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Monday, November 26, 2012

Online learning: pedagogy, technology and opening up higher education

The UK Guardian newspaper held an interesting debate on the hugely popular issue of MOOCs in higher education.
Sponsored Q&A: How can online learning open, widen and formalise access to quality higher education?
Join us on Friday 23 November from 12-2pm GMT to discuss MOOCs and more.

writes, "Higher education has always been fond of its acronyms and they don't get much more prolific than the current four letters doing the rounds. From the December 2011 launch of MITx Stateside to the University of Edinburgh's decision to join the Coursera platform, MOOCs (or Massive Open Online Courses) have barely been off the education news menu.
Nor was the Observer alone in recently asking: "Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university?"

Is online learning the answer to widening participation in higher education?
Photo: The Guardian

Of course, the provision of off-campus higher education is not a recent development. The Open University has championed open and distance learning since 1969 – from its original correspondence courses and late-night TV broadcasts to the latest research and development conducted by its Institute of Educational Technology.

By definition, online learning is the meeting of technology and pedagogy – and universities are still exploring the right balance between the two.
In his 2011 slideshare, Guillermo Ramirez outlines 'five big mistakes of virtual education', from the use of the term massive ("you don't have one course of 250, you have 250 courses of one") to the risk of tech taking the fun out of the education process.

Where do you sit in this debate? And what models are working best for students – and universities? In partnership with the Open University, this week's live chat will consider the new landscape of online learning and how it might open, widen and formalise access to quality higher education. Join our expert panel to talk MOOCs and more on Friday 23 November from 12-2pm GMT.

Source: The Guardian