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|Technology - General|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2012 14:50|
The course " Introduction to artificial intelligence "conducted in the vicinity of Stanford University by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig and managed the participation of one hundred thousand students from around the world has attracted much attention on the concept MOOC , or Massive Open Online Course : Free online teaching methodologies based on the collaboration of the participants is structured loosely participation in order to obtain a participatory learning experience. The article linked the NYT and the definition of the term in Wikipedia, and I play the video below are not made by chance: I look very good starting points to achieve a basic familiarity with the concept MOOC.
The interest, of course, comes from the fact that universities are already a strong component of reputation and traditionally very selective admission - in terms of requirements and tuition fees - which are released to experiment with the concept. Methodologically, the idea has long been in evidence, and responds to the development and popularization of simple tools for collaboration in the network, only raised to a mass management. The concept for the moment is proving very attractive to students from outside the United States, raised access to institutions and courses whose presence is often spread in a curriculum, but is expected to mass popularization in the original markets of these institutions in begin to offer credit terms valid in the university system associated with the monitoring of the course.
The pull of the word "free", which can become a freemium model if the student wants to get some kind of certificate of participation issued by the institution, is becoming a trigger for his popularity: for a student, the idea of learning from teachers with a strong reputation on a subject connected to the seal of a recognized educational institution can be a high value proposition. For institutions, the possibility of having direct access to a pool of stakeholders who have already shown a degree of involvement enough to participate successfully in the course offers advantages related to cross-sell later, associated with a model of lifelong learning and considered virtually unquestioned in the environment in which we live and which has long been promoted at all levels.
At maturity of the concept will intervene players of different types. On the one hand, and there are numerous technology platforms, whose appeal from my point of view is precisely not that technology platforms, structured as such. Use a concrete platform that students will not find in their daily lives unless it is part of a course involves the development of an environment "artificial": the ideal is to use standard tools, with which the student will usually be familiar with entry barriers low or zero, and can be loosely coordinated, type blogs, forums, Twitter, social networking, video, etc.. The addition of strong institutions is a second step we are already seeing, as it will undoubtedly be the appearance of sponsors willing to bear part of the cost of participation of teachers and figures associated with the handling of mass participation environments (moderators guardians and community managers in general) necessary despite the unstructured component of the course.
Without doubt, an issue that will receive a high level of attention, and it is quite possible, given the demographics of the regular readers of this page, soon you meet some MOOC as an option in your personal development. The test is highly recommended, although it requires a level of development and maturity in the concepts of learning that not everyone has: none of those who believe that the experience of a course at a business school can be somewhat replaced by a "Pass me the notes and the study I" will be able to understand it. The trick is to understand "how the magic happens" not material, but give them a structure and a methodology that makes the adoption of knowledge takes place inductively "from within" as a proposal stems from the students themselves and that this internalized naturally.
After twenty years of experience in such classes, one is almost able to see those "moments spark" when a student connects to a concept and is internalized by a discussion or situation of a case more or less structured to you, as a teacher, just "you've come." Moving from the classroom to develop an online environment at the time represented a major challenge, but as I said in many forums, was overcome in my view to note, as today, an online course or blended model (ideal for strengthen the component of interaction between the students) can be even more potent in terms of learning and depth of discussions and topics you face: the supremacy of a medium that allows interactions not limited by the length of stay of a group of people in a closed room. Make it represents a massive frontier, also not easy to overcome, but that can generate many opportunities for all parties involved. And definitely, you are potentially a student, teacher, institution or sponsor, it is worth considering.