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User:Leighblackall/Open Online Courses and Massively untold stories

This paper accounts for a small range of open online courses that helped to inform the early development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). It laments the loss of meaning in the word open and its historic alignment to free and open source principles. It calls for more academic work to better represent the histories and range of critical perspectives on open online courses, and outlines how Wikipedia can be used as a central organising platform for such work.

Read the full paper

Slide presentation (Audio coming soon)

Development notesEdit

30 Sept 2014

Ascilite 2014 accept paper with minor changes. Will be presented online into the conference on the 26 November 2014 at 1:30pm.

9 July 2014

Submitted to Ascilite 2014 with changes. First names removed and used less, minor grammatical edits and clarifying sentence structures. Submitted copy to formatting template here.

16 January 2014

Follow up email sent to First Monday editor, inquiring on progress. No reply.

20 June 2013

Submitted to First Monday with minor changes. First Monday has a considerable backlog of manuscripts, with 31 manuscripts awaiting review, 121 manuscripts under review or revision, 12 manuscripts awaiting publication and an average six papers per month published.

13 June 2013

JOLT Reviewers' comments back (added below). Paper is rejected

26 March 2013

Paper submitted to JOLT

25 March 2013

Richard Hall and Alex Hayes have offered review and comment noted below

23 March 2013
  • A first draft has been completed, and I've sought review from people I know will have critical perspectives to offer.
  • Teemu Leinonen, Bronwyn Hegarty and Joss Winn have offered review and comment noted below.
March 2013

This was originally a 'position paper' intended for a special edition on MOOCs in the Journal for Online Learning and Teaching 2013. A call for papers was first published here, and I submitted an abstract that described a paper that would be authored by Bronwyn Hegarty, Sarah Stewart and myself, detailing our work in New Zealand developing open online courses. Bronwyn assisted with initial drafting, but all work stopped for other priorities. We received notice of an extended deadline to the end of March 2013. Bronwyn and Sarah asked me to lead the writing, but upon attempting it I felt I could only write toward a different focus that has been occupying my mind for these months. The position paper seeks to account for a small range of works by Teemu Leinonen, Bronwyn Hegarty and Leigh Blackall, in the development of open online courses in 2007-2008 - believed to be relevant to the now termed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) genre. While Sarah's contribution to these developments was significant and important, they came at a date later than is relevant to the new focus of this paper.

ReviewEdit

From Brent SimpsonEdit

I think you should mention the other courses as well in the proposal; seem to remember there was also a permaculture course, one with Teemu as well on Wikiversity. Aso OER4Content is still running and was/is an interesting model I think and deserves some attention.

I'd almost lost this comment Brent, it wasn't until I was reviewing the paper on a mobile that I saw it as residue somehow in the document.. I mistook it for a recent comment when in fact it was an original comment made by you back in November 2012! The point you made about Wayne Mackintosh's Learning4Content model was pertinent. I added it to the paper, in the section, "Yes, we're just as guilty". I didn't add the Permaculture Design course, because I forgot you suggested this. It would have been good to include it somehow, as it was the first example I'm aware of where a teacher at Otago Polytechnic took the wiki model and tried to negotiate its application is a real live classroom, lab and field trip course. Sadly the effort did not sustain beyond 3 instances of the course I think. There were a number of issues, such as guest lecturers being reluctant to share their work in the Copyleft setting - perhaps rightly seeing it as a way for the institution to eventually cut them out of work. The other reason, and probably the strongest reason was that at the time, leadership positions at Otago saw such work as counter productive to the model of online learning they were pushing (closed LMS-based) and did not overtly support the model. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 23:23, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

From Teemu LeinonenEdit

Actually I started to organize the course in 2007 when being a visiting fellow in SRI International in California. I was having some "teaching responsibility" to the art education department back in Helsinki. It was proposed that I'll do the course as an online course. I then proposed to the head of the program if the course could be open for anyone interested in to join and take it. My reasoning was that this way it would be better for our students, too, because they could learn from peers coming from difference cultural backgrounds.

