20 November 2014

Open Online Courses and Massively Untold Stories

I've been fiddling around with this paper since 2012, when I was confronted with an employing institution's apparent interest in MOOCs, but evidently they had very little internal awareness of MOOC history or linkages to wider social movements.

In response I helped organise an open conference on open education, and proposed educational development in that direction. Unfortunately, interest in iTunesU, Academic Partnerships International, Open Universities Australia - basic, barely access-only, 'xMOOCs' prevailed.

I started drafting this paper to account for a small range of open online courses that helped to inform the early development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). It laments the loss of meaning in the word open and its historic alignment to free and open source principles. It calls for more academic work to better represent the histories and range of critical perspectives on open online courses, and outlines how Wikipedia can be used as a central organising platform for such work.

I failed to get it accepted as a Position Paper in the JOLT special issue on MOOCs. First Monday did not respond to my submission, but Ascilite2014 accepted it as a Concise Paper. All this process and a copy of all the feedback I've received to help shape it is on the wiki. It goes toward my casual attempt to build an equivalent of a PhD by publication - an Open and Networked PhD.

I'll get an audio recording of its presentation up here shortly.

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