Pedagogical Approaches & Platforms
I think that the technology and platforms that are being used for MOOCS like that on this OCTEL course are so new that the pedagogical approaches are still developing, and may always continue to do so due to their scale and flexibility in design.
I do feel though that the “open-ness” the amount of resources and the numbers of participants can offer both benefits, due to the collaborative nature of online working, meeting and airing views with like-minded folk, but also draw backs, due to the feelings of too much information, and the “where do I start” this week swamped feeling that a user of a MOOC may face.
If the platforms and content were “open” source, then their materials audience would grow, be it through the original point of publication, or due to their “mashed-up” nature within their new homes, on blogs and other learning information sites.
Past learning initiatives, of ITUNESU for example, have relied on either audio and or video content, and have been informal in their recognition of achievement, offering almost a “self-help” approach to learning, you would scroll through a list and find a piece of content that interests, learn it and go on your way.
The new initiatives are becoming closer to traditional institutional learning, with providers aligning their courses in topics and subjects, mixing resource content, and expecting users to do more than just watch or listen, but commiting their time in blocks, be it in a for a semester or weekly.
This new style of online course, comes with a more solid educational background, provides flexible access universally and for free.