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#digped Storify Pt. 2: A Backchannel in the Backchannel
August 09, 2012 | Filed in:
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#digped Storify Pt. 2: A Backchannel in the Backchannel
This is the second installment of the Storify of the Hybrid Pedagogy #digped Twitter discussion for Friday, August 3, 2012: "Broadcast Learning." This installment covers our discussion of MOOCs and the changing economies in higher education.
Storified by Robin Wharton · Wed, Aug 08 2012 13:04:50
In his article, "
Broadcast Education: A Response to Coursera
," Sean asks us to consider, "If online education has made so much progress, why isn’t it more obvious? Why are the good folks at Coursera (who are actually just now catching up to those of us who’ve been doing this for a decade) getting all the attention, while also not putting the best face of online education forward?" He ends the piece with a call for pedagogues "to innovate, to experiment, to play and be played with," and cautions against oversimplification of online learning and MOOCs, of both the forms they take and the issues at stake when we are debating their merits and demerits. In an effort to engage
some of the more productive discursive strands weaving in and out of the recent media "MOOCopalypse"
, we decided to focus last week's
discussion on the broader question of broadcast learning, which is the model (as Sean points out, sometimes erroneously) most frequently associated with MOOCs and other, more traditional (did I just write that?) online courses.
See you in six minutes!! @DavidUdacity @HybridPed @Udacity #digped Looking forward to it!Sean Michael Morris
Perhaps because we were fortunate to have
join the discussion, we attracted the attention of a rather adorable predator.
Mini-mini-MOOC for breakfast. #digped chat. #yum http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/Journal/files/Broadcast_Learning.htmlMOOC MOOC
continued to stalk us throughout the discussion, sending us down some difficult but promising avenues. Thanks to
's loving [and drooling] attention and David's participation, we had what is probably the largest turn out ever for a
discussion. When all was (almost) said and done, the stream included approximately 500 tweets, from more than 25 distinct Twitter accounts. Of those tweets, about 18% were retweets (my stats are courtesy of
, a really useful tool).
Today's #digped = barely controlled chaos that has busted open a lot of very important question for us to explore in http://moocmooc.com.Hybrid Pedagogy
Putting together a single Storify that adequately represents the breadth of subject matter covered and participation while still remaining relatively readable proved to be an impossible task. Consequently, I decided to put together two installments. The first one, "
We Interrupt This Broadcast
," deferred the question about the use of video lectures and broadcast education in MOOCs, and focuses instead on those contributions related to the other questions Sean's
***What do you see as the difference between content-delivery and learning? Is there a use for content-delivery in a static classroom environment, or is this a misuse of educational technology?
***What is the implicit pedagogical stance behind “canned” lecture? How does this stance differ depending on the use of that lecture -- in flipped classrooms,
s [patience, it's almost your turn], hybrid learning environments, etc.?
***Imagine you were to create a video lecture yourself, one that would be broadcast in a learning environment to an unknown number of students. What considerations would play a part in the creation of that video? How would you make your video lecture engaging?
’s video work; but what examples of this technology have you seen, good and bad?
What do you see as the threats video lectures -- and other forms of content-delivery pedagogy -- pose; likewise, what do you see as their advantages and their potential?
How are developments like @Udacity, MOOCs, @tedtalks changing education? What is the relationship between content & learning? #digpedHybrid Pedagogy
In this installment, I pick up the MOOC-related strands of the discussion and the resulting conversation about shifting funding models for higher education and the pressing questions they raise. The early discussion quickly brought to the fore the standard things for which MOOCs are routinely praised and critiqued in the press.
@HybridPed #digped Huge opportunity to make education available to everyone for free. Changes the dynamics of education worldwide.David Stavens
@slamteacher @HybridPed #digped It gives the best teachers and thinkers a nearly limitless reach -- previously in a handful of schools.David Stavens
@rogerwhitson Perhaps. 'm not a fan of MOOCs b/c they don't value intimacy of teaching, which is essential to learning. #digpedTrent M Kays
@trentmkays @rogerwhitson They don't. But can they? #digpedMOOC MOOC
@antimony27 #digped I think so. And millions of students don't have access to a classroom. Online is more flexible, offers faster feedbackDavid Stavens
The problem with MOOCs is that they have the ability to distribute crappy pedagogy on a mass level. #digpedTrent M Kays
@MOOCMOOC @trentmkays @rogerwhitson they certainly can, but it depends on the personality/education of the instructor #digpedJR Dingwall
@trentmkays Or fantastic pedagogy on a mass level. I don't see how that can function as a critique of the form. #digpedJesse Stommel
I don't think MOOCs are progressive at all, and that's probably why I'm not a fan of them. #digpedTrent M Kays
Putting technologists into conversation with pedagogues clarifies that our critique of MOOCs isn't aimed at its potential to extend the reach of great teaching beyond the closed walls of the ivory tower. You want everyone, everywhere to have access to quality education? That's what we want, too! The problem, though, is that many technologists, administrators, and those who don't actually spend much time in the trenches with real students, have historically paid more attention to the "everyone, everywhere" than the "quality" part of the problem. And that rather narrow emphasis on quantity raises concerns about the real negative potential of MOOCs.
