Liberating the xMOOC – a Philosophical Experiment
Here’s my small plan. I’ve dabbled in one or two cMOOCs and xMOOCs and now I’m about to join another xMOOC – Introduction to Philosophy , a Coursera MOOC by Dave Ward, Duncan Pritchard, Michela Massimi, Suilin Lavelle, Matthew Chrisman, Allan Hazlett and Alasdair Richmond from the University of Edinburgh and starting on 28th January.
I’d like to see xMOOCs become much more learner centred, more open like the cMOOCs where independent interaction between participants is positively encouraged. So I’ll be looking outside the ‘official’ course forums for blogs and comments by participants. I’m blowing the cobwebs off my experimental Comment Scraper and if I can find enough activity I’ll try to bring it all together here in a summarised format as I did before during parts of previous cMOOCs.
If you intend to discuss the content or performance of the Introduction to Philosophy MOOC in a WordPress or Blogger blog and don’t mind being comment scraped please consider helping the experiment by letting me know (by comment below or via email ) your blog URL so that the Scraper can tap into the RSS feeds. Note that the relevant hashtag is #introphil.
I’ve never studied philosophy before but this particular MOOC, one of the first from a leading UK University, does seem attractive as it’s introductory and “1-2 hours per week” not too demanding in study time. According to the website:
This course will introduce you to some of the main areas of research in contemporary philosophy. Each week a different philosopher will talk you through some of the most important questions and issues in their area of expertise. We’ll begin by trying to understand what philosophy is – what are its characteristic aims and methods, and how does it differ from other subjects? Then we’ll spend the rest of the course gaining an introductory overview of several different areas of philosophy.
It really is a massive course – about 80,000 people enrolled so far. ‘Meaning of Life’ in the first week – I can’t wait!