Self-Directed/Community-Supported Learning: Design Principles to Support Learner Engagement at Scale

Self-Directed/Community-Supported Learning: Design Principles to Support Learner Engagement at Scale

Rebecca M. Quintana (Center for Academic Innovation, University of Michigan, USA), Catherine S. Hearn (School of Education, University of Michigan, USA), Donald J. Peurach (School of Education, University of Michigan, USA) and Kathryn Gabriele (Facing History and Ourselves, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3292-8.ch013

Abstract

MOOC designers seeking to address evolving ambitions of MOOCs to support workforce development confront a fundamental design dilemma: on the one hand, the self-paced nature of online learning is efficient for busy learners working alone to acquire new knowledge and capabilities; on the other hand, the self-paced, often-isolated nature of online learning complicates designing MOOCs that motivate and sustain the type of engagement necessary to support learners in mobilizing new knowledge and capabilities in practice contexts and in collaboration with other professionals. The authors offer an account of their efforts to create opportunities for deep learning in large-scale, open-access learning environments through the creation and instantiation of a new instructional model called self-directed/community-supported learning. This model aims to draw diverse learners around the world into a community of discourse and practice through coordinated video content presentations, web-based enrichment activities, scenario-based team practice exercises, and community-wide discussion.
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Issues, Controversies, Problems

We begin by reviewing evolving ambitions for MOOCs that place a priority on moving beyond discussion on online discussion boards as a primary context for social engagement to supporting learners in collaborating to develop and use new knowledge in practice contexts. We continue by examining dilemmas that arise in designing MOOCs that both support large-scale knowledge dissemination and collaborative, socially-engaged learning. We then provide an overview of one MOOC development initiative that advances an innovative instructional approach that aims to address these dilemmas.

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