Open Learning: The MOOC case under lights and shadows
Keywords:Open learning, Open Access, Open educational resources, Criticalities, MOOC
Due to the widespread adoption in recent years of open access and open educational resources, both scientific and pedagogical, the international scientific community has directed a good deal of attention to the concept of Open Learning. This new frontier has the capacity to reconfigure higher education, directing it towards modes of learning that are informal, open and intergenerational, unhampered by the economic, legal and technical barriers that have beset it until now. The latest manifestation of these trends has been the creation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These university sponsored, online courses are an example of a rethinking of the idea on open-learning as it has been conceived in the past. The objective of this article is to propose a close examination of this phenomenon with respect to the literature regarding open learning, in order to determine the pedagogical model on which it is founded and to evaluate its strong points and the criticism it has received. We seek to understand how far MOOC (or particular MOOC) can be accurately characterized as instances of ‘open learning’ and to what degree they are in fact ‘open’.
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