Saturday, August 6, 2011


In George Siemens blog post “From knowledge to bathroom renovations” (July 2nd 2011) (, where he answers David Wileys comments on MOOCs, there are some clear statements where one can test if the Stanford AI course is a MOOC.

1. Following are the 5 assertions to meet in a course so as to question many of the attributes of today’s education system:
  • all actors/agents have equal access to information,
  • personal agency is not restricted by pre-planned course structure, 
  • democratic practices define participation and rule creation 
  • educators focus on introducing the “big ideas” of a domain and model how they navigate those ideas, and 
  • learners, through social sensemaking and wayfinding, orient themselves to complex topics and begin to draw connections between various concepts (big ideas),
2. In my opinion, today it’s impossible to answer them all (we can only speculate).

3. But, if a MOOC is replacing a faucet (of the bathroom renovation) then the AI Stanford course is a MOOC. It will have influence in the connected educational system. The size of the ripple it will make will only be seen when the course develops.

4. This course will also help to clarify the following still open questions: 
  • The issue on learner preparedness,
  • How effective is learning in a MOOC in contrast to other learning models,
  • How to structure learning and knowledge spaces in different disciplines and in different topics.
5. We need evidence. We need research. AI Stanford offers a very interesting test case.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Need to Redefine what a MOOC is?

In a recent thread in EduMOOC OERu group the following was posted:
"I also know of a MOOC on Artificial Intelligence through Stanford University
(not sure who the contact is)
I then made the following reply: 
For me its not a MOOC (Educause, Cormier and Siemens), yes very interesting. An important step beyond "the Open Courseware" idea.
From what I understood in their web page the course is open to anyone to take it, but its a totally structured course.
 They follow a book (Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by one of the teachers, US$114 in amazon) have a Syllabus, weekly exams, grading.
It can be taken free, (all online) even if you don't belong to Stanford university. Its not clear how students will interact between themselves. 8000 people requested information.
Interesting because it will be  Massive, Open, Online and a Course.
Today the following link was posted
"George Siemens: Stanford University does a MOOC

I am now somehow confused. Could someone help me reason and reconcile concepts on this?