Small is Beautiful

Don't overload your students with content, and don't overload yourself either! Even if you want to scale up later, get comfortable on a small scale first. [next]

I live content with just a little.

Additional comments:

Over the past few years, the public discussion about online learning has been hijacked by a misbegotten obsession with MOOCs and massive online learning.I nitially, I was curious of course about MOOCs, but my experience with MOOCs was mostly negative ("A Tale of Four MOOCs") because the course design and MOOC software systems were not able to cope with the massive enrollment that the course purveyors sought so eagerly. My worst experience was with the Coursera Fantasy and Science Fiction course, which I documented here: Coursera Fantasy. I've also been very disappointed with my own school's multimillion-dollar investment in its own MOOC platform, Janux, and related projects, like our corporate partnership with the History Channel to offer a History MOOC for university credit. You can read more about that here: Online Courses and Marketing Fluff: What is an immersive history course?

At the same time, I should add that I've participated in some great online experiences that were MOOC-like, but driven by the community of participants, cMOOCs as they are called by some. If you are interested in seeing what that kind of participant-centered scaling looks like, check out Connected Courses, CLMOOC, Rhizo15, Phonar, or the incomparable greatness that is ds106. Those group learning experiences have very much the same feeling as social networks do: they are both big and small at the same time — big because lots of people might be participating, but small because you are at the center of your own learning network, a network in which you are connected person to person with your co-learners, whoever they may be. Small enough to be real, small enough to be human. That's the kind of education I believe in. Small is beautiful.

The image above is another one of the Latin LOLCats: Contentus vivo parvo. I live content with just a little.

No comments: