Jason Berg’s Updates

MOOCs Evolving

Most advancements, technological or otherwise, are initially deeply rooted in the status quo. MOOCs, which mimic traditional lecture-centric classrooms, are no exception. These first attempts are vital, generate interest, and answer important questions but are stepping stones on the path to innovation in higher education.

The recently announced DOCC (distributed open collaborative course) on Feminism and Technology, supported by 17 colleges and universities this semester, is one such innovation that we are planning to support with the Scholar digital learning platform. Scholar transforms the patterns of interaction in learning through multi-modal writing, sharing in knowledge communities and peer feedback which re-positions learners as knowledge producers working collaboratively toward mastery.

In conversations recently with Anne Balsamo, Dean in the School of Media Studies at the New School, we were struck by the alignment of one of Scholar's organizing principles (collaborative knowledge making) and their description of what differentiates a DOOC from a MOOC, "It recognizes that .... expertise is distributed throughout all the participants in a learning activity," and "who you learn with is as important as what you learn".

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