The conversation further underscored how those who laud recorded video lectures distributed via MOOCs as a low-cost replacement for bricks and mortar classrooms might actually be talking at cross purposes with (or at least jumping the gun on) the technologists engaged in developing the form.
@DavidUdacity @antimony27 This point can get lost. What is the video lecture, replacement for formal ed or another ave for learning? #digpedRobin Wharton
@rswharton @DavidUdacity I would argue the latter. Something to incorporate into a larger education system #digpedKim Martin
@rswharton @antimony27 #digped We have always felt it's another opportunity for students.David Stavens
@Jessifer @slamteacher @JRRockwall Then we should insist that it is a separate endeavor, not a replacement or digital recreation. #digpedRebekah Sheldon
@trentmkays #digped I think we are still in an exploratory phase. MOOCs do not yet generally count for credit, for example.David Stavens
@alyxpryn @slamteacher @JRRockwall It is a separate endeavor, a way to thread what we do in classes to what can hapen in the world. #digpedJesse Stommel
@alyxpryn @Jessifer @slamteacher @JRRockwall Agree. MOOCs != replacement for or replication of trad class exp. They are a new thing. #digpedRobin Wharton
@rswharton @alyxpryn @Jessifer @JRRockwall I don't think they're a replacement. I do think they're a new thing. #digpedSean Michael Morris
We also had an opportunity to ask questions of the experts--the people who have designed MOOCs, and the students who have participated in them--regarding what MOOCs are like, exactly. What came to light was a wide variety of experience, some of which undercut some of our core assumptions about MOOCs--and "traditional" classrooms--and how they operate.
#Digped Students like myself are MORE likely to ask questions online than in a class.aschulze2001
In a MOOC, is the discussion meaningful? I mean, if I'm in a loud, crowded room and everyone wants to be heard, will anyone hear me? #digpedMichael Hegglund
@mhegglund Depends on the presentation of the discussion. You're being heard here. Not all of them are designed well. #digpedSean Michael Morris
Am unfamiliar with MOOC formats - Can students contact each other/access each other's info, or only profs? #digpedKim Martin
@antimony27 Usually, a core part of a MOOC is student-student interaction. #digpedSean Michael Morris
@mhegglund not like 1 big room in my experience—convos are distributed. Plus you tune your attention to what's most important toyou #digpedAlison Seaman
@antimony27 #digped Yes, students can interact with each other. And we found this is one of the best features of our classes.David Stavens
@mhegglund the asynchronous component can assist that issue. again must be designed and encouraged properly. principles of VLCs #digpedJR Dingwall
@DavidUdacity Thanks for clarifying! I can see how useful this would be. I can't imagine learning w/out peer group - virtual or not! #digpedKim Martin
@antimony27 everyone. We used twitter to do a lot of that in my (connectivist) MOOC. It's instantaneous. See eci831.ca recordings #digpedAlison Seaman
@antimony27 synchronous meetups are a *huge* part of the class bonding experience. We used blackboard collaborate. #digpedAlison Seaman
@trentmkays @Jessifer do classrooms of 500 students offer that inherently? How are large classes diff than MOOCs really? #digpedJR Dingwall
@antimony27 depends on the MOOC. open ones allow students to communicate openly with others. #digpedJR Dingwall
@slamteacher @trentmkays @Jessifer I agree completely. My current program of study is dist ed and I've made many strong bonds #digpedJR Dingwall
@JRRockwall @antimony27 We all kept blogs, too, and communicated/commented with classmates and others there as well. #digpedAlison Seaman
@JRRockwall @slamteacher @trentmkays @Jessifer I can vouch for that statement about bonds too. #digpedAlison Seaman
@alyxpryn @Jessifer @slamteacher @JRRockwall both—synchronous groupsessions bring class unity bt all still pursued own sep goal too #digpedAlison Seaman
@JRRockwall @woodpainter @alyxpryn @slamteacher @rswharton @Jessifer best learning experience I've ever had. Truly. #digpedAlison Seaman
, who offered so much valuable first-hand insight, was a participant in a
MOOC. According to Wikipedia (yes, I know, but I'm pressed for time and the article has significant markers of reliability), connectivism was the guiding philosophy behind and the subject of the first MOOC, spawned by
in 2008. Connectivism, as a learning philosophy differs substantially from the student-as-consumer model underpinning the broadcast education model. Alison reminded us that, when we talk about MOOCs, we are discussing a wildly heterogeneous category of things.
