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Here's a an excerpt: 

"'The hyper-prestigious universities' are not driving the change, said Jack M. Wilson, president emeritus of the University of Massachusetts, who founded UMass Online some 10 years ago, in remarks during a kickoff panel at the Sloan Consortium’s International Conference on Online Learning. He said that institutions like his and others represented at the conference, which is in its 18th year, have been slowly improving the quality, credibility, and enrollment of online courses for decades."

He may be right, but I think the key word here is "slowly" (read: VERY slowly). From my (admittedly limited) point of view, I feel that innovation in online course design and delivery has been merely crawling along for the past 15 years. We're still stuck with clunky LMSs and closed systems while the open Web zips by. 

But now we have Udacity taking an interesting approach to chunking video material, EdX experimenting with a very interesting LMS platform design, this EdStartup class that's using distributed user syndication (http://101.edstartup.net/) and other unique online learning experience like LawMeets/ApprenNet (http://www.lawmeets.com/courses/m_and_a_20121023/)

I think that while this whole "massive open course" thing may not be the silver bullet, it is at least showing us what's possible where we would otherwise be stuck in our little Blackboard bubbles.

What do others think about Jack Wilson's remarks?

// Jason Blanchard

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Instructional Designer
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Phone: 215-571-3927
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Wilson sounds both historical and defensive.  Historical: I appreciate his reminding the world of non-MOOC work.
Defensive: it's obvious that R1s are driving the MOOC world.  Yes, cMOOCs or urMOOCs have come from non-Harvard places, but xMOOCs (the Coursera model) have won the attention and influence.

Agreed about getting away from LMS silos and into the open Web.  Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington, brains behind DS106) argues that MOOCs are online teaching in the spirit of the Web.

Ah, "online teaching in the spirit of the Web," I like that. I think he said that on the EdStartup 101 discussion here http://www.youtube.com/edstartup101 right?

I've also heard George Siemens refer to his experiments with distributed MOOC platforms as, "not fighting the Internet." I think a lot of the educational technology platforms we've seen come out of the past 15 years take a lot of energy and resources to fight the Internet.

And sometimes with good reason, too, like FERPA compliance, etc. But at a certain point, this can overpower the possibility of learning via networked technologies, right?

// Jason Blanchard

---
Instructional Designer
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Phone: 215-571-3927

From: Bryan Alexander <balexander@NITLE.ORG>
Reply-To: "The EDUCAUSE Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group Listserv" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:48 PM
To: "MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [MOOCS] Remarks on MOOCs at Sloan

Wilson sounds both historical and defensive.  Historical: I appreciate his reminding the world of non-MOOC work.
Defensive: it's obvious that R1s are driving the MOOC world.  Yes, cMOOCs or urMOOCs have come from non-Harvard places, but xMOOCs (the Coursera model) have won the attention and influence.

Agreed about getting away from LMS silos and into the open Web.  Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington, brains behind DS106) argues that MOOCs are online teaching in the spirit of the Web.

Here's the Sloan-C presentation from Sebastian Thrun - http://events.mediasite.com/Mediasite/Play/82b693c44d94441ba4b9c08c75df31351d (requires Microsoft Silverlight).

Very interesting discussion on MOOCs' place in the world.

// Jason Blanchard

---
Instructional Designer
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Phone: 215-571-3927

From: <Blanchard>, Jason Blanchard <jwb82@drexel.edu>
Reply-To: "The EDUCAUSE Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group Listserv" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:00 PM
To: "MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [MOOCS] Remarks on MOOCs at Sloan

Ah, "online teaching in the spirit of the Web," I like that. I think he said that on the EdStartup 101 discussion here http://www.youtube.com/edstartup101 right?

I've also heard George Siemens refer to his experiments with distributed MOOC platforms as, "not fighting the Internet." I think a lot of the educational technology platforms we've seen come out of the past 15 years take a lot of energy and resources to fight the Internet.

And sometimes with good reason, too, like FERPA compliance, etc. But at a certain point, this can overpower the possibility of learning via networked technologies, right?

// Jason Blanchard

---
Instructional Designer
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Phone: 215-571-3927

From: Bryan Alexander <balexander@NITLE.ORG>
Reply-To: "The EDUCAUSE Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Constituent Group Listserv" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:48 PM
To: "MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <MOOCS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [MOOCS] Remarks on MOOCs at Sloan

Wilson sounds both historical and defensive.  Historical: I appreciate his reminding the world of non-MOOC work.
Defensive: it's obvious that R1s are driving the MOOC world.  Yes, cMOOCs or urMOOCs have come from non-Harvard places, but xMOOCs (the Coursera model) have won the attention and influence.

Agreed about getting away from LMS silos and into the open Web.  Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington, brains behind DS106) argues that MOOCs are online teaching in the spirit of the Web.

I think educational technology, broadly construed, has been split right down the middle for the past decade+.  On the one hand, some have embraced the open Web: teachers and researchers making Web pages, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos.  On the other, there are those who built up silos: LMSes, restricted-access databases.
(I didn't follow EdStartup; Jim said it to me in conversation.)

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