The book has three objectives:
- First, it introduces the phenomenon of Massive Online Open Courses, known as MOOCs. They burst on the scene of long-distance computer-based learning half a decade ago with big promises of disrupting academic education. The book discusses topics like: What are MOOCs? What is their potential? What are their historical predecessors and their future prospects?
- Second, it presents ongoing research into making MOOCs more effective and more adapted to the needs of teachers and learners. More specifically, the book focuses on a key critical issue: Given that there are tens and even hundreds of thousands of students following a particular MOOC, how can students be given the necessary feedback during the learning process and how can their competence be assessed?
- Third, it presents the first steps towards ’social MOOCs’. These are MOOCs that support the creation of relatively small learning communities in which interactions between learners goes beyond correcting each other’s assignments. Social MOOCs try to mimic settings for humanistic learning such as a workshop, Jazz ensemble, a small choir, or a group participating in a Hackaton, in which students learn as apprentices, by solving problems, helping each other, and aided by somebody acting as tutor.
To make the discussion concrete, the book focuses on a particular domain of knowledge, namely music. Music is one of the most popular subjects (next to computing) of today’s MOOCs. Many people want to learn about music, whether it is for playing an instrument, music theory, composition, song writing, or improvisation. Music requires many skills and those seriously engaged with music accept that it requires life-long learning, often taking place outside of the traditional educational system of musical academies and conservatories or private teaching.
31 August 2022 - 13:00