Alternately titled: “Online learning has been around since before you were born”

Last night, our EDUC 338x class did a deeper dive into the history of online learning leading up to MOOCs. One of the teaching team’s goals for this class is to help students take a wider lens to the landscape of online learning and critically evaluate new research and media on the topic. To prepare for last night’s discussion, we asked students to read Audrey Watters’ thorough piece on MOOCs in 2012 and post to the course blog their response to the prompt: “What has been the most important development in online learning and/or MOOCs?”

I’m always amazed by students. Even when I expect a lot out of them already, they still floor me. Check out their responses to the article and to the prompt.

Here is what we talked about last night…

Timeline on online learning: 1960s – present (sorry, I know that this picture is of me, not the timeline, but I couldn’t find the pics I took of the timeline. I will try to get better pics from the students and post)
These were just the highlights, an American-centric look at online learning. I say that because I want people to know that we recognize the realm of online learning is not exclusive to what has happened in the US. But, with the limited time to talk about it last night, we stuck to US history. Some important dates I highlighted:

  • Founding of the Open University (UK) and the University of Phoenix in the late 1960s and early 1970s
  • Establishment of the first fully-online accredited university, Jones International University in 1993
  • Emphasis on equivalency and “no significant difference” between f2f and online learning in the mid- to late-90s
  • Launch of MIT’s Open CourseWare in 2002, fertilizing the soil for open education (along with many other open learning initiatives)
  • Launch of the “first MOOC,” called CCK08 by George Siemens and Stephen Downes

Discussion of the history of MOOCs

Don’t forget that you can follow the #innoved hashtag to see what we are discussing in class and contribute your own insights. Thanks!

Image from Flickr user massdistraction used under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license

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