Thanks for this info Teemu. I have adjusted the paper to reflect it. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 05:43, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

From Bronwyn HegartyEdit

who is we and where did we fail to mention all this? Again the royal we...who? the community concerned about the MOOC developments? Need to say who. The paper is written by someone so best not to infer that "the paper is seeking to account for" - it is the author(s) who are doing this.So you may need to change this to I.

You got me Bron, 'we' is the royal we.. and a group of people I have in mind as I write this - knowing that I represent some of their concerns. I'm not sure how to write it in or differently.. I see it as a minor infraction of style... Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 05:52, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the private interests seeking to commodify.. do you want to make any type of commentary on why you think they are doing it? What is in it for them? Learning analytics, marketing etc., or is that pushing the envelope too much?

It would be speculation, and it is suggested in a few words elsewhere. I would like to do such a thing in future work though. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 05:52, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

From Joss WinnEdit

(Copy edit notes and actions removed - available in edit history prior to 25 March 2013)

The article is clear and I enjoyed reading it. It is a position paper in defence of a form of openness. For me, the most valuable point in the article was around the (re)writing of history, whether through Wikipedia or by other means. You might think about writing a separate article which picks up on this initial position paper and take a wider look at other aspects of openness in education in light of how the open source movement has attempted to rewrite the history of free software. Eric Raymond has been criticised for doing this on Wikipedia and in his writings in general.

Your 'Actions' are proposing to use Wikipedia to co-ordinate a more accurate rendering of the history of MOOCs, one which is currently dispersed across blogs and other websites. This is interesting, I think, because you're suggesting there is something to be gained from the centralisation of activity which is currently decentralised across the 'network'. It raises issues around power and bureaucracy, which I think is well put by Turner et al http://fredturner.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/Kreiss-Finn-Turner-Limits-of-Peer-Production-NMS-3-111.pdf Using that article, you could reflect more critically on what you are doing/proposing and the space you work in (again, maybe left for a follow up article). In this paper, you're largely on the defence, but what you're defending isn't without its problems. As some of us are trying to show, open education is problematic in all its existing forms. Josswinn (discusscontribs) 10:29, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Many thanks for this review and awesome copy edit Joss, most valuable. I very much want to come to the more reflective and critical perspectives you are forwarding, but I lack so much of the foundational theory you write about. But through you and Richard, I get a leg up :) It is disappointing that open online courses have been largely usurped by 'MOOCs' and commercial interests with very large 'markets'. It seams to make it harder to speak out the criticisms and refine the practices. Certainly in my local context it does. I especially want to think more critically about the models and methods I'm proposing, because I'm recommending them in my day job. At the moment, I have a basic grasp - that commons based work is always vulnerable to capitalistic interests. But the defence I'm thinking is that at least Wikipedia is an anomaly - in that it is currently the 5th most visited website, and has been for a few years, and THE most visited reference site by far. I'm thinking that this position is too hard for capitalist interests to usurp, which is partly why the commentary sidelines and ignores it. But there it is. Perhaps there is still room for this commons to grow even stronger, in textbooks, courses, dictionaries etc. But it is a centralisation, I see that. I'm looking forward to investigating Eric Raymond's and Turner's work. Many thanks for these leads. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 21:49, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
The O'Reilly book (http://oreilly.com/openbook/opensources/book/index.html) is the landmark book that helped define the 'open source' movement, in contrast to the 'free software' movement, if you want to distinguish between them, as Stallman does.
The best sources for Stallman's writing are his collected essays (recently updated and free PDF http://shop.fsf.org/product/free-software-free-society-2/) and his biography (recently updated by Stallman and free PDF http://shop.fsf.org/product/free-as-in-freedom-2/ - how many subjects of biographies have re-published their biography to include their own revisions!)
Part two of his collected essays focuses on free vs. open.
On Eric Raymond's re-writing of hacker history, have a look on Wikipedia discussions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Hacking_%28innovation%29#ESR_a_hacker_hero.3F) and http://esr.1accesshost.com/
As the current 'maintainer' of the Jargon file, he has taken responsibility for defining the terms, expressing the ideas and reflecting the history of FLOSS, and should therefore be subject to close collective scrutiny. Josswinn (discusscontribs) 08:57, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

