MOOC Education - Massive Open Online Course Alternatives

Disciplines: Higher Education, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Pedagogy
Curator(s): Robert Cronberg
Started: Aug 24, 2012

MOOC programs have proliferated in the last several years. We will examine the ways in which they are both effective and ineffective in the education marketplace.

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Robert Cronberg: I'm glad you brought these issues out. Even at these early stages MOOC providers will have to quickly shore up confidence ( among end users) that there really is some credibility least a few "checks and balances". Coming to grips with cheating and acts of plagiarism are a fact of academic existence today. I contend, anecdotally, that a quarter of students plagiarize with some variation due to class size. Did you happen to read all the comments below Jeffrey R. Young's article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on this subject? I believe that in many of these cases students never look at the act of lifting another persons words as a "cardinal sin" academically. They see so many other examples of individuals who cheat and lie on a daily basis - the victory to them is in seeing how cleverly they can get away with it. The articles don't reference it but I believe the real end users are the employers who would be the beneficiaries of these course graduates. The largest of the MOOC providers are staffing up to work diligently on the placement option. As I mentioned earlier the belief here is that employers will " eagerly " hire course graduates told they are the best and brightest ( being successful course completers). I also believe this is a mistake. The best and brightest are those who have gone through a rigorous course of study over a period of time. Not one class. However, there are many positive signs of learning coming out with several of the MOOC's. We can't forget that different learning styles will dictate different learning platforms and the pedagogies that surround them. This is what I'd like to explore here in the weeks to come.

John McIntosh: On the topic of assessment, there is an interesting article on plagiarism at Coursera. Why Would Someone Cheat on a Free Online Class That Doesn’t Count Toward Anything? By Torie Bosch, Aug. 20, 2012 Last week on the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey R. Young reported that “dozens” of cases of plagiarism have been detected in classes offered by Coursera. While cheating is to be expected in the classroom, as students try to find a shortcut to a passing grade, it might be somewhat surprising to hear about plagiarism happening in free online classes that don’t actually count toward anything. At the moment, students enrolled in Coursera and other massive online open courses are not earning credit toward a degree. According to the Chronicle, many of the alleged plagiarism incidents were caught by peer reviewers—students checking one another’s work. Apparently, some Coursera class discussion boards have hosted spirited debates in which users complain about plagiarism—or, in some cases, defend it, saying that since the class isn’t for credit, what’s the big deal? That question should be flipped: If the class isn’t for credit, why bother cheating? The answer demonstrates a significant drawback to the movement toward gamification—using game-style rewards to, say, encourage people to lose weight, recognize loyal customers or good employees, or bestow virtual badges on people who consistently contribute meaningfully to online discussions, so as to encourage them to come back and to mark the users as reliable. Turning everyday life into a competition can motivate some to perform beyond the base line. However, gamification has its drawbacks, as Hamburg University’s Sebastian Deterding has detailed. It can lead to the pursuit of “fake achievement.” Even when the stakes are nonexistent, we want to achieve—and for some people, the sense of achievement is not diminished by the knowledge that they didn’t actually put in the work. Just as video gamers sometimes resort to cheat codes to get beyond a frustrating level, students who get bogged down in an assignment—or don’t want to bother with it—but who are still engaged in the coursework could easily turn to plagiarism. It’s just a way to get to the next level, the next lecture. Technically, using a cheat code while playing a game at home for fun or copy-pasting a couple of sentences from Wikipedia on a Coursera assignment doesn’t hurt anybody. But it does diminish the experience for those who are playing by the rules, as evidenced by the many Coursera students who took to their class discussion boards to complain when they uncovered instances of plagiarism. In fact, writes the Chronicle’s Young, some of the Coursera instructors thought that their students were too quick to call foul, labeling some things plagiarism that might not have been cheating at all. And in one case, a student actually confessed to having plagiarized. Who says kids today have no moral compass? Maybe peer pressure might be the best way to keep plagiarism at bay in the new world of massive online open courses. Source:

Henry Jones
Started by: Henry Jones
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Started by: Aguallo52 mittal

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ashle kumar:


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