McAuley et al (2010) The MOOC model for digital practice
MOOCs bring together three things - connectivity through social networking, expertise in a particular field and lots of free resources.
The fact that MOOCs are social media-based means that there is an automatic channel for promoting the existence of new MOOCs.
There are no rules for how MOOC practice needs to be conducted; it will be made available through a central site but learners may share and create through independent social media tools or centrally.
The MOOC model provides an “ecosystem” for exploring the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed in the digital economy and how people might develop them.
The authors identify three benefits from the scale of MOOCs:
· The long tail or 80:20 aspect means that a learner who has very specific or obscure needs should find someone to work with
· The expertise within the MOOC is being shared with the maximum number of people who might benefit from it
· The work of the tutor in facilitating and guiding is shared across a wide body of learners.
They also highlight a number of issues which merit further exploration; including the educational impact of MOOCs, how deep it can be and whether it extends to peripheral participation, the role of interventions that might help to manage quality and the opportunities for revenue generation, if there are any.