From Alex HayesEdit

I'm horrified at the prospect and case that you need to argue this back into existence in an attempt to bring justice where justice is due....but in saying so I can see your reasoning for why. As I stated in the comments feature of the Google doc. I consider your intent honourable and thats all that needs stating from me. Your the best team to point out facts and historical narrative that that been conveniently re-written to support consortium-led push-pull buy-back into the education sector ...which has for so long lacked a decent business model to engage learners meaningfully and compete with in an 'open' marketplace. The distributed and available story will win out. Html5 and even JSON will one day fade and the soul-less connections will revert back to the meaningful discussions we were having before MOOCs resembled glitch-filled MMORPGs. alexanderhayes 03:28, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Alex.. it's futile, but this may only be the beginning of a long road to my coming to understand the critical perspectives that Joss and Richard apply when looking at all this. I think your work would benefit from a look at there's as well. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 05:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

From Richard HallEdit

"A common feature in David’s, Teemu’s, and Bronwyn’s and Leigh’s courses was the use of a MediaWiki to openly prepare the course curriculum, resources and schedule of activities"

What does openly prepare mean in practice? Was/is open curriculum design a break with the past/present

"As collaborative authoring platforms, the commons-based wikis implicitly… They invite collaboration, they are transparent, and they ensure reusability."

I’d like to see this point developed. The Commons is a contested space. See Dyer Witheford (http://www.fims.uwo.ca/people/faculty/dyerwitheford/Commons2006.pdf) and me: http://www.richard-hall.org/2012/11/29/education-and-enclosure-the-lessons-of-historical-agency/

There is something about power and agency here. There is a real danger that open is co-opted as horizontal/deterministic and depoliticised, rather than fighting to reveal the hierarchies that emerge from and reinforce them. This is one of the ways in which we might lament the current open/MOOC obsession – that it is deliberately depoliticised and therefore reinforces the new neoliberal normal.

Do you have literature to back up your claims about reusability, transparency and collaboration underpinning your idea of open? If not it makes the claims under the history that we all know more like assertions.

"attempting to stimulate online learning networks"

I’m critical of the idea of network governance. The idea of the network needs to be addressed politically. See the links to Ball and Davies work at http://www.richard-hall.org/2012/09/02/networks-the-rate-of-profit-and-institutionalising-moocs/

"If that is now the predominant meaning, the interest and opportunities to develop open (source) online courses that are collaborative, transparent and reusable are fast diminishing."

Open and open source and the idea of MOOCs cannot, in my opinion, be separated out from the internal dynamics of capitalism, especially related to the rate of profit and the processes of accumulation. Education inside-and-beyond the University is framed by this objective reality.

So are you arguing that we need to recover the earliest incarnations and principles of MOOCs/whatever, in order to reveal their co-option in the current phase? Are you arguing that this delivers us something materially different and productive? If so, of what? How do the spaces opened up by global protests against austerity fit into this historical analysis? How do spaces like ds106 connect into this historical space?

Is taking the History of the MOOC back to the 1890s an attempt to legitimise its current form? It becomes part of a Whig interpretation of edtech history that is focused on progress (http://www.richard-hall.org/2011/12/07/values-and-educational-technology-away-from-a-whiggish-view/)

"we need to ensure that a fuller historical account is developed, and that a diverse critical discussion is heard. We need to do this in such a way that helps ensure the next development isn’t so easily appropriated and misattributed"

I think that you might develop this final point. Appropriated by whom and for what? For me, this is related to the value forms described inside capitalism, and attribution is based on that. So are you arguing for a contribution economy that releases alternate, socially-defined value? IS this about recovering the social content of labour?

In solidarity,

Richard.

