MOOC on Openness in Education: Leading by example #Oped12
This week I have started a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Openness in Education, facilitated by Rory McGreal and George Siemens, from Athabasca University, Canada.
For those who may be not familiar with this concept, MOOCs are online courses open to anyone, therefore the participants are distributed, as are the learning materials, that are in fact Open Educational Resources (OER) dispersed across the web. 'Open' means here that anybody can enroll at these courses, and that they are free, without any enrollment fees. The approach of these courses is to get together a group of people and a selection of resources around a common subject or topic, facilitating the context and tools needed to explore the topic. In this sense, a MOOC has no teachers in the traditional sense, but facilitators, who are in charge of connecting the people, selecting the resources and providing the means for collaborative learning and knowledge sharing. MOOCs have the potential to reach a larger number of students or "learners", and they play a more active role in comparison with traditional courses, even with e-learning ones. As it is usually said, they put the students at the center of the learning process.
If this still does not ring a bell, maybe you have heard about Coursera, MITx or Udacity. These are well-known examples of MOOCs, and at the first two, there is the support of many prestigious US universities. MIT and Stanford's have recently announced their partnership, and UC Berkeley has joined them, for a common MOOC platform, edX. This is not a childsplay. MOOCs trend is quickly spreading all over the world, as many universities are joining already stablished initiatives or launching their owns. Spanish universities should seize the moment and take advantage of this approach. We cannot afford to stay back. University, as we know it, will change radically in the coming years. MOOCs could be an opportunity to minimize the effect of the actual global crisis that hits them hard.
For all these reasons, I am convinced that following this MOOC on Openness in Education will be enriching and will 'open' my mind for this new educational setting. As a library and information science researcher, I am already into 'Open': open access, open educational resources, open source software, open data, open vocabularies... But as an educator, I have still a lot to learn about open educational practices. Let's see what I can get and give during the next 12 weeks.