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MOOCs and personal learning: reality or myth?

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This keynote was given during the TISLID18 conference in Ghent, Belgium. The talk focuses on two informal learning cases involving MOOC learners, and ends with questioning the personal learning myth that accompanies MOOCs.

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MOOCs and personal learning: reality or myth?

  1. 1. MOOCs: between realities of informal learning and myths of personalization Inge (Ignatia) de Waard
  2. 2. Questions, connecting: @ignatia
  3. 3. UDHR standing on shoulders of giants: Juan Luis Vives • Schools should not be for profit • Organic pedagogy (Juan Luis Vives, 1492, Valencia, Spain – 1540, Brugge, Belgium)
  4. 4. Bozkurt, A., Keskin, N. O., & de Waard, I. (2016). Research Trends in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Theses and Dissertations: Surfing the Tsunami Wave. Open Praxis, 8(3), 203-221. link here CCK - 2008 AI-MOOC – 2011 MOOC galore - 2018 MobiMOOC (mobile learning)
  5. 5. MOOC = promise of education for all • Daphne Koller (a.o.) promising Education for all (North & South). • A source of (quality) curated, topic specific content for passionate people
  6. 6. Highlighting MOOC success stories • Battushig Myanganbayar, the boy genius of Ulan Bator, Mongolia (engineering) • Jack Andraka 15y boy creating a cheap, paper-based biomarker for pancreatic cancer
  7. 7. Inevitably questions arose What is the learning impact of MOOCs on young learners? How do adult learners self- direct their learning in MOOCs?
  8. 8. Part 1: MOOC – CLIL project • Content and Language Integrated Learning (English and French) • Massive Open Online Courses de Waard, I. & Demeulenaere, C. (2017). The MOOC- CLIL project: using MOOCs to increase language, and social and online learning skills for 5th grade K-12 students. In Q. Kan & S. Bax (Eds), Beyond the language classroom: researching MOOCS and other innovations. Research-publishing.net. (link)
  9. 9. GUSCO school – Kortrijk, Belgium • Academic year 2015 – 2016 • Three classes in ‘vrije ruimte’ (free space): 2 English groups, 1 French group • 2 hours per week
  10. 10. Participants • 3 Teachers (language teachers) • 42 Flemish – Dutch speaking students (aged 16 – 17 y) • Academic qualifications: human sciences, Latin & sciences/mathematics… • Optional course video impressions
  11. 11. EdX – France TV – FutureLearn – Coursera - Fun
  12. 12. Three main project parts • GroupMOOC: introducing MOOC elements, platforms, interactions… • EigenMOOC (OwnMOOC): students choose MOOCs. • Evaluation & production: evaluate the whole process and build an intro for next year’s students Classical progress => personal progress GroupMOOC EigenMOOC (OwnMOOC) Evaluate & Produce
  13. 13. Evaluation instruments in class • Adapted Scale for Attitudes and skills Measuring (SAM) scale – used by teachers • Weekly logbook – used by students
  14. 14. Student logging in action: I did the course DemoX, in this course I learned how to use edX. I found it rather easy questions but it was a handy way of learning how to use edX. I now understand how to use the website. The English was sometimes hard to understand but I used an online dictionary to help me understand the words. I think it’s a good idea to use the forum because then you can discuss your problems with the others. They can find ways to help you if you don’t understand things.
  15. 15. Following student progress outside of class Self-regulated questionnaire view here: monitoring self-esteem, motivation, digital literacy
  16. 16. Findings: Language learning 100% dramatic increase in language confidence Intrinsic motivation (73%) Extrinsic motivation (27%) “Intrinsic motivation, which refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable, and extrinsic motivation, which refers to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome” (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 55).
  17. 17. Help seeking Survey learning topics Results 1st survey Results 2nd survey Help seeking (any) 71% 60% Help seeking from teacher 75% 59% Help seeking from peers 61% 83%
  18. 18. Survey learning topics Results 1st survey Results 2nd survey Critical thinking 55% 63% Online empathy 93% 100% Critical thinking and online empathy
  19. 19. Self-regulated learning Survey learning logs Results 1st survey Results 2nd survey Understanding complex content 35 % 50 % Planning 1 week ahead 10 % 19 %
  20. 20. They got inspired 72 %
  21. 21. Suggestions from students • Unclear language complexity: e.g. Gunning fog index or Flesch-Kincaid readability tests to provide insight. • Supporting texts can be too difficult to comprehend. It demotivates (picture nearingzero Nick Kim)
  22. 22. Informal learning => Living a fearless life ἀταραξία (ataraxia,) is a Greek philosophy term used to describe a lucid state of robust equanimity Ἐπίκουρος (Epicurus; 341–270 BC) believed that what he called "pleasure" (ἡδονή) was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world, and to limit one's desires wikipedia
  23. 23. Part 2: Informal learning in MOOCs – learner perspectives de Waard, I. (2017). Self-Directed Learning of Experienced Adult Online Learners Enrolled in FutureLearn MOOCs (Doctoral dissertation, The Open University). Link
  24. 24. What comprises the informal learning journey of experienced, adult online learners engaging in individual and/or social self-directed learning using any device to follow a FutureLearn MOOC? • Which individual characteristics influence the learning experience? • What are the technical and media elements influencing the learning experience? • How does individual and social learning affect the participants’ learning? • Which actions (if any) did the learners undertake to organise their learning?