Thanks for these questions and comments Richard, they will very much help me take the ideas in the simple paper, and go further and deeper beyond the due date to JOLT. I particularly appreciate yours and Joss' generosity with links and readings that will help me do that. Likewise, I hope to draw your attentions to the commons-based Wikimedia projects, in the hope that I may benefit from your critical perspectives directly applied.
Regarding your questions above:
What does openly prepare mean in practice?
Without expanding on it too much, I've added and changed a few sentences that try to explain this.
I’d like to see this point developed. The Commons is a contested space.
Many thanks for the link to this impressive paper. I've used it as a reference. However, I will have to develop the point after the JOLT due date, here on the wiki, and into another paper. I don't have enough time left to do it justice.
Do you have literature to back up your claims about reusability..?
I added a reference to Stallman, was tempted by the FreedomDefined document, but am critical of that and much of the zealousness of the free culture movement. I'm worried that my paper will be seen as a similar zealous argument, when it is meant to draw attention to the likes of your work, criticise the 'open-washing' and begin to propose that the Wikimedia projects are the best place for resistance.
I’m critical of the idea of network governance...
This is most interesting. I remember Teemu and I arguing something along the lines of this at the FLNW in 20006. I've changed the sentence referring to online learning networks to suggest that is was more an intent, with idealised objectives. This is another area I need to strengthen in myself.
Is taking the History of the MOOC back to the 1890s an attempt to legitimise its current form?
Actually, I read the sentences in the Wikipedia article to be dilute the importance of MOOC. I'm thinking to challenge the notability of the MOOC article myself, or to at least suggest that a new article for "Open Online Courses" be started, and that MOOC be a section within that.
So are you arguing for a contribution economy that releases alternate, socially-defined value? IS this about recovering the social content of labour?
Yes, I think I am, but I'm not familiar enough with Marx to say for sure. I'm now listening to an audiobook version of Capital, on my bicycle commute to and from work. I hope to reflect on this and form a better answer for you. Intuitively, I say yes - but I need a better reasoning if I'm to try and raise the idea in institutions of education and encourage them to return to social value... After chapter one - Commodities and Money, I'm wondering about coercive value such as Chomsky's Manufacture of Consent and many sophisticated methods of want and consent making that have developed since.
Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:07, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

From LeuthaEdit

On going discussion (1890s)

I only had a chance to read through all this after the discussion was completed (which is why I am adding these comments here).

In terms of the precursors - The 1890's and All That - the comments on Wikipedia seemed only partially relevant. I think the Swedish experience is very important (see Study Circles. These were also very important in Tsarist Russia (see the Wikipedia Bogdanov page. Unfortunately I have yet to find the time to extend the entry on his participation in Proletkult. Leutha (discusscontribs) 15:44, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

From JOLT ReviewersEdit

Dear Mr. Blackall,

The review of your manuscript, "Open online courses and massively untold stories" (#2398), which was submitted for the special issue of the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), has now been completed. Although the reviewers find the topic interesting, they do not consider the coverage adequate for inclusion in the journal. Regrettably, we cannot accept your manuscript for publication in the special issue.

We are enclosing for your use all pertinent feedback provided by each of the peer reviewers who reviewed your manuscript.

Thank you once again for your interest in the special issue. We hope this result will not discourage you from submitting manuscripts to JOLT in the future.

Sincerely,


George Siemens, Valerie Irvine, and Jillianne Code Guest Editors, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching - Special Issue on MOOCs Email: jolt.moocs@gmail.com

REVIEWER 1Edit

      • Reviewer 1's ratings ***

(5=Strongly Agree, 4=Agree, 3=Neutral, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly Disagree)

