Our chapter is titled "MOOCs: Evolution and Revolution."
This chapter introduces the evolution of the MOOC, using narratives that are documented by research generated from the educational community. It concentrates on the history and progression of distance learning and its movement toward online education. The authors' perspectives focus on their own anecdotal evolution, from traditional classroom teaching, infusing distance and online learning, to designing and teaching in a MOOC setting. In examining whether the MOOC is more of an evolution or a revolution in learning, they explore questions that have emerged about MOOCs including what distinguishes this model from other online offerings, characteristics of learners who succeed in this environment, and debates regarding best practices. Critical reaction and responses by proponents of this learning format are presented and acknowledged. The research, perspectives and debates clearly impact what the future of the MOOC appears to offer. This continues the discussion within the book section ‘RIA and education practice of MOOCs,' aligning to the discussion on the topic of ‘educational training design.'
Because it is a big (and expensive) book (tell your librarian to order it!), I did a 3-part article about some of the ideas in our chapter on my Serendipty35 blog.
In Part 1, I write about the MOOC as revolution and an evolution.
In Part 2, I cover some of the path Lynnette and I followed in teaching and learning face-to-face, then online and finally in a MOOC environment, which probably parallels many other educators development.
The third part covers the pre-history of the MOOC, which is a backstory that encapsulates how distance education developed into online learning.