Two TED Talks on the Pedogogical Possibilities of Online Learning

If you’re a reader of this blog then you’re probably aware of the online learning movement currently taking place within higher education. An ancillary to that movement is, of course, the MOOC (massive open online courseware) movement, of which the operative word is “open” (i.e., free and available to anyone in the world with an internet connection).

Despite what you think about the debate concerning the disruptive possibilites wrought by the e-learning and MOOC movements, listening to professors who have created and used online learning platforms to teach is fascinating.

Below I have included links to two TED videos that I think do a fantastic job of illustrating the pedogogical possibilities available through this new medium.

The first is a video from Peter Novig, a computer scientist and expert in both artificial intelligence and online search, discussing the ins and outs of the online class he taught at Standford in the fall of 2011.

The second video is from Daphne Koller, Standford professor and co-founder of Coursera. In the video, Koller discusses how Coursera is driving the MOOC movement as well as the kinds of data being collected about how students interact with and learn in online courses.

As a data wonk, I was especially intrigued by both Norvig and Koller’s comments about the data on student engagement and interaction being collected through these online courses. Such data could help inform pedagogical practices and inform continuous improvement efforts, creating a kind of endogenous circle of increasing quality.

I’m also interested to hear the student perspectives. If you’ve read any articles or seen any videos discussing the student perspective in online courses, please share them!

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