1. The paper is appropriate and of interest to the readership of JOLT: 4.0

2. The paper is both useful and relevant to online learning and teaching: 3.0

3. The paper has theoretical or pedagogical value: 3.0

4. The paper adds significantly to the literature of online learning and teaching: 2.0

5. The paper follows the JOLT Guidelines for Authors: 2.0

6. The material in the paper is current: 4.0

7. The paper is well organized and its conclusions well supported: 2.0

8. The paper provides adequate references: 2.0

9. The included links and media files enhance the paper: 4.0

10. The paper makes good use of the electronic medium: 4.0

11. The illustrations, figures, and tables are necessary and adequate: 2.0

The paper contains names of people who said various things and were also instrumental in certain MOOC related activities. The paper needs to be restructured and edited. The abstract is too short and unfocussed and needs to include the objectives of aims of the paper (i.e. Need for coordinating a deeper appreciation of the history and critical ideas that have contributed to the development of MOOCS and OER's) and the approach taken to the investigation. The introduction should state an outline of the argument, and instead of a long winded exposition of who said and did what, provide a chronology of events that support the case that these authors are making here- i.e. that there are untold stories. Readers are not interested in what Bronwyn & Leigh did or said, but they are interested in evidence based details that the pioneering work done in NZ contributed in a substantial way to the OER and MOOC movement. As a reviewer, I am not convinced that this paper adds value. The inclusion of personal details such as "Michael and Leigh were both working at the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE" - would evoke the following in readers " well, who cares? "The reference list is very limited and there are now many publications out on MOOCS that actually add value to the field- this does not meet those standards and the authors need to make substantial revisions in order to reach their goal, stated in the final paragraph) "to to connect up the range of principles and practices that have informed it (them)" (sic-are referring to open online courses)


REVIEWER 2Edit

      • Reviewer 2's ratings ***

(5=Strongly Agree, 4=Agree, 3=Neutral, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly Disagree)

1. The paper is appropriate and of interest to the readership of JOLT: 4.0

2. The paper is both useful and relevant to online learning and teaching: 4.0

3. The paper has theoretical or pedagogical value: 3.0

4. The paper adds significantly to the literature of online learning and teaching: 3.0

5. The paper follows the JOLT Guidelines for Authors: 4.0

6. The material in the paper is current: 4.0

7. The paper is well organized and its conclusions well supported: 3.0

8. The paper provides adequate references: 4.0

9. The included links and media files enhance the paper: 4.0

10. The paper makes good use of the electronic medium: 4.0

11. The illustrations, figures, and tables are necessary and adequate:

I liked the nature of this chapter for the Special Issue. BUT, I dont like the introduction and the use of first names throughout, as if the readers of this Special Issue know these people, are are familiar enough to remember their first names as they are used in the narrative. I think the closeness of the authors to the events described may be the reason for this, but I also find it wearisome and hard to follow....cannot the foregrounding to the paper that Section 1 seems to provide be written more concisely and less conversational.

Hence my reason for checking major revision. I think it needs rewriting.


REVIEWER 3Edit

      • Reviewer 3's ratings ***

(5=Strongly Agree, 4=Agree, 3=Neutral, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly Disagree)

1. The paper is appropriate and of interest to the readership of JOLT: 5.0

2. The paper is both useful and relevant to online learning and teaching: 4.0

3. The paper has theoretical or pedagogical value: 3.0

4. The paper adds significantly to the literature of online learning and teaching: 3.0

5. The paper follows the JOLT Guidelines for Authors: 3.0

6. The material in the paper is current: 4.0

7. The paper is well organized and its conclusions well supported: 3.0

8. The paper provides adequate references: 4.0

9. The included links and media files enhance the paper: 4.0

10. The paper makes good use of the electronic medium: 4.0

11. The illustrations, figures, and tables are necessary and adequate: 0.0


This is a very interesting article. I suggest that you provide a rewrite and move away from the authors’ musings and adopt a more rigorous historical (or other) methodology. I my opinion this would strengthen the article and bolster your argument and historical presentation.

With this said, this is a very important - historical article. I encourage you to make improvements and move this contribution forward.


