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MOOC-ing Together

Ask a MOOC champion or critic what’s most lacking in a massive open online course and you’ll likely get some variant on “interaction with others.” Small classrooms where students get to build relationships with teachers clearly provide something a large-scale online experience cannot (and even small online classes struggle to create intimate teacher-to-student bonds). I […]

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Of MOOCs and Typos and Broken Links

I realize I’m kicking a gift horse in the teeth (not to mention mixing metaphors in mid-stream), but would it be too much trouble to release online courses free of the typographical errors and other mistakes that professors wouldn’t tolerate coming from their students? I appreciate that many MOOCs are put together quickly by teams […]

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The Magic of the Course

A couple of posts back, I mentioned that I wanted to look at what was so special about the structure and format of a course in comparison to other methods one could use to learn the same subject. For example, one could learn about something by listening to a podcast, which provides instruction similar to […]

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MOOCs and Entrepreneurship – Running the Numbers

For my 100th post at Degree of Freedom, I wanted to look at some numbers that can be used (or at least considered) by those thinking about trying their hand at some form of entrepreneurship connected to the rapidly expanding momentum of free learning. When I ran my own business oh so many years ago, […]

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Filling the Gaps – MOOC Startups

As I started to discuss last week, new hot product categories getting lots of investor attention (such as EdTech) tend to attract entrepreneurs ready to play a mediating role between consumers and new technology products (such as MOOCs). And one of the pleasures of being a writer/researcher working in a trendy field is that I […]

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MOOC Discussion: Flame Wars

Word has it that a flame war has broken out in the discussion boards of one of the more recently started MOOCs, causing some agita on the part of the instructor who has been forced to delete some discussion threads and accounts, as well as have to deal with angry communications from students who felt […]

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MOOC Homework – Tech Talk

The folks at Coursera have graciously allowed me to say a few words at their blog on the subject of succeeding on homework, quizzes and other assignments associated with MOOC courses. The focal message of that posting is to do what it takes to get the most out of MOOC assignments: pace yourself for maximum […]

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Revisiting MOOC Discussion

During an interview last week with the team behind edX’s Greek Hero class (which will air a week from Friday), I had to sheepishly admit that discussion boards were the element of my MOOC classes to which I’ve dedicated the least time. For the people managing those discussions, the chance to see input from hundreds […]

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MOOCs and Reading

Since I ended yesterday’s piece on MOOCs and textbooks on the subject of value, I’d like to look at what the general reading experience has been like for the MOOC classes I’ve taken so far to see what value texts in general bring to this flavor of education. As of now, I’ve finished ten courses started since […]

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Cheers and Jeers for MOOCs!

Just about everyone I know sent me a copy of this piece that appeared in the most recent New York Times Sunday Week in Review. The fellow who wrote the piece (A.J. Jacobs, Editor at Large for Esquire Magazine) shares my journalistic passion for reporting from the inside.  (Perhaps he also grew up reading Black […]

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