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Friday, November 8 • 10:45am - 11:10am
Openness in Three Acts: A Narrative Inquiry into Teacher Educators' Conceptions of MOOC

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The data for this case study was gathered during 2012, hand in hand with the growing media hype about MOOCs in higher education. Rooted in the Connectivist origins, MOOCs are seen by the author as representing an approach to learning that should be of interest to educators preparing their learners - the teachers of tomorrow - for life and work in a knowledge society. Connectivism is an approach to learning and teaching requiring radical changes in thinking on the part of all stakeholders at the educational institution in which a Connectivist MOOC is to take place. The type of learning that often occur in Connectivist MOOCs appears to be based on processes that educators indeed wish to encourage in their students in order to better prepare them for the future. There is no doubt therefore that such a change in conceptualizing learning and teaching should be considered in colleges of teacher education; there is also no doubt that resistance will present itself. From a pedagogical point of view, the MOOC phenomena redefines what is meant by ?learning,? ?teaching,? and ?assessment,? and at the same time blurs the boundaries between them. It is not self-evident that the institution, which has its established content foci, instructional approaches, and organizational structure and practices, would welcome courses embodying such departure from what has been defined as normative.
The study sought to listen to the organizational voices regarding an initiative of developing a MOOC for Hebrew-speaking student teachers, while focusing on the Connectivist MOOC as an example of innovation and organizational change. Based on in-depth interviews with stakeholders in the college, and using a methodology for analyzing organizational transformation triggered by the adoption of computing technologies, a narrative network was constructed from story fragments with potential connections. The narrative methodology ? itself mirroring many aspects of Connectivism in the broad sense of emphasizing connections and networks ? enables to compile stories told from different perspectives, based on encounters with the people identified as potential partners, and to trace actions and reactions when the idea of the Connectivist MOOC and its affordances were placed as the focus of the discussion. The stories that emerged from the interactions with those people reflect how such an initiative involves an organizing of people in relation to a technology. In this case, the potential affordances of the technology at the center of the initiative were seen as having a possible destabilizing influence on the existing practices of the organization. Openness emerged as a key issue in the analysis and as playing a crucial part in one of the reconstructed stories, hence the title of this presentation.
Through the analysis of the interviews and of the actions characterizing the implementation of the initiative, we have gained understanding on how the affordances of MOOCs may subvert the mainstream agenda of an organization and its established practices. The rise of the MOOC is relatively young; hence studying how to implement it is also in its infancy. The presentation aims to contribute to this research-in-progress by bringing the teacher educators' point of view.


Dalit Levy

Pedagogical Innovator, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts

Friday November 8, 2013 10:45am - 11:10am
Painted Horse

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