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Howling at the moon

(Excerpted from my Inside Higher Ed piece today)

I'd classify myself as more of a lurker-learner than active participant in MOOCs right now (hey, I'm busy!). I am tracking on LAK12, Change11, and DS106, and I'm trying to stay up-to-date with Udacity's CS101...

I'm particularly interested in who my fellow students are in Udacity's introductory computer science class this term. CS101 said that no previous programming knowledge was required and that by the end of the class, one would know enough Python to build a search engine. But I get the sense from the forums that many of my fellow students in the class are programmers, if not Python developers already. That's fine (again, they can be helpful in answering questions for their peers). But as Udacity will be in the business of selling high-scorers' data to potential recruiters, I do wonder how much attention really will be paid to learners and how much the emphasis will be on knowers.

I wonder too about the question of motivation, one of the requirements that the NYT as well as MOOC instructors point to. What are the things that motivate learners? How do we support them when motivation falters?

(So says the girl who got 95% on homework assignment number 1 in her Udacity class and hasn't turned in a single thing since then...)

You can read the entire piece on Inside Higher Ed

Photo credits: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski

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Audrey Watters


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