LTGR Ep. #110: “MOOCs in 2013″


Susan and Dan talk with Jeff King, Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma, about where his institution is headed with regard to MOOC development.

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Show Notes:

Jeff King helps Susan and Dan sort through some of the issues arising from the MOOC “tsunami.”  The University of Central Oklahoma has been examining how MOOCs fit with their mission for transformative learning.  Also discussed are business models.  New models such as LOOCs may be on the horizon.

Listeners, we haven’t figured this out!  Tell us what direction you’d like us to continue to explore with MOOCs.    You can comment here at or email or


2 Responses to “LTGR Ep. #110: “MOOCs in 2013″”

  1. Fran Lo Says:

    There is such great variability in MOOCs. SOOO dependent on experience with online teaching. Have some interactivity, but often very simplistic questions on forums (“what do YOU think about this topic” isn’t very engaging) – and how do you have a conversation with 4,000 people or 40,000? Did I find useful info, yes (but mostly readings and recorded lectures – and what makes that into a course).

    Not sure I like them – have participated in several MOOCS, but am getting more out of Yale’s free online lectures because they are damn fine lecturers. (Not true of many MOOCS) If I want to pursue further reading I can. No conversation/interactivity, though. Not much to DO, either (“fill in points on a timeline,” which my 12 year old students would correctly think is stupid).

    No standards yet. Who sets them?

  2. Jeff King Says:

    Excellent points, all — it truly does boil down to the quality of the MOOC design and the quality of the instruction.

    At the Transformative Learning Conference here at UCO, no less than Vincent Tinto and Peter Doolittle weighed in on MOOCs. It’d be fair to say they understand that the tools and processes for teaching thousands of students online requires a great deal of planning, great course design, and outstanding faculty trained well in the unique nature of MOOCs and their limitations as well as their promise.

    I’ve been thinking that the best way to find good MOOC instructors is to find the absolute best online instructors and then train them in how to use all their great teaching strategies within MOOCs. This would require, of course, that instructional designers and others would have already figured out ways to overcome MOOCs’ inherent limitations which are the nature of the beast.

    Something evocative from Peter Doolittle’s TL Conf presentation (“Transformative Learning with Technology: A Love-Hate Relationship with MOOCs to Tweets to Clouds”): There’s not much research about their effectiveness as tools for learning. When searching for articles on this topic, Doolittle’s scorecard reads: Journal of Ed Psych — 0 articles, Journal of Scholarship of Tchng & Lrng — 0 articles, Educational Psychologist — 0 articles, Computers and Education — 0 articles, Educational Technology Research and Development — 0 articles, Distance Education — 0 articles.

    Contrast the research literature with higher ed reporting: Chronicle of Higher Ed — 216 articles, Inside Higher Ed — 320 articles.

    In the dirsuptive vs effective trade-off, perhaps it’s not an either-or, but without research, we won’t know. As you’ve probably heard, “The plural of anecdote is not data.”