On the Context for Research in Online Learning – Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants

I am working on describing the context in which MOOCs has appeared, and research on large-scale learning has emerged. It took me back to the original slides of my most favourite grad school professors. Going over the bullet points of the discourse that made so little sense then, now is extremely amazing, especially because it is laid out in a simple manner by some very smart people.

It has been pointed out by Tony Bates, online education guru who retired recently:

“Lastly, I am concerned that the computer scientists seem to be taking over online education. Ivy League MOOCs are being driven mainly by computer scientists, not educators. Politicians are looking to computer science to automate learning in order to save money. Computer scientists have much to offer, but they need more humility and a greater willingness to work with other professionals, such as psychologists and teachers, who understand better how learning operates. This is a battle that has always existed in educational technology, but it’s one I fear the educators are losing.  (See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/04/15/time-to-retire-from-online-learning/#sthash.PCvUEkGr.dpuf)

I fear that the educators are losing the battle as well. I have more ways to explain it to myself now, as I read through my own analysis of Knowledge Work, its demands to societies, the changing nature of economy, and where it is taking us.

Challenging it, and trying to change the course of where this all is going is a cause I feel I want to be a part of. Computer scientists should be instrumental to better analysis that educationalists are conducting, and educationalists should be instrumental to helping computer scientists and other researchers bring on better teaching that is standing on the shoulders of the giants.


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