Having a primary interest in the social effect of the internet, in particular on higher education, I’m running to stand still with the MOOC experience. Every MOOC I take – currently the JISC/OU OLDsMOOC on Online Learning Design and the soon to start Coursera MOOC on E-learning and Digital Cultures – is another step towards the future. The affordances of MOOCs are overwhelming in terms of building networks of shared expertise and interest across all boundaries of time and geography. MOOCs do what the internet does best. All the old clichés about harnessing the power of technology come to mind.
MOOCs are also providing opportunities to revisit the way virtual learning is constructed. I’m using the OLDSMOOC to explore online learning design with multimedia. This has now shifted from the professional studio and become a real possibility for everyone with the means of access. Yes, it takes time and there is a learning curve, but that curve has decreased significantly over the past few years. I want to build on the DIY approach at Lincoln where staff do their own media production to enhance their teaching and learning resources. I hope to produce a collaboratively formed set of guidance on DIY audio and video. Key to successful multimedia is inclusive practice where alternative formats are seen as an integral stage of pre-production rather than a bolt on post-production afterthought.
PBS Newshour examines the MOOC phenomena suggesting the current boom in online learning could change higher education. The video, ‘How Free Online Courses Are Changing the Traditional Liberal Arts Education’ is a perfect example of how learning online could look. It can be watched, downloaded and listened too. Best of all there is a full and complete transcript, provided as though it were totally natural. Which it should be. Yet it’s unusual enough for me to pick it up and write this blog post.
Multimedia should look like this. As MOOCs stimulate attention to online learning design, they offer a valuable opportunity to revisit our digitally inclusive practice.