MOOC NO MORE: We're "already in a post-MOOC era" according to Harvard Professor Robert Lue. The early edX adopter and keynote speaker at Scientific American's "Learning in the Digital Age" Summit laid out a compelling case for why massive open online courses need not be massive, open, or even courses--at least not in the traditional lecture format.
Instead, Lue sees bite-sized "online learning activities" (that's OLAs for you buzzword mavens) delivered in sequences to construct personalized courses. It's unclear how much more effective OLAs might deliver instruction over MOOCs, but at least in the edX realm, its evident that the continued evolution of online learning is becoming a focal point for the reinvention of higher education. Lue adds that with renewed faculty buy-in to online instruction as a research tool (controlled populations), it can be "the beginning of how higher ed can rethink what do we do in person and how do we connect with the knowledge economy at-large."
EdX isn't the only online player tinkering with MOOC nuts and bolts. In a separate panel, Google Director of Research and Udacity instructor, Peter Norvig, hinted at a "bus stop" model of online learning where students can "hop off" a course at any time and then get back on track whenever there's a critical mass of students ready to begin at the same point. It could be a novel solution to the chronic MOOC dropout rate.
Take a gander at #sciamlearning for backchannel chatter around the event.