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OpenEd14 Socio-ethical stances of MOOCs

Here are my slides from 2014 OpenEd Conference, Washington, Nov 2014.

What a great conference so far! My talk followed on from my OpenEd13 presentation at Utah last year, and really builds on the bee I’ve had in my bonnet about massive open online learning for some time. I had some great questions today that I hope I made some vague attempt at answering:

1) How would my delineation of ‘ethical’ dimensions of MOOCs be different from a look at on-campus learning? Many of the dimensions around pedagogy, quality and addressing learner diversity are core academic values, but I would argue do not translate easily online. We are talking about diversity on an unprecedented scale. Also, there are dimensions around intellectual property and data privacy, and the changing role of the tutor / teacher, that simply don’t feature on-campus, or that might do, but are swept under the carpet. In my talk I described a book chapter in press that extends Khan’s 2003 ‘eLearning framework’ to open, online learning.

2) How can we influence ethics, research and practice in order to make the changes we are all seeking? What an impossible question that I’m sure I did not answer well. For a start, we are all at OpenEd14! We are all championing good quality research and open initiatives, and all we can do is go back and keep influencing our colleagues and institutions. We should never lose sight of how far we have come!

I thought back to Larry Lessig’s opening keynote, it is not enough just to talk about change, we have to oil the wheels to make change possible.

 “Fight to make your sensible idea possible.”



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