New technologies, when their popularity gains momentum, often enjoy a sprawling period of effervescence. Be it the printing press, the steam engine, or the microchip, almost everyone involved was a believer in both the human and scientific implications of the technological revolution, as well as in their vision being the best or only way forward. For the benefit of each generation, most people were at least right.
So when a new sprawling age of ideas and “visions” sets upon our society, once again, we stand to benefit from an open mind. One that allows us to have frank discussions about the benefits and the weaknesses of our ideas, and each others’. Nevermind how overwhelming their volume can get. In the learning field we often hear about new trends, some more based on grounded evidence than others, but most of them worth at least a quick look. We may not hear about the next trends by name a year from now (or a few months for that matter), but they may suggest something about where things are going.
A form of Project-Based Learning pioneered by mooc
provider coursera, the capstone is meant as the final stage in a course. Interesting implementations of capstones include the validation of skills acquired during the MOOCs taken previously (often demanded as prerequisite), and a pricing point that offsets the cost of offering the MOOCs and still makes sense for learners, thanks to features like face-to-face sessions.
A spin on the classic “Teach-Ins” where complex issues are discussed in an open, participatory setting, this online learning format by the University of Michigan seeks for meaningful discussions online mediated by at least one, but often several, subject matter experts. Just like Teach-Ins, the goal is open, and assessments are prerequisite rather than the end goal.
Promoted by EdX, these graduate level courses are designed to address specific gaps in knowledge, without requiring a Master’s worth dedication. edx‘s current challenges involve convincing employers about the value of single graduate courses and getting universities to accept their completion as academic credit towards fully fledged degrees. ■
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