Monday, July 25, 2011

The Great Big MOOC Book!

This past week I was talking to local folks at the University about eduMOOC, and MOOCs in general seeing as I am thinking of implementing a MOOC for language learning for my PhD thesis. OK, I am not in a PhD program yet, but it helps to start thinking about these things in advance so you're not stuck in Dissertation Purgatory.

In any case, people don't know what a MOOC is; how is a MOOC different from an online course? How is it different from OpenCourseWare? How is it different from the Open Learning Initiative? I do my best to describe MOOCs, but it seems to me that this is a good opportunity for us, active MOOC participants and MOOC facilitators, to put together a Book on MOOCs. I know that there is the MOOC model for Digital Practice but it doesn't really address many areas of MOOCs that people traditionally think of when they think of classes, such as learner engament, learner assessment, learner profiles from previous MOOCs (that might give you an idea of who might be coming to your MOOC) and so on.

I was thinking of enlisting the help of many MOOC regulars and MOOC originators like George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, Ignatia deWaard and other to create The Great Big MOOC Book.  Yes, perhaps the title conjures up images of children's books, but it's catchy. And heck, it's a collaborative book, so if other collaborators want, the name can change to something else.

The idea behind this book came from reading the Theory and Practice of Online Learning by Athabasca Press. The book is written by many authors and published by a university press. You can get the book for Free as an eBook, or if you really want a paper copy you can buy it on Amazon. I was thinking that the MOOC Book can be the same - freely available as an eBook, but if people really wanted a paper version they could get it on Amazon (or other booksellers).

Click here for the organizing document.  I've added in a lot of chapters that I thought would be good to have, and there are many blank chapters for ideas that people can add their own. Someone suggested that we do a call for chapters, just have a blank document out there, but I decided to keep the chapters I had brainstormed anyway because, in a sense, it is a response to a call for chapters.  If people don't like these chapters, as a collaborative book, they can change them.

If you're interested, go to the planning document, see what chapters are there and if you like a certain chapter just add you name (don't forget to go to the botton of the document and put a mini biography as well so we know who you are and how to get a hold of you).
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