Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It's day 2 of MOOC MOOC (sounds like something Zoidberg would say) and I was reading the intro for the day when I saw that a blog post of one of my colleagues (Pat Masson) was referenced. Pretty Cool!  I read it pretty quickly, to be responded to late. I must admit I don't subscribe to Pat's blog, but maybe it's time to do so :-)

Today's task is a video, but I don't have a ton of time to invest in it, so I will make due with text.  The questions at hand for today are:

Where does learning happen? 
Learning happens everywhere! Sure, it does happen in the classroom, but it happens when you're out in the market; when you're stuck in your car in traffic while commuting and you're listening to the radio (or some audiobook); when you go to the gym; when speaking to your friends; and of course in the classroom.  Human are learning machines, there is always something new, no matter how minute it may be, that we learn every day. We may not retain it for ever and ever, but we do learn.

Are connectivist and institutional pedagogies equally useful, but for different disciplines? 
 I should start by saying that it's not an either/or situation here. There are many more pedagogies than the two mentioned in this question; but to get to the heart of it, no one pedagogy works optimally for every learning situation and for every subject. It just does not work that way.  As soon as you start stereotyping and using a cookie cutter approach, you've lost the learning battle.  The unique combination of discipline, learner, learner background, instructor background, and materials available will ultimately determine how you teach

If so, what distinguishes the subjects, topics, or motivations that are apropos to each? 
Each discipline, in my opinion, has pedagogical baggage.  We have all probably heard the "we've always taught this way" line from someone we know.  It's how people are apprenticed into their discipline, and they in turn replicate it when they teach.  Some do innovate, while others merely repeat.  This pedagogical baggage is something to consider when thinking about teaching and designing instruction because  it does influence how we do things.  The blog isn't long enough to discuss what subjects, topics and motivations are apropos to each type of pedagogy; I also think that we need to flip that. We shouldn't think about "pedagogy buckets" and we shove disciplines into them.  We should be thinking about the discipline, the individual courses in the discipline, and the learners coming into those courses and then deciding how we teach them.  Of course previous experience might tell us, more or less, what we can expect to see from learners, but the actual implementation, at the end of the day, is always something that will be unique.

If not, where should online learning in general, and the MOOC specifically, locate itself?
 Question does not compute :-)

Let's see what Day 3 of μMOOC brings!
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