The 3M Benefits of MOOCs: Marketing, Master's/MasterTrack Cost Reduction, and Modularization and Certification
| Thursday, May 23, 2019
|Much to the chagrin of naysayers, critics, and traditionalists, MOOCs are definitely not dead...they're not perfect...they are no longer mostly or totally free...many lack interactivity...there is much controversy and discussion about them in terms of assessment, cost containment, completion rates, quality, and so on...but they are not dead.
In the middle of this interesting article from yesterday (MOOC Platform' New Model Draws Big Bet From Investors) by Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Education, some of the benefits of MOOCs are mentioned. I do not envision any of these benefits subsiding in the near future. As a result, the article by Lederman announces a huge equity investment of $165 million by SEEK (an Australian investment company) in Coursera and FutureLearn. Wow! According to this article, MOOCs now help universities with
three things. In this blog post, I label them "The 3M Benefits of MOOCs: Marketing, Master's/MasterTrack Cost Reduction, and Modularization and Certification."
- Marketing: Help market master’s degrees to the millions of
students in their database (“mining the
millions of learners who have enrolled in open online courses on their
platforms, they'll be able to drive down the cost of acquiring students
for their university partners' credentialed programs…”).
- Master's/MasterTrack Cost Reduction: Lower the cost of master’s degrees by having the first
few courses via a MOOC ("Coursera's degree programs are priced
significantly lower than their on-ground counterparts (and many other online
programs), although FutureLearn's, so far, are not"). My place, Indiana University IU), has a Top 10 ranked master's in accounting with edX for just $21,000. See a low cost MOOC master's degree listing from Class Central.
- Modularization and Certification: Offer “MasterTrack certificates” and nanodegrees…in
effect, MOOCs help to “slowly
disaggregate their degrees into smaller, less expensive units, a trend
that could prepare their university partners for the "unbundled"
world that some analysts believe is coming.” e.g., my former student, Dr. Eunjung (Grace) Oh (her bio on Coursera), is teaching in the Instructional Design MasterTrack at the University of
MOOCs are here to stay it seems. In writing for Forbes back in October 2018, Josh Moody writes of the transformative nature of such low cost certificate and master's degree options. It is exciting to see the sudden growth of possibilities and options.
As my long-time colleague Tom
Reynolds at National University noted to me a couple of weeks ago, there has been much change related to MOOCs since our "MOOCs and Open Education Around the World" book with Routledge came out in 2015. Back in 2015, people were projecting what to do and hoping that new initiatives by their governments and institutions would make a difference, whereas today they are actually doing it and much impact is happening. Along with Tom Reynolds and I, Mimi Lee and Tom Reeves were co-editors of that initial MOOCs and Open Ed book.
Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., Reeves, T. C., &
Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.). (2015). MOOCs and
open education around the world. NY: Routledge. Book homepage (Routledge book homepage). Amazon.
The follow-up with Routledge, "MOOCs and Open Education in the Global South: Challenges, Successes, Opportunities" will come out around November 2019 and likely be dated 2020. We have 68 contributors writing about 47 or so countries in this book, mostly in the developing world. It was wonderful to meet and work with people from so many places including Nepal, Sri Lanka,
Fiji, Brazil, the UAE (includes info on Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.), The
Philippines, the Bahamas, Turkey, India, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt,
Kenya, Thailand, South Africa, and even North Korea is covered. As that book details, there are much more MOOC changes to come.
K., Bonk, C. J., Reeves, T. C., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.). (in process for 2020). MOOCs and Open Education in
Emerging Economies: Challenges, Successes, Opportunities. NY: Routledge. Same MOOCsbook.com homepage.
Ke Zhang from Wayne State University led the charge this time. I can't wait for it to come out. It was a ton of work. The front matter of the book will be free to read (i.e., the Foreword from Mimi Lee as well as the Preface and Chapter 1 from the editing team--Ke, me, Tom Reeves, and Tom Reynolds. I will post that are the MOOCsbook.com homepage shortly along with the table of contents and book chapter abstracts. Please send me an email if you want to read the front matter sooner.
Labels: Coursera, Future Learn, massive open online course, MasterTrack, MOOCs
ETR&D Special Issue Announced: “Systematic Reviews of Research on Learning Environments and Technologies"
| Tuesday, May 14, 2019
|Announcing a Very Special Special Issue.
As noted below, there is going to be a special issue of ETR&D that sprung out of a presidential session I helped coordinate at AECT in KC in October. Below is information on that presidential session.
AECT 2018 Presidential
Reviews of the Research on Emerging Online Technologies:
Been Done; What’s To Come
Short Description (75 word)
session brings together researchers from four important strands of online learning
environments. Each team has conducted monumental overviews of the research
literature in one the following areas: social media, open textbooks, MOOCs, or
synchronous learning. These researchers will detail some of the key findings
from their research studies and some of the common research methods undertaken
to date. They will also point to untapped areas of research in these areas that
await further exploration.
