Audrey Watters on History: Intermezzo

In this shorter piece, I want to express my support with Audrey Watters. In het blog [Expletive Deleted] Ed-tech #Edinnovation, she reacts to what she describes as Wikiality or truth by consensus rather than by fact.

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Watters quotes Khan, who gives a description in which noting changes between 1892 and 2010: “static to the present day”.

Having written on the pre-academic educational systems in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany I understand why colleagues in this field will sigh and wish it to be true. I don’t know how education changed (or not) outside Europe, but here we have had a movement from knowledge towards competences and back. The changes in pedagogical techniques were accompanied by almost yearly system changes. A report of the Dutch Tweede Kamer concluded in 2008 that much risks were taken.

Yet, as we have seen often enough, history is (re)written by the victors. I agree with Watters that it is shamefully that pioneers like Wiley, Downes and Siemens are not given the credits they earn. But beyond the earning of Noble prices for education, I’m worried about the future. The original designers of Moocs and OER are interested in the distribution of free materials, in offering new opportunities to learners. The modern suppliers of Moocs, as Khan, Koller and Ng or Thun seem to have different models in mind. Being externally financed start-ups, they will have to deliver a return on investment in time. Question is if the winner will take all?

Lenin with Trotsky

Lenin without Trotsky: rewritten history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the discussion in Wikipedia – Moocs:

Early MOOCs [edit]

The opening paragraph of this section makes the claim that “David Wiley taught what ostensibly was the first MOOC, or proto-MOOC, at Utah State University in August 2007.” There is no reference for this, and the description is simply of a free course that was open to people around the world. This, by itself, does not make it a MOOC. And, if that description is enough for it to be taken as a MOOC, then it certainly does not make it the first. (Using a meaningless concept such as “proto-MOOC” could apply to any form of web-based instruction.) For the statement to be taken seriously, far more independent information and references need to be supplied, otherwise it smacks of someone retrospectively laying claim to something, and should be removed. Kmasters0 (talk) 17:07, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Paragraph [edit]

It has been three weeks since I suggested that this paragraph be removed, and there have been no arguments against it. I have removed it, but have copied here, so that, if there is a valid counter-argument (see points above), it can be restored:

David Wiley taught what ostensibly was the first MOOC, or proto-MOOC, at Utah State University in August 2007. This was a graduate course in open education that was opened to participation by anyone around the world. What would otherwise have been a class of only five graduate students became a group of over 50 people in eight countries.

Kmasters0 (talk) 12:27, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

I suggest in the future, when questioning content, you also:

put a {{Cn-span|text=}} around the content in question.

make a good-faith effort to contact the editor(s) who added it, and any who made substantial changes to it. (You didn’t mention doing this above.)

refrain from making uncited comments like “, otherwise it smacks of someone retrospectively laying claim to something, and should be removed”. It takes away from the other points you made, creates bad will with other editors, and smacks of disdain for other editors.

Yours for a better encyclopedia.Lentower (talk) 15:50, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, you’re right – I apologise. I really meant to note that, as it stood without a reference, it could look like this claim, and would be open to accusations of that; I wasn’t trying to say that was the case, but I can see how it could be read that way. Sorry, no disrespect intended. Kmasters0 (talk) 10:11, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

The reason the Wiley course was in the article was that it was referenced as an influence by both George Siemens and myself in our creation of the first MOOC.For example, I cite it in ‘The MOOC Guide’ which a reference of early MOOCs – see https://sites.google.com/site/themoocguide/ I would recommend reinserting it.

Downes 18 April 2013

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