06 SES 12 A, Towards a Critical Understanding of OE and MOOCs
In 2012 the term MOOC became used and, first and foremost promoted by the largest Norwegian conservative newspapers, as the final fix that would revolutionize higher education, and might cause a gigantic closing down of Norwegian Higher education as we knew it. The survival depended on how quickly Norwegian institutions could establish national competitors and address the market with attractive and open educational alternatives to the new wave. By Spring 2013 the Norwegian Ministry of Education appointed a committee to analyse the situation and suggest how our national institutions should react, and suggest measures to follow up this tsunami of initiatives from the Ivy League. The White Paper, published in two portions, in December 2013 and June 2014, apparently served the Ministry well. In the negotiations with the HE institutions, the ministry strongly encouraged them to embark on the MOOC-trail, in the fall of 2013. In the fall of 2014 there was no mention of MOOCs at all in the similar talks. What happened in the mean time? The first report was more or less a collection of impressions from a sector in turmoil, in the US, predominantly, but also of the global response, from China, India, Indonesia etc. Most claims were substantiated by journalistic reports from the US EdTech press, and, naturally, very little evidence from research. In the Spring 2014, the committee collected their marbles and started to look around at the broader picture of lifelong education as a policy field, as well as the vast amount of research on open education initiatives on the sector before the term popped up (Friesen, 2013). The government established the forerunner to Norway Opening Universities, which in principle opened the avenue of flexible formal higher education in Norway already in 1990. The second part of the report managed to acknowledge this tradition and put the MOOC-phenomenon into perspective. Critical research was now available and contributed to a more balanced perspective (Liyanagunawardena, Adams & Williams, 2013).
Baggaley, J. (2014) MOOC postscript. Distance Education, 35(1), 126–132, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2013.876142 Daniel, J. (2014) MOOCs: What Will Be Their Legacy? Open University of Japan. International Symposium 7 February 2014, Makuhari International Training Centre,‘Global Trends of Online Teaching and Learning’ http://sirjohn.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/140207-Japan-OUTX.pdf Friesen, N. (2009) Open Educational Resources: New Possibilities for Change and Sustainability, IRRODL 10(5), http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/664/1391 Liyanagunawardena, T.R; Adams, A.A. & Williams. S.A. (2013) MOOCs: A Systematic Study of the Published Literature 2008-2012, IRRODL 14(3), http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/issue/view/57 MOOC-utvalgets delinnstilling 13.12.13: Tid for MOOC. https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/kd/vedlegg/uh/styrer_rad_utvalg/moocutvalget_delrapport_1_13122013.pdf NOU 2014:5 MOOC til Norge Nye digitale læringsformer i høyere utdanning https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/ff86edace9874505a3381b5daf6848e6/no/pdfs/nou201420140005000dddpdfs.pdf
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