In a Wired blog post, “MOOCs Are Dead — Long Live the MOOC” by Dr. Jeff Borden from Pearson, he says “Social learning takes architecture. I’ve posted several blogs about the trouble with MOOCs. Social learning is at the top of my personal list.”
Yes. The best thing Coursera brought us was actually the peer assessment tool. (Ok, yes, and the audience.) This is actually a great example of social/peer learning, and at scale. Rubric-based peer to peer learning has proven to be both effective and a valuable learning activity to many students. Unfortunately, that’s about it, in terms of innovation. Unfortunately, other learning management systems were already providing better functionality, and at scale (Moodle, Blackboard, et al.) It’s unclear why so much time, energy, resources and effort were spent re-building a largely worse wheel, but there you go, venture capitalists! Why not take off from where these systems already are, and go much further – with greatly enhanced social, filtering, adaptive, personal, synchronous AND asynchronous functionality? (Ok, yes, I’m talking about the ideas in my previous two posts…) Anyway… Yes, there is still lots of room for innovation, for online teaching and learning systems that go far beyond what the current platforms do, in terms of ways for learners to connect with content and the learning environment, faculty, and importantly, each other.