Coordinators/Co-Chairs: Curtis J. Bonk, Indiana University and Lin Lin, University
of North Texas
1. A Systematic
Review of the Research on Social Media in China and North America, Ke Zhang, Wayne
State University, Fei Gao, Bowling Green State University, and Vanessa Dennen,
Florida State University
2. A Systematic
Review of Open Textbook and OER Research, John Hilton, BYU and David Wiley,
BYU and Lumen Learning
3. A Systematic Review of Research Undertaken on Massive Open
Online Courses (MOOCs): Curtis J. Bonk, Meina Zhu, and Annisa Sari, Indiana
- A Systematic Review of Synchronous
Online Learning Research,
Florence Martin and Kiran
Budhrani, University of North Carolina
Session Moderator: Lin Lin,
University of North Texas
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See links below. The special issue will come out near the end of 2020 or start of 2021. The title is: “Systematic Reviews of Research on Learning Environments and Technologies.”
See link: https://aect.org/news_manager.php?page=18460
• AECT Publications: https://aect.org/pubnews.php
• AECT ETR&D info: https://www.aect.org/etrd.php
• Special Issues info: https://aect.org/news_manager.php?page=16721
Please let Lin Lin Lipsmeyer, Florence Martin, Vanessa Dennen, or I know if you have any questions or if you plan to submit.. See our contact info below. Note: 750 word proposals are due August 1, 2019.
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Call for Papers for a
Special Issue in Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D)
(Note: to be published
in late 2020 or early 2021)
Systematic Reviews of Research on Learning Environments and
Special Issue Editors
Dr. Florence Martin
Dr. Vanessa P. Dennen
Dr. Curtis J. Bonk
There has been an increase in the use of
learning technologies such as MOOCs, social media, open educational resources,
synchronous online technologies, adaptive technologies, mobile technologies
etc. These technologies are referred to as emerging technologies, a term that
indicates that their status and use in educational contexts is still fairly
fluid (Veletsianos, 2010). Early research in an area typically focuses on what
Borko (2004) refers to as “existence proofs,” or one-off studies of individual
implementations. It takes time for a more systematic, mature body of research
to emerge, and for research gaps to fill in. This special issue brings together
a collection of systematic review articles, each focusing on a different aspect
of emerging learning technologies. This has led to a need for a strategic
approach to review research on the use of these emerging learning environments
and technologies. Systematic Reviews is a methodology used to systematically
examine secondary data from published studies and synthesize and report
findings based on the research questions. Meta-analysis studies are also
considered as systematic reviews.
Focus and Scope
The intent of the special issue is to provide an
overview of the current state of research on various emerging technologies, to
characterize the major findings or implications of this research, as well as to
identify gaps and opportunities for future researchers.
Timeline for Special Issue
June 1st, 2019
Call for Proposals for
the Special Issue on Systematic Reviews of Research on Learning Environments and
Technology is open
August 1st, 2019
Outline of 750 word
proposal of the proposed manuscript due to the Guest Editors. Submit through
the dropbox file request link. Please name your file by lastname_shortenedproposaltitle
August 15th, 2019
Invitation to submit
Full Manuscript sent to authors
November 1st, 2019
March 1st, 2020
Review completed and
author notified of decision
May 1st, 2020
due. Submit via Editorial
July 1st, 2020
Feedback due to author
on revised manuscript
September 1st, 2020
Final manuscript due
by author to Editorial Manager
October 1st, 2020
accepted and sent to publisher
Publication of Paper
in Online First
Please prepare your manuscript following the
Instructions for Authors on the journal homepage (www.springer.com/11423).
Submit your manuscript via https://www.editorialmanager.com/etrd/.
Log into Editorial Manager. Select New Manuscript. Select Article Type
“S.I.: Systematic Reviews of Research on Learning Environments and
We seek a broad range of potential papers for
this special issue, including authors who have published in ETRD
previously and those who have not. Please share this call for papers widely
within your networks.
The following are examples of previous
systematic reviews published on systematic reviews on emerging learning
Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y.,
Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., ... & Huang, B. (2004). How does distance
education compare with classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical
literature. Review of educational research, 74(3), 379-439.
Veletsianos, G., & Shepherdson, P. (2016). A
systematic analysis and synthesis of the empirical MOOC literature published in
2013–2015. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed
Wu, W. H., Wu, Y. C. J., Chen, C. Y., Kao, H.
Y., Lin, C. H., & Huang, S. H. (2012). Review of trends from mobile
learning studies: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education, 59(2),
Pimmer, C., Mateescu, M., & Gröhbiel, U.
(2016). Mobile and ubiquitous learning in higher education settings. A
systematic review of empirical studies. Computers in Human Behavior, 63,
Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E.,
Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What forty years of research says
about the impact of technology on learning: A second-order meta-analysis and
validation study. Review of Educational research, 81(1), 4-28.
Borko, H. (2004).
Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational researcher, 33(8),
Veletsianos, G. (2010). A
definition of emerging technologies for education. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emerging
technologies in distance education (pp. 3-22). Athabasca, Canada: Athabasca
Labels: emerging technology, ETR&D, learning environments, meta-analysis, MOOCs, OER, open textbooks, social media, special issue, synchronous online learning, Systematic reviews, Technology
A Tribute to Larry Lipsitz and Memories of January 1986 including Ed Tech Magazine
| Sunday, February 10, 2019
I have been meaning to post the tribute below for nearly two years now. Better late than never.
Tribute to Larry Lipsitz (lifelong educator, trailblazer in
the field of educational technology, and founder of Educational Technology Magazine
(a part-time venture in 1961, and a full-time business from 1969 to the last
issue in March-April 2017). Larry passed away at the age of 79 on November 4,
portion of the article below appears in the last issue of Educational
Technology Magazine which was edited by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Tom
Reeves at The University of Georgia.
Bonk, C. J. (2017, March-April). Larry
Lipsitz helped change my life. In D. Hlynka, & T. C. Reeves (Eds.).
Tributes and remembrances for Larry Lipsitz. Educational Technology, 57(2),
7-8. Available: http://publicationshare.com/13
(entire tribute to Larry Lipsitz: http://publicationshare.com/14)
Original (slightly longer) Article:
Lipsitz Helped Change My Life, by Curt Bonk, Contributing Editor of Educational
Technology, and Professor, Indiana University, Instructional Systems Technology
My first memories of Educational Technology magazine
take me back three decades to January 1986. What a month it was. On Friday January
3rd, I spent my final day as an accountant and CPA in Milwaukee while working
in the high tech industry. I then packed my stuff that weekend and moved to frigid
and snow-filled Madison, Wisconsin for graduate school which was -19 F at the
time. In a night class the following week titled “Ed Psych 890: Theory:
Computer-Based Instructional Systems” taught by UW Professor Richard Lehrer, I sat
next to two people, Tom Reynolds and Okhwa Lee, who would become my best
friends and top colleagues to this day. I also remember walking into the
Teacher Education building a couple of weeks later on Tuesday January 28, 1986 and
a TV mounted in the hallway, to which everyone around me was transfixed, was
replaying the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.
to say, that one of the most pivotal months in my life. Among the more consequential
events was when I went to the School of Education library to work on an early
assignment for EdP 890 and opened up the new January-February 1986 issue of
Educational Technology. In it was an article by the famed Roger Johnson and
David Johnson brothers from the University of Minnesota on “Computer-assisted
cooperative learning.” I was hooked. Another article from a previous issue in
1983 on “What computer-assisted instruction can offer toward the encouragement
of creative thinking” by Joan Gallini directly addressed one of the reasons I
was in graduate school; i.e., to foster human thinking and teamwork with
technology. Both articles later found their way into my master’s thesis. Articles
in other issues of this magazine by folks like Robert Tennyson, David Jonassen,
Priscilla Norton, Dean Spitzer, and countless others helped me to ramp up
quickly and learn from the leaders in the field. In fact, in the fall of 1986,
I wrote a letter to David Jonassen after reading his Educational Technology article
on “Soft technologies: A paradigm shift for educational technology” and I
received a personally written response from David a few weeks later in my
mailbox at home. Email accounts would be assigned a year later.
to say, opening any issue of Educational Technology was like being a kid in a
candy store. Little did I realize that I would later get to meet the editor of
that magazine during a symposium at the AERA conference in April 2004 in San
Diego (ironically, the editor of this article, Tom Reeves, was the featured symposium
discussant). Even less expected was that Larry would actively solicit an
article from me. How did he know my name? Why was he asking for an article from
me? Larry sat in the front row of that research symposium in San Diego in an
attempt to learn as much as he could about the research of the presenters. If
it was any good, they would be sure to get his business card and request for an
article. Clearly, Larry Lipsitz had a keen pulse on the field of educational
more recent years, Larry would call or email me from time to time to discuss
trends in the field and up-and-coming people whom he might contact for an
article or a book review. He would also confer with me about upcoming special
issue themes and potential contributors. His interests in educational technology
were not only wide, they were deep; with mental notes of previous authors,
ideas, models, frameworks, concepts, theories, etc., spanning more than five
decades. He was perhaps the leading historian and documentarian of our field.
It is in the privilege getting to work with passionate, optimistic, and
transformative people like Larry Lipsitz that I am most thankful that I left
the field of accounting three decades ago. Larry pushed not only the field of
education ahead in positive ways, but markedly impacted the human condition in
general. Thanks so much Larry for helping change my life and the lives of so
many more! You cannot be replaced. We all deeply miss you.
November 30, 2016
Labels: Curt Bonk, David Jonassen, educational technology, Educational Technology Magazine, Larry Lipsitz, Larry Lipsitz Tribute, Okhwa Lee, Richard Lehrer, Roger and David Johnson, Tom Reeves, Tom Reynolds