I am reading a lot of negative comments about the course on the forum and in some posts. Participants are complaining about “absent teacher”, “no videos and quizzes” and no “formal assessment”.
I am thinking MOOCs are not for everyone, especially not for those who think MOOCs can be compared with face to face learning. As Hamish said, it’s a happening. We are still in the revolution phase. Nobody yet knows fully, what MOOCs are capable of and what they can and cannot achieve. It is still too soon to reflect and draw conclusions. I read an article somewhere which said that we cannot compare MOOCs with the same metrics drawn for classroom teaching. We need a new metrics system that would incorporate all the aspects of moocs.
I find it ironic that people who detest traditional classroom teaching styles complain about the absence of “teaching leadership” or lack of “talking head lectures” in a mooc. The concept of a student has changed to “learner” and “participant” with a general acknowledgement that such a person does not like to be spoon fed by the teachers, especially not an adult learner. Perhaps it is time to look at the concept of “teacher” in a new light. Perhaps, just perhaps, teacher does not have to be a person, it could simply be experience itself or it might have been so all along.
There is a Buddhist saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. Maybe something is preventing these people from being able to learn, their own stubbornness, biased pre-conceived notions about what a mooc is or isn’t and how it should or should not be, wanting to do it their own pre-decided way, or perhaps they found the truth too painful to face, or they were simply distracted with their mundane life, this list can go on.
Instead, when one is ready to learn, the teacher does appear, maybe in the form of instructors, or maybe in some other forms such as Google, Facebook groups, g+ community, peers, PLNs, Tweets, blog posts, images, videos, artefacts and so on! When you are ready to learn, the teacher suddenly appears and you start to notice things which were there all along but you only just noticed it in a meaningful way. With further intrinsic motivation on your part, you can dig deeper, learn more, be more open and receptive to gain knowledge and understanding. It is all about opening your mind and being receptive!
On another note “When the student is not ready, the pop quiz will appear.”