REVIEWER 4Edit

      • Reviewer 4's ratings ***

(5=Strongly Agree, 4=Agree, 3=Neutral, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly Disagree)

1. The paper is appropriate and of interest to the readership of JOLT: 3.0

2. The paper is both useful and relevant to online learning and teaching: 2.0

3. The paper has theoretical or pedagogical value: 1.0

4. The paper adds significantly to the literature of online learning and teaching: 2.0

5. The paper follows the JOLT Guidelines for Authors: 3.0

6. The material in the paper is current: 4.0

7. The paper is well organized and its conclusions well supported: 2.0

8. The paper provides adequate references: 2.0

9. The included links and media files enhance the paper: 4.0

10. The paper makes good use of the electronic medium: 4.0

11. The illustrations, figures, and tables are necessary and adequate: 3.0

Reject; will not be published in JOLT Summary of reasons: I got a feeling that this article is more or a narrative or a story than a research article. I am therefore uncomfortable with reviewing this paper because the author uses a methodology that I am not familiar with.

A research article should have a clearly stated problem statement, objectives of the study, a theoretical/conceptual framework that guides the research. It must also have a literature review that identifies gaps. The methodology must be clearly spelt out and the discussion must illustrate how the findings address the research questions.

Thank you for this feedback. While it's disappointing that some reviewers seem to have missed that this was a position paper and not a research article, the feedback over all is most instructive. From the email I see that a resubmit is not offered, so I will proceed with self publishing. Thanks everyone for the consideration.Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 10:26, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

From Ascilite reviewersEdit

We have now completed the review of your submission "Open online courses and massively untold stories."

Our decision is to decline the submission as a Full Paper. We are however willing to accept this submission in revised form as a Concise Paper.

Please can you confirm by return email whether you are willing to revise your submission as a Concise Paper. If we have not received confirmation from you by 5th September 2014, we will assume that you have decided against providing a revised submission.

Please refer to the reviewers' feedback below for further information.

Thank you once again for considering ascilite conference as a venue for your work.

REVIEWER AEdit

  • Quality of research / scholarship (35%): Neutral
  • Originality and scholarly contribution (35%): Neutral
  • Relevance and suitability to ascilite 2014 (15%): Agree
  • Quality of written presentation (15%): Disagree

Paper has an informal style and is an interesting narrative on the history of MOOCs with a NZ focus. It reads like a combination of opinion piece, blog style and research paper.

Have made comments throughout the paper, and I believe lacks a research question that would focus the discussion.

Wikipedia is an open system, the section “To suggest actions” is interesting as if the authors believe that the Wikipedia article is wanting, they have the ability to change it. As they point out earlier in the article another author made unsubstantiated claims in a 24 hr period which took a while to edit out. Is there a fear of changing a Wikipedia article evident here?

Am surprised at the minimal mention of the work of Wayne MacIntosh and OERu in the discussion.

Also the paper relies heavily on blog type references yet the authors suggest “A wider range of reliable literature needs to be published and collected”. I think this paper was an opportunity to present a research paper based on reliable sources and this could have been used as a “reliable” source in the actual Wikipedia page.

Paper recommendation: Reject Paper


Thank you for your considerations Reviewer A. I didn't receive a file with the additional comments you mention that you added in line with the text, so my revisions will be based on the comments quoted above.
With regards to a research question it would probably be along the lines of, How does commentary on MOOCs affect the development of historical accounts? However, I'm not sure that this paper is accurately classed a research paper - perhaps more a position paper, critique or a proposal for action research projects... or perhaps an opinion piece - as you describe it. The recommendation has been made to review and submit this as a "Concise Paper". Unfortunately, has withdrawn the information specifying what a Concise Paper is for the purposes of the conference. I recall it being something like an outline of a work in progress. So perhaps we class this paper as an update on a participatory action research project's work in progress - to which a question-for-focus is still to emerge.
With regards to Wikipedia and the suggestion that there is a reluctance to edit it, this is a most unfortunate reading that I must try to correct.
I think the abstract explains the intent clearly:
This paper seeks to account for a small range of open online courses that helped to inform the early development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). It laments the loss of meaning in the word open and its historic alignment to free and open source principles. It calls for more academic work to better represent the histories and range of critical perspectives on open online courses, and outlines how Wikipedia can be used as a central organising platform for such work.
But I can see the body of the paper does not clearly hold to that promise.
I can see that the sub section Wikipedia outlines the problem, while the later section What is to be done outlines actions needed. It's probable that the separation of these two sections leads some readers to similar conclusions of Reviewer A - that the authors are reluctant or unable to edit the Wikipedia article. This is somewhat the case considering Wikipedia concerns on conflicts of interest, nonetheless I have added a sentence in the Wikipedia subsection referring the reader to the What is to be done section, and reordered the paragraphs to give the link between the sections more prominence. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 01:30, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