  25. 25. How do learners self-direct their informal learning in MOOCs? Never been an study from the ground up looking at informal learning in MOOCs, FutureLearn courses
  26. 26. FutureLearn courses - autumn 2014
  27. 27. Data collection Expectations (pre-course) Experiences (bi-weekly self- reported learning logs) Reflections (1o1 interviews)
  28. 28. Data analysis (Charmaz, 2014) • Open coding, line-by-line coding (verify categories), focused coding => theoretically saturate core concepts • Memo writing: own assumptions, possible relations
  29. 29. Target population • Methodologic rigour: Grounded Theory sample +12 participants • Adult learners => experienced adult learners (avoid novelty remarks), balancing life • + 2 years of online learning experience
  30. 30. Informal learning & logs (link) • Frequency: bi-weekly • Strategy increasing return: communicating on a personal basis, providing non-directive examples (not easy)
  31. 31. Data corpus, sample, frequency • 56 participants => 147 learning logs • 19 one-on-one interviews Learning logs week 1 and 2 (n=participants having submitted at least one learning log) Learning logs week 3 and 4 Learning logs week 5 and 6 Total learning logs per course (total number of participants) SOM 4 (n=3) 6 (n=3) 5 (n=2) 15 (n=4) BSE 19 (n=13) 22 (n=14) N/A (BSE lasted only 4 weeks) 41 (n=15) DMCW 31 (n=22) 28 (n=22) 32 (n=24) 91 (n=37)
  32. 32. Conceptual framework
  33. 33. Conceptual framework Personal learning goals, planning, taking notes
  34. 34. Conceptual framework Personal learning goals, planning, taking notes Social learning, individual learning actions, social learning actions
  35. 35. Conceptual framework Motivation, personal traits (perseverance, self-confidence, emotional language) Personal learning goals, planning, taking notes Social learning, individual learning actions, social learning actions
  36. 36. Conceptual framework Motivation, personal traits (perseverance, self-confidence, emotional language) Devices used, FutureLearn elements, new tools Personal learning goals, planning, taking notes Social learning, individual learning actions, social learning actions
  37. 37. Conceptual framework Motivation, personal traits (perseverance, self-confidence, emotional language) Contextualizing context, proximity to context, peers in context Personal learning goals, planning, taking notes Social learning, individual learning actions, social learning actions Devices used, FutureLearn elements, new tools
  38. 38. How much personalization is possible in this framework? Intrinsic motivation & personal learning goals allowed Capacity to validate learning MOOC content mostly formal
  39. 39. Part 3 - Informal learning vs personalized learning Juxtaposing personal learning conclusions to the reality of MOOCs. Deze foto van Onbekende auteur is gelicentieerd onder CC BY-NC
  40. 40. Is personal learning high on the agenda of MOOC providers? Let’s take a closer look!
  41. 41. FutureLearn (UK)
  42. 42. FUN (France)
  43. 43. Coursera (USA)
  44. 44. Udemy (USA)
  45. 45. Edraak (Jordan)
  46. 46. XuetangX (China)
  47. 47. Personal learning utopia, or are we misled? Language diversity But content similarity – collaborations between platforms (MOOC platforms 2018 - 57 platforms, 23 countries) (Pieter Bruegel de Oude (1563) – Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria)
  48. 48. 5 alarming observations
  49. 49. 1 - Restricting courses: university courses with low enrollment being questioned (Belgium) Suggested by national organization of entrepreneurs (VOKA). http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf201 80516_03515309 Bachelor and master programs should be stopped if they are not profitable…. Unless, it is a high profile corporate course.
  50. 50. 1 - Restricting courses: university courses with low enrollment being questioned (Belgium) Suggested by national organization of entrepreneurs (VOKA). http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf201 80516_03515309 Bachelor and master programs should be stopped if they are not profitable…. Unless, it is a high profile corporate course. A
  51. 51. Latin courses in secondary school questioned? • Historical references • Cultural relevance (in language, law, biology…) • History repeats itself • Standing on the shoulders of giants. Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 BC – AD 65
  52. 52. 2 - Promoting a singular pedagogy (1 to many) as ‘quality education’ Mentorship? Diversity? X-MOOC standard Un-MOOC Distributed knowledge - connectivism Expert selected one direction
  53. 53. 3 - Selling personal training as personal learning MOOC SPOCS & Workshops 101 mentorship
  54. 54. 4 - Personal learning => personal gain? MOOC certification ≠ degree: wages do not increase.
