I wrote the following on that excellent post an thread of comments:
I comment on this post to provide with an example for the drop-out issue, the lurkers, the traditional numbers/results that courses give and MOOCs don't (so we have "problems").
I comment so you see me. I'm here, involved, doing, thinking with you, learning. But really, so many ideas in this thread and as MOOC problems are a topic I'm working on, I need a little time. I'm writing a chapter for a book about reinv2010 (a MOOCs´ son I've designed and facilitated) and reflecting on some of the ideas written here (some are new approachs, thanks!).
Now you see me, but in this kind of moment of a learning process in a MOOC you wouldn't see me, I would be silent, in my own process, though really thinking with you.
I´d have the face a student has in class and the teacher asks: "Are you following? Need help?" But in a MOOC I would be trying to solve it by myself (or in a me-peers-google way).
When we see problems in MOOCs we are talking about issues traditional courses also may have. Drop-outs? Even with much more structured courses and a paper for accreditation, we drop-out. In my country good education is for free (national universities in Argentina are free) dropping out is common: we drop-out because we have much work, we don´t like the teacher or whatever...is common dropping out. My experience tells me that is not so important for staying in a course the lack of accreditation as the lack of payment.
And the main issue: for autonomy learning we need to learn. We have been learning (or not!) with teachers and syllabus telling us what to do, in MOOCs we need to find coherence by ourselves. That is a lot of work and a skill we need to develop. How? May be, lurking or dropping out of MOOCs for a while.
- Lisa M Lane wrote an interesting post about this topic: http://lisahistory.net/wordpress/?p=727
- And José Motas´ post: http://orfeu.org/2010/12/21/is-intrinsic-motivation-enough/