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What if MOOC courses naturally led to the start of virtual schools specifically focused in a particular area?

An explanation of this would be; say per chance that you want to focus on Technological Entrepreneurship and Management. You take an online course where you meet multiple people from across the world, some who have the same exact focus, and maybe some who's focus is computer science, or education technology, or information technology (you see my point). From here these students naturally link up with each other and already cross pollinate ideas which spur innovation and creativity, and along the way cause a shift of sorts toward a sort of program that specifically focuses on Technology and Innovation. The important aspect to this is having a broad group of people who may not specifically have the exact same degree, but have one similar enough in nature to be able to facilitate progression and inspiration. Simply put it would be a virtual tech school of sorts, which I think could possibly lead to the creation of various new ideas and even companies that before would have never been possible.

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    Feb 25 2014: I have taught in a 2500+ MOOC course (even though just 400 finished) on Science Communication 2.0.1. It was a very interesting experience. MOOCs are quite different from online courses equivalent to regular classes, i.e., those taught through Moodle. There are several keys that should be observed when building up a MOOC course. Likewise, registering and learning through a MOOC is a different experience to that of a hybrid/blended course. If there is a large enough registration (i.e., it is kind of "massive") there will be interaction between students, and also a dynamics leveraged by instructors and by evaluations, tests and p2p activitites.
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    Feb 24 2014: MOOCs are just one tool in the bag. They would allow the student to chart their own course through complex material.

    What if a student wanted to design a circuit they would sell as part of a business? They could take digital design and business courses they needed. The end result would be a hybrid education that, ideally, would suit a particular goal. The problem is that type of education may not be general enough to support other outcomes.

    Another use for MOOCS is to give a student insight or knowledge in a separate area. An MBA student might take programming courses so they could better understand a software business.
  • Feb 21 2014: Universities are over rated regards providing a good education. I have taught myself more from online tutorials and you tube in one year than what my university taught me in 4 years. So although the social element of attending a university or college is worthy of a mention, education can be taught equally well via the internet.

    I'm not sure if the whole collaboration effort would work regards innovation without people meeting up in the physical world. The only reason why I say this is because peoples motivation often comes from personal relations that cannot be developed as well via the web as what they can in person. On saying that I do know people who are succesfuly collaborating and innovating over the web, it is just a longer and more drawn ou process for the same results.

    Open source information may play a large role in what you are suggesting, which is fundemntally the building blocks to much invention and innovation today and the initiator of one open source project rarely ever gets to know the employer of that project who turns it into something greater.
    • Feb 23 2014: I think it depends on the school and the fellow students. I found it interesting that the level of instruction and student was significantly different in the honors college within the same university.
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      Feb 24 2014: I sometimes think Universities are underrated in what they provide. Beyond an education, a chance to grow intellectually, culturally, socially, etc. A pathway to a career that you hopefully love. Finding similar minded people and sharing experiences. You get my premise. I cannot imagine going to a University on-line (for an UG degree).

      Finding the right University for oneself is critical though. One where you will thrive.
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        Feb 24 2014: There has been much written about the very different environment and real intellectual and cultural offering of top 25 or 100 universities on the one hand, and lower tier universities on the other. I think the differences in people's positions may depend very much on the institutions with which they have actual personal familiarity.
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        Feb 25 2014: Have you had an opportunity to take or audit any MOOC courses? I have found the quality to be dramatically variable. I have sampled three. One was a video of an actual class, so it was taught in that sense at the level of the lecture, but the assessments were very different. A 50% score on the assessments was required for the certificate, which was very much lower than the level for the real class. The real class included papers, which the MOOC did not. For my purposes, it was fun. I enjoyed it, but there was nothing to hold a student to any sort of rigor of approach.

        I did another which professed to be the same as the class at the school, but I very much doubt it, given the originating school. It was pitched quite low, I think.

        The third I may have followed for two weeks. That one was at a level I would have called middle school.

        So right now I doubt we can call a MOOC education comparable to a college or university offering, particularly in how someone might interpret the certificate of completion.
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          Feb 25 2014: Good point! MOOC's have a long way to go at this point.

          I have audited one but didn't finish it (less than 5% did). Part of it may be if the class is free it is easy to ignore it. I have also taken a lot of online continuing education and teach several of these. For various reasons they work pretty well but they are hybrids - the class eventually meets in person and is tested "live".
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        Feb 25 2014: I too have taught online in a team situation in a hybrid format, but the class was of about 150 with those experienced in the subject matter giving feedback on work and connecting personally with students.
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    Feb 20 2014: This sounds like what is often called a "community of practice," when people with similar interests form a sort of continuing study group.