O brave new university, / That has such MOOCs in’t!

As we head into the second half of Hybrid Pedagogy’s MOOC MOOC, I thought I’d talk about the practices, principles, benefits of MOOCs using some of my favorite characters in all of pop culture.

The basic principle: the ultimate learner-centered environment

The most important thing to understand about Massive Open Online Courses is that they are massive and essentially uncontrollable by teachers. This is wonderful, as it hands control off to the vast majority of participants who are not teachers (n-1, precisely, or n-t).

We’re all individuals! We’re all different!

Introduction ice-breakers to start the MOOC

The most important way to start a MOOC is to have introductions of everyone as an icebreaker. This guy was famous for getting the party started with his question.

Who are you?

Participant pedagogy

My favorite part of MOOCs is the welcoming of participant perspectives. The technical term among adult-education researchers is andragogy, about the orientation around the adult learner, and it’s captured by one simple question:

What do you want?

Opportunities to learn from each other

A critical part of MOOCs is the establishment of forums for people to learn about important topics from others, especially those with very different perspectives and origins.

Learning through the use of new technology

What would a MOOC be without the inventive use of technology and the opportunity to learn about the technology through experimentation?


Finally, the most important principle apart from letting go of control is, of course, the encouragement of risk-taking by participants. Here is a great example of what can happen when participants in a MOOC take risks:

But don’t let me tell you all the good things about MOOC — share below in comments!