@Jessifer @trentmkays @slamteacher agree. From what I know of non-connectivist forms, it's SME-style & not based in sound andragogy #digpedAlison Seaman
@mhegglund @pfyfe I think it's important to distinguish type of MOOC you're talking about—there are 2 kinds. Assuming you mean Udacity, etc?Alison Seaman
@mhegglund @pfyfe I say this because I think the connectivist versions are more pedagogically sound.Alison Seaman
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@HybridPed think there is value in distinguishing corporate MOOCs and Open Learning MOOCs. #digpedJR Dingwall
@MOOCMOOC RT @AlisonSeaman MOOCs: also #change11 http://goo.gl/Cvpef #fslt12 http://goo.gl/oaiAz & #ds106 http://ds106.us/ #digpedJR Dingwall
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So, if MOOCs can be what we make of them, what do we want them to be? For those of us used to hearing from the likes of Bill Gates and Salman Kahn about how revolutionary and awesome MOOCs already are (even though they might seem suspiciously like things that have already been around for decades, if not centuries), David's willingness to ask that question and engage with our ideas was refreshing, to say the least.
#digped Would love your ideas -- what would you like to see Udacity teach online? (And how?)David Stavens
@DavidUdacity Humanities courses! English! Literature! :) #digpedSean Michael Morris
@DavidUdacity History & Literature courses that make use of the widely available (and often free!) digital resources on the web #digped #dhKim Martin
#digped To make MOOCs more valuable we need to change how we acknowledge and assess knowledge.aschulze2001
@DavidUdacity #digped Would love to see classes that deal with "now", a sometimes flipped one on #mashups for exampleWilliam Allen
@trentmkays #digped Would love your suggestions. We are eager to learn. What should we build?David Stavens
The Freirean in me would love to see MOOCs used for problem-posing education, where learning comes from engagement w/ the world. #digpedRoger Whitson
@DavidUdacity How has Udacity solved the difference (or has it even needed to define the difference) between sci and hum content? #digpedPete Rorabaugh
@HybridPed @Udacity @tedtalks #digped Maybe content is not what is important; a means to more powerful outcomes. Education, for example.William Allen
@Jessifer #digped You're right. Content is also the result of learning, since learning creates new content.David Stavens
#digped To me, a main pedagogical challenge in MOOCs is rethinking sequencing, guidance, order: how to interact *productively* at scale.Petra Dierkes-Thrun
stalked us in our
discussion of broadcast education, so did questions about the continued relevance of physical spaces in learning and the shifting economies in higher ed stalk
as it meandered in an out of the conversation. A number of us were intrigued by the pedagogical opportunities opened up by a MOOC's potential to reach students in a wonderful variety of geographic locations.
@rogerwhitson Explain your use of locality? The specific local circumstances of the student? #digpedPete Rorabaugh
@allistelling For example, the House of Leaves experiment done by @samplereality @briancroxall #digped +Roger Whitson
@allistelling Each class drew upon their experiences in diff parts of the country to analyze. Some from Va, where HOL takes place. #digpedRoger Whitson
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@rogerwhitson @allistelling Imagine something like #OccupyClass with students from different cities all over the globe. #digpedRobin Wharton
@rswharton @rogerwhitson @allistelling #digped What does "occupy class" look like?William Allen
@rswharton @rogerwhitson Yes, I know. Would be much fun, though also an organizational nightmare if you didn't have enough editors. #digpedPete Rorabaugh
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@AlisonSeaman we know the virtual spaces. but we don't know spaces where these are engaged: homes, cars, shops, and what devices #digpedPaul Fyfe
@pfyfe ah. For me, my iPhone my laptop. Anytime I had a moment. #digpedAlison Seaman
And some of us were interested in considering how MOOCs might draw upon and maintain student connections with established institutions of higher learning, not just the university, but also its resources, things like the library, for example.
