Archive for November 13th, 2012

Massive online lectures?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The world of online free teaching materials, Massive Open Online Courses and Udacity has been much discussed over recent months. The OU is rarely seen as a precusor to these attempts to democratise education and other developments in this field. There is a history of MOOCs and the OU yet to be written. However, here Shirky  (who popularised the term ‘cognitive surplus’ when describing the potential uses of the web) calls makes a connection and calls the OU ‘remarkable and interesting’. See Clay Shirky, Cognitive surplus: creativity and generosity in a connected age, Penguin, New York, 2010. According to this report Udacity appears to aim to upload lecture theatre talks. This is not the technique favoured by the OU which has developed ideas about online collaborative learning and has popularised student engagement. One of the OU’s lecturers in educaitonal technology discusses the implications here.