Monday, November 28, 2011

Using mLearning and MOOCs to understand chaos, emergence, and complexity in education

This paper seems to have made the rounds while I was away from blogging last week, but I thought it would be worthwhile  posting it on my blog just the same :-)

The second paper of the MRT (mobiMOOC research team) is now available through the  International Review of Research in Online and Distance Learning (IRRODL) and is titled "Using mLearning and MOOCs to understand chaos, emergence, and complexity in education."  Here's the abstract:

In this paper, we look at how the massive open online course (MOOC) format developed by connectivist researchers and enthusiasts can help analyze the complexity, emergence, and chaos at work in the field of education today. We do this through the prism of a MobiMOOC, a six-week course focusing on mLearning that ran from April to May 2011. MobiMOOC embraced the core MOOC components of self-organization, connectedness, openness, complexity, and the resulting chaos, and, as such, serves as an interesting paradigm for new educational orders that are currently emerging in the field. We discuss the nature of participation in MobiMOOC, the use of mobile technology and social media, and how these factors contributed to a chaotic learning environment with emerging phenomena. These emerging phenomena resulted in a transformative educational paradigm.

Our first paper is in the Proceedings of mLearn 2011 (but you may actually see it in a journal as well). The MRT is now working on another paper (which we hope to have done before the end of the year) looking at affective language use in MOOCs as a predictor of participation. One thing that we keep coming across is the issue of lurkers and drop-outs (and how to distinguish between the two).

The other papers in the current edition of IRRODL also look interesting, but I thought I would highlight the paper titled "A pedagogy of abundance or a pedagogy to support human beings? Participant support on massive open online courses"since it is co-authored by fellow Change11 and Research_MOOC participants Rita Kop and John Sui Fai Mak (Hélène Fournier may also be here, but I don't remember seeing her)
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