@DavidUdacity Do you see an embedded librarian playing a role in MOOCs? #digpedElizabeth Dill
@ElizabethDill1 among the value propositions for monetizing MOOCs, based in providers or universities. Sell context, not content #digpedPaul Fyfe
@allistelling @ElizabethDill1 #digped Each Udacity MOOC has a full-time team supporting it, yes.David Stavens
@ElizabethDill1 embedded experts, added context line up with what Bob Stein envisions for *SocialBook* (and future of publishing) #digpedPaul Fyfe
@ElizabethDill1 #digped Absolutely. Students should have access to a great library. I loved Stanford's library when I was a student there.David Stavens
@allistelling @ElizabethDill1 #digped We have a full-time teaching, video production, and engineering/technical team.David Stavens
@pfyfe Yep, and that's why MOOC's are free right now. Is the context they're selling any good? #digpedMichael Hegglund
In media stories touting the cost savings to be had from online education, we rarely ever read or hear about embedded librarians, or the full time support staff required to run a high-quality MOOC. Ed tech pundits--some of them the same people likely to complain that students these days use Wikipedia for everything--rarely discuss what libraries add to one's learning experience. If we don't want these concerns to disappear from view, we need to keep them at the forefront of our own discussions.
@DavidUdacity @allistelling @ElizabethDill1 What do you pay them? #digpedRebekah Sheldon
Such questions about context and what kind of "value" universities might add in order to monetize otherwise "free" MOOCs, can additionally lead us into a relevant and vital discussion of academic labor, how it is often hidden from view and as a consequence is increasingly under-compensated. They also help us keep in mind that MOOCs are not an inherently democratizing force in education. Without sweeping reform in the way the US finances higher education, wealth and privilege will continue to provide access to the best credentials that money can buy.
@rogerwhitson Speaking of Foucault, I think it would help if we kept in mind the broader context of HigherEd funding, no? #digpedRebekah Sheldon
In other words, while it is useful to think about what a MOOC could be, we might also consider how it serves the current logic. #digpedRebekah Sheldon
@alyxpryn @rogerwhitson Important to take back the form, though, from those that might attempt to colonize it? #digpedJesse Stommel
@Jessifer @rogerwhitson Sure, but the question is under what constraints. I'm sure you WANT to hire non-adjunct lines, but can you? #digpedRebekah Sheldon
@alyxpryn @rogerwhitson Things like MOOCs do fragment the way we think of work in higher education. Is that necessarily a bad thing? #digpedJesse Stommel
@slamteacher @rswharton @Jessifer @JRRockwall But that's what I mean about systemic logic! Schools offering them for free. Why? #digpedRebekah Sheldon
Teachers can't work for free either. Costs money to execute MOOCs. How do we account for that? #digpedTrent M Kays
We're very used to the school, the uni, the dojo .. whatever .. "owning" the content. Mass apprenticeship may be a better model. #digpedPete Rorabaugh
@alyxpryn @slamteacher @rswharton @Jessifer I see the economic engine too, but not all MOOCs are the same.Some been around 4 adecade #digpedJR Dingwall
@trentmkays Grants, membership fees. In a new educational model, we have to imagine a new economic structure. Think: collective. #digpedPete Rorabaugh
@Jessifer @JRRockwall @slamteacher @rswharton This is a massive economic question about public disinvestment, though, not design. #digpedRebekah Sheldon
@Jessifer @alyxpryn @slamteacher @rswharton people can repurpose tech for good/bad. It depends on us, I agree with Jessie. #digpedJR Dingwall
@alyxpryn The idea that MOOCs can make up for public divestment in education is problematic, doesn't make me want to abandon them. #digpedRoger Whitson
@allistelling I doubt teachers could live on dues alone. #digpedTrent M Kays
@allistelling @trentmkays In other words, employing corporate structures rather than state investment in an educated populace. #digpedRebekah Sheldon
Just a final thought: Free higher ed. Free. State funded. #digpedRebekah Sheldon
@alyxpryn @JRRockwall @slamteacher @rswharton I see a massive reinvestment in questions about the capacities & nature of higher ed. #digpedJesse Stommel
For anyone who is interested in learning more about MOOCs, their potential place in higher ed, and in continuing the conversation we started here, please sign up for
(he's very hungry!) and consider submitting an article to
@DavidUdacity @trentmkays Agree. We'll be doing some of that exploring during our MOOC MOOC in August http://www.moocmooc.com #digpedSean Michael Morris
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