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ERIC Number: EJ1153512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1743-9884
Digital Learning Hubs: Theoretical and Practical Ideas for Innovating Massive Open Online Courses
Kucirkova, Natalia; Littleton, Karen
Learning, Media and Technology, v42 n3 p324-330 2017
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are online courses aimed at global unlimited participation, originally conceptualised to carry no fee and offer no formal accreditation to the students (McAuley et al. 2010). Although their pedagogies vary, the most popular MOOC providers (e.g., Coursera, FutureLearn and EdX) are turning towards what Rodriguez (2012) described as Stanford-AI-like model, which is "essentially a digital facelift of traditional education" (cited in Mudzamba and de la Rey 2013, 6). According to Rodriguez (2012), learners on these courses are assimilating knowledge provided by the institution, with the option to obtain an honorary certificate of participation, which is graded and carries a fee. As an antidote to the Stanford-AI model, the connectivist model of MOOCs positions learners as co-creators and co-consumers of contents which are available anywhere and anytime (Kop and Hill 2008; Rodriguez 2012). However, while this model is more aligned with the notion of a transformative paradigm, it is the one that is currently characterised by low retention rates and is often described as unsustainable (Clow 2013). In this Viewpoint, the authors argue that a more refined distinction than the one proposed by the connectivist model is necessary to address the issue of student engagement and realise transformative educational visions. Digital learning hubs (DLHs) are a practical exemplification of innovative pedagogies and of a learning approach that is a reciprocal collaborative process, conceptualised as a broader distribution of expertise and collective experiences (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking 2000). DLHs harness Web 2.0 technologies for transformative educational purposes and their popularity, self-sustainability and steady growth indicate that a close emulation of their model can support critical points in the future design stages of MOOCs. If MOOCs become a more deliberately collective act of knowledge building, with a web of practices which "stretch into a complex system beginning and ending outside the school" (Nespor 1997, xiii), then learners' joint learning experiences can foster a vibrant, democratic learning community.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A