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MOOCs and Their AfterlivesExperiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education$
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Elizabeth Losh

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226469317

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226469591.001.0001

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Always Alone and Together: Three of My MOOC Student Discussion and Participation Experiences

Always Alone and Together: Three of My MOOC Student Discussion and Participation Experiences

(p.241) 15 Always Alone and Together: Three of My MOOC Student Discussion and Participation Experiences
MOOCs and Their Afterlives

Steven D. Krause

University of Chicago Press

The author reflects on his experiences as a student in three different MOOCs between 2012 and 2014. Specifically, this chapter focuses on the different approaches these MOOCs took to enable participation-- both student to student and student to instructor. In the lecture-focused “Listening to World Music,” there was no interaction between the professor and students,teaching assistants modeled ideal discussions in short videos, and interaction between students took place in free-wheeling discussion forums. “E-Learning and Digital Cultures” attempted to disrupt the lecture-centered format of MOOCs and instead included no faculty lectures and focused on student discussion within the MOOC and related sites. While “Internet History, Technology, and Security” was also limited, it went beyond the standard lectures and student discussion forums and included supplemental video interviews, links to materials outside of the MOOC course shell, and face-to-face “office hours” held all over the world. Ultimately, the author argues the student experience in these MOOCs were a paradoxically lonely one: while each of these courses involved thousands of other participants, the connections and interactions between student participants were chaotic and lonely at worse, limited and stilted at best.

Keywords:   MOOC, pedagogy, student discussion, student-centered, Coursera, student participation

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