with the lecturer posting several short lecture style videos (as mine is), these make up a “session”. Once the participant has completed the videos there are usually questions and assignments consisting of independent work and some connecting with others in the MOOC community. You may have very little to no contact with your instructor in this type of a MOOC due to the shear volume of learners participating.
cMOOCs are based upon the connectives learning theory developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Together, George Siemens and Stephen Downes launched the first cMOOC, Connectivism and Connected Knowledge. This theory is based upon the understanding that the starting place of learning is within the individual, then can be branched out to networks, which feed into organizations, these organizations in turn feed back to the networks and finally to the individual creating a cycle of learning. Learners participate through social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and blogging. cMOOCs are not funded by a large corporation, rather they are organized by individuals with similar interests in a content area. Participants in this type of MOOC communicate and use social media as a driver for each individuals learning experience. cMOOCs focus less on the presenting content and more on connectivity. One example of a cMOOC is Dave Cormier Rhizomatic Learning.
“We connect knowledge, we build, we grow, we advance”
“Learning is a network forming process, knowledge is a networked product”
The further I research xMOOCs and cMOOCs the more I am realizing that there are many more including:
After researching what I consider to be the two main MOOCs, I have to say that I am a little disappointed to discover that I had unknowingly registered in an xMOOC and now realize that what I was really looking for was a cMOOC. I am still happy that I am participating in a MOOC, and really, knowing the type of MOOC I am in explains why there has been no collaboration amongst leaners. I will continue my course, but will begin looking for cMOOCs as I want to have the experience of both.
Doing some quick searches on Twitter, I found that Dave Cormier will be beginning his #rhizo16 MOOC May 10! Join me!
I was also able to find an open online Google+ Community, which I will spend some more time exploring.