Bring on the MOOC

Published: 2013-10-23 11:07 |

Category: Grad |

The eight weeks of remixing have kicked off for CEP811 at MSU. Right off the bat, our first task was to pick an edtech buzzword and use Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker (I think they should have called it “remixerator,” but that’s just me) to make a one-minute video explaining our buzzword.

How could I resist the opportunity to describe a MOOC? (I really just like saying the word “MOOC.” Admit it. You do too.)

Here’s my final remix:

I’d never used Popcorn before and it actually took me a good while to get used to it. I’ve done a lot of video editing, so it was hard for me to not treat it like a full-blown video editor. I actually started this on Tuesday and then had to walk away for a little while to try and clear my head before I finished.

I think what I like the most is being able to search for content as well as link to content right in the media bin. It’s helpful to be able to paste a link and have the photo or GIF pop right in. I also like that links are included in the live project for attribution. It makes the whole curation process much simpler because I don’t have to try and keep track of every source in a separate space. I really tried to come up with metaphors for some of these ideas, but being limited to Creative Commons materials (and I’m not complaining) makes it hard to do sometimes.

I couldn’t help but editorialize a little bit at the end. MOOCs aren’t that hard to understand: they’re super-massive classes taught by a professor (usually using traditional means) to students in an LMS. There is little creativity and little freedom to really use the web. Essentially, they’re not doing a whole lot of innovative work, and now, some are making a ton of money off of their platforms.

Of course, the big conflict is that universities also want to make money off of these online courses. So, already, we have a conflict of interests that doesn’t really do anything to help students have a better online learning experience.

It may be summed up best by Larry Cuban in a recent Washington Post article:

Given the history of universities and colleges in the United States, chances are that many higher education institutions (non-elite and community colleges) will continue to retrofit and transform MOOCs into credit-bearing courses that will yield revenue. MOOCs will not revolutionize higher education.

Are MOOCs here to stay? I’m not putting my money on it.


Anders, George. “Coursera hits 4 million students — and triples its funding Forbes.” Forbes. 10 July 2013. Web 23 Oct. 2013.
Cuban, Larry. “Why MOOCs won’t revolutionize higher ed. The Answer Sheet.” The Washington Post. 8 July 2013. Web 23 Oct. 2013.
Parr, Chris. “New study of low MOOC completion rates Inside Higher Ed.” Inside Higher Ed. 10 May 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.

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