  55. 55. 5 - Supporting only the ‘best’ No learner care (dyslexia, dyscalculia…) Fragile minority groups (privacy, language…)
  56. 56. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 26. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  57. 57. Highlighting MOOC success stories • Battushig Myanganbayar, the boy genius of Ulan Bator, Mongolia (engineering) • Jack Andraka 15y boy creating a cheap, paper-based biomarker for pancreatic cancer
  58. 58. MOOC Utopia crushed? The fall of Icarus - Pieter Bruegel de Oude - Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
  59. 59. MOOC Utopia crushed? No! TISLID is here! The Fall of Icarus - Pieter Bruegel de Oude - Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
  60. 60. Why should we indulge in a lifetime of informal, personal learning?
  61. 61. Que sçay-je? Quand je me joue à ma chatte, qui sçait si elle passe son temps de moy plus que je ne fay d’elle ? [When I play with my cat who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?] – Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) (Book II, chap. 12, p. 401)
  62. 62. Education for all How can we ensure MOOCs will increasingly be used to ensure personal learning?
  63. 63. How can we ensure MOOCs will increasingly be used to ensure personal learning & education for all?
  64. 64. References • MOOC – CLIL project: https://www.academia.edu/33433115/The_MOOC- CLIL_project_using_MOOCs_to_increase_language_social_and_online_learning_skills_for_5_th_ grade_K-12_students • Full thesis informal SDL in FutureLearn courses: https://www.academia.edu/28760942/Self- Directed_Learning_of_Experienced_Adult_Online_Learners_Enrolled_in_FutureLearn_MOOCs • Research instruments: https://www.academia.edu/9703990/Research_instruments_Learning_logs_questions_for_resea rching_Self- Directed_Learning_in_experienced_online_learners_engaged_in_FutureLearn_courses • SAM scale: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2GekloYrdFQU18zbDhubE8tcDg/view • MOOC – CLIL self-regulated learning questionnaire: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2GekloYrdFQS0N3TGdtUnJCNmM/view • Gunning fog index: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunning_fog_index • Flesch Kincaid readability test: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2%80%93Kincaid_readability_tests
  65. 65. Connecting is sharing E-mail: ingedewaard (at) gmail.com Blog: https://ignatiawebs.blogspot.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/Ignatia Publications: https://open.academia.edu/IgnatiaIngedeWaard Presentations: http://www.slideshare.net/ignatia linkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ingedewaard
  66. 66. The reality of Personalized learning • MOOC content and language options are limited in scope • Learners only pick the cherries they want from the vast content cake. • Education (philosopher add here) seeks to enlighten citizens, but do MOOCs enlighten the group, our society as a whole? (the yes (more of us have an encyclopedia of knowledge at hand) and no’s (only those into knowledge fields benefit)). • Certification and degrees: tendency to formalized training. But with MOOC certificates the learner her/himself does not get higher wages, economic difference from Bachelor’s/Master certification/degree. • MOOC format is now almost standardized, strange enough standardization in formal education is questioned. Standardisation in terms of limited variance in pedagogy. • MOOCs answer call for modularity and quicker content dissemination, but pedagogy is rigid (in current standard).This goes against the idea of personalization, but dwells in the realm of conformity. The narrative of success is that of conformity to as corporate success is the idea that is propagated most in terms of promoting MOOCs. • Power universities, using Power languages. • The outcomes are Northern outcomes, not how to function better in a Southern hemisphere infrastructure.
  67. 67. Notes to self: • A talk is a narrative, a story. • Make your point early in (think script) and then keep referring to it • Add philosophical angle • Can you use cultural symbolic capital as pictures? • Let the audience build the meaning. No sermon! • Use the notes to write up one of the possible narratives (allows you to check cohesion and continuity.
  68. 68. General frame – main idea: a lot has changed in education the last 10 years • New Utopia in EdTech: first the promise of MOOCs, the promise of a new, more learned society (citizens), now clearly emerging agenda’s: education is failing corporate needs, STEM is great… STEAM is greater, colonization of higher ed and professional learning by high-finance Universities (English speaking universities) – for the West. An internal colonization of the West. • Utopia: the promise: the Tower of Babel (painting) – understanding each others languages will take us closer to god. In reality: language funnel turned upside down (small languages, even dialects are lost in just 2 generations).
  69. 69. • Setting and main narrative theme (3 slides / thoughts) • MOOC-CLIL • SDL informal learning MOOCs (validation of the learning by the learner) • Promise and reality of personalized learning • Conclusion
  70. 70. Further reference • Practical instruments used: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2GekloYrdFQdWtTQWp0Z GpxSmc&usp=sharing
  71. 71. Why should all of this matter to me? To us? Personal learning is part of education for all.

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