October 22nd, 2012

More MOOC Madness

After writing Feeding hungry minds: Libraries and MOOCs I backed it up a few steps over at our work blog to cover in more detail What is a MOOC and Why Would I Take One? with a picture that was so much fun to work with. That preoccupied cow line just had to be written to support it, and that’s what I’m always going to think of MOOCs as since our 10 year old son bellowed ‘MOOOOOOC! MOOOOOOOC!’ when he saw what I was writing about. Speaking of distance education, I forgot to mention here that I wrote A Librarian’s Guide to Webcast Wrangling  for Letters to a Young Librarian back in September – whoops! I hope it’s of help for librarians who are increasingly becoming involved with webcasts.

Back to MOOCs. The day after I wrote the work article, our Provost wrote about the University of Washington’s involvement in MOOCs. What was mentioned as the future of higher education in the opening keynote by Steven Bell at our Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (PNC/MLA) Emerging Roles Symposium in Portland a few days later? MOOCS and the fact that just 6 months ago no one was really talking about them.

His other thoughts included (according to my notes)
alt-librarian – where does a traditional librarian fit in? If someone’s in a MOOC, what kind of library support would this student get? UPenn is participating in Coursera MOOCs, are their students looking for library resources within them?
The state of Minnesota was faced with a very public calling out on that when initially they said residents couldn’t take MOOCs via Coursera because the company had done so without registering with them first and paying applicable fees, as they require for universities offering online courses in the state, then backtracked after the ensuing hue & cry.

Another quote from Steven Bell that I liked is

If you want to create change, you have to be a leader willing to step outside traditional limits.
It’s exciting to see how the rapid evolution of online education to include MOOCS is challenging traditional limits and I hope librarians will continue seeking ways to become involved in being present within them.


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