Open Pedagogy

Section Two

Remember when MOOCs were all the rage.  They would be the great equalizer eliminating poverty and turning every poor child into the next great engineer. In fact in 2012 the New York Times declared it the year of the MOOCs. These Massively Open Online Courses (Cormeir, 2008) would revolutionize education.

Millions in soft money from nonprofit foundations poured into universities. Venture capitalists sunk hundreds of  more into efforts to disrupt and overthrow these same institutions of higher education. Everyone, everywhere (including us) got in the game and launched MOOCs.

In fact we love MOOCs. Every Ivy League School in America launched classes. Given the abysmal completion rate of MOOCs we can now say like the Tech greats such as Steve Jobs., Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates we too have dropped out of Ivy League Schools. In fact we have dropped out of them all. Must make us super smart. Thank you MOOCs.

So a little more than ten years late the craze has died down. While some classes such as Harvards CS50, an instruction to computer science are still popular many programs have shuttered. Many universities simply use MOOCs now as marketing tools.

The great disruption never occurred, mainly because most efforts missed the point about the pedagogy. Most courses could had the same pedagogy of VHS taped lecturs being sent in the mail or the original correspondence courses born in Scranton, PA in the 1800s.

The best MOOCs know something. Community is the content.  As the courses of the MOOC craze dried up a group of scholars kept and keep chugging away. From the beginning  who where there from the beginning began to gather around a set of shared principles.

While MOOCS came crashing down a group of Canadian based scholars who started it all kept on trucking.Many mark David Wiley's 2007 wiki based course on Open Education as the the launching point for MOOCs. Yes the first class to embrace open pedagogy was a class about open education. Dave was meta before meta was cool. 

Then in 2008 Stephen Downes and George Siemens taught a class called Connectivism and Connectivist Knowledge  #CCK08 in 2008. The class was offered to two dozen credit bearing students and an additional 2,300. It was during this class Dave Cormier coined the term MOOC, and even given the large numbers of students in the class he  MOOC never meant size.

The massively modified the word OPEN in the original definition of MOOC. It had nothing to do with size and everything to do with pedagogy. #CCk08 was truly distributed While a branch of MOOCs mutated off and became the centralized force of venture backed platform this book, much like the students enrolled, ignores those classes.

Instead we share case studies of MOOCs that never branched off of what Dave  Wiley, David Cormier, Stephen Downes, and George Siemens envisioned. These will be MOOCs we participated in, facilitated and created. We will begin with a savory dish of  #DS106, Jim Groom's Digital Story Telling class. We will pair this with a  highlight of David Cormier's 2015 and 2016 Rhizomatic Learning courses. 

We will describe our own journey through thr Google Apps as a Free LMA\S Community to the  2014, 2015, and 2016 #WalkmyWorld courses we built. We will share our personal stories and those of our co creators on what it was like to design and facilitate these communities 

We will also describe communities that do not rely on course structure at all but who embrace and emerged from the same branch of  scholars in the open pedagogy space. Virtually Connecting  creates ways for participants who may not be able to afford conferences a way to have remote participation. 

As we describe each of these learning communities we will focus on their history, the people, and unifying principles or open pedagogy.