George Siemens, Stephen Downes and Dave Cormier have been running this Massive Open Online Course now for five weeks. A MOOC is being facilitated by an ‘innovative thinker, researcher, and scholar’, over 30 in all from 11 different countries. The draft schedule is available here. (This week David Wiley is leading discussion on the history and future directions of open education.)

For those of you unfamiliar with a MOOC, Wikipedia gives a concise description:

A Massive open online course (MOOC) is a course where the participants are distributed and course materials also are dispersed across the web. This is possible only if the course is open, and works significantly better if the course is large. The course is not a gathering, but rather a way of connecting distributed instructors and learners across a common topic or field of discourse. …..Typically, participation in a MOOC is free…. Although the courses generally do not have specific requirements all MOOCs provide rough timelines in the form of weekly topics to focus discussion. The rest of the structure can be minimal – often consisting of a weekly presentation on the current topic, discussion questions, and suggested resources. In recognition that those attending a MOOC are expected to make the course their own, guidance tends to focus on allowing curriculum and structure to emerge from the exchange between participants. Posting in discussions, reflecting on topical ideas, and sharing resources using a variety of social media are at the core of the MOOC learning process.

It’s my week starting on Monday, although I plan to do a webinar at 3.00 pm EST, 8.00 pm GMT, on Sunday (16 October) as I’m travelling on the Monday. Details of how to connect to the webinar will be posted here shortly when I have the information.

The topic is: Managing technology to transform teaching and looks at how university and college management can bring about changes to transform the institution. A key theme of the discussions will be: Can change come from within, or do we need to re-invent new forms of higher education that are de-institutionalized?

I will be using this web site for posts on this topic, and also the web site for the book ‘Managing Technology in Higher Education’ at http://batesandsangra for additional learning materials and a large number of discussion forums, so the MOOC will be the main topic for this site until October 23, although there will be some other posts as well.

If you wish to follow this MOOC and are not registered yet, its free, but please register here.

More details are coming in another post, but in the meantime I cordially invite all of you to join me in this interesting experiment.



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