REVIEWER BEdit

  • Quality of research / scholarship (35%): Agree
  • Originality and scholarly contribution (35%): Neutral
  • Relevance and suitability to ascilite 2014 (15%): Disagree
  • Quality of written presentation (15%): Agree

This paper appears to be focused on an incorrect article on Wikipedia. Its aim is to correct some inaccuracies and highlight courses and events that influenced early MOOCs. Unfortunately because it focuses on the Wikipedia article it seems to narrow its scope. Perhaps instead it should attempt to expand its discussion about the parallels of earlier courses to current courses, even drawing in retention rates in those courses and constructivist MOOCs to identify the differences between these courses and more commericialised MOOCs.

The references are all from open source publications as the intention of the paper is to honour the philosophy of 'open'.

Paper recommendation: Accept Paper with Minor Revisions


Thank you for your considerations Reviewer B. I need to make clearer the focus of this paper. I can see that an introduction might help. Rather than launching into A history, I have personalised and reiterated the focus in a new Introduction section. At this point I'm not able to change the focus and draw in the comparisons and correlations of connectivist and didactic MOOCs. There is a reference to data such as retention rates and other returns in the second paragraph of the A history section, "...evaluating the impact in 2009 to find noteworthy savings and gains in the models (Blackall and Hegarty 2009).", which I would like to revisit and submit in a separate paper. Thankyou for noticing that the references are intentionally from open sources. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 02:06, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

REVIEWER CEdit

  • Quality of research / scholarship (35%): Agree
  • Originality and scholarly contribution (35%): Agree
  • Relevance and suitability to ascilite 2014 (15%): Strongly Agree
  • Quality of written presentation (15%): Neutral

The paper, although a bit short, gives an interesting but necessary account of the history of MOOCs and challenges current thinking about the meaning of "open". I'm sure that this paper will generate some interesting discussion at the conference!

A few minor things need to be addressed:

  1. under the Wikipedia heading, line 6, please change the spelling - "papaer";
  2. under the A closure is happening heading, line 1, please change the spelling - "articel";
  3. under the heading All stories leave out parts, line 4, remove apostrophe in "it's";
  4. perhaps consider bring more consistent with naming authors/researchers, e.g. under the heading Wikipedia, you refer to some people by their first names, and also by their surnames - maybe use one or the other?
  5. under the heading Wikipedia, end of paragraph 2, a "Page 3" is referred to - is this in Daniels' publication? If so, it is not altogether clear as written.

Accept Paper with Minor Revisions


Thankyou for this precise review Reviewer C. I have actioned all points. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 02:32, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

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In addition, we require an explanatory notes document which outlines the changes you have made in response to reviewer recommendations. We suggest you do this as a 2-column table, with reviewer recommendations listed in the left-hand column and your response to the recommendations listed in the right-hand column.

To upload your revised paper and explanatory notes document, please go to the online submission system at: http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz/ocs/. Click on your submission title >"Review" > "Upload Author Version".

Please also go to the online submission system (http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz/ocs/) and click on your submission title >"Summary" > "Edit Metadata" to proof-read and if necessary update your abstract. This abstract will be published in the conference programme.

Revised papers, explanatory notes and abstracts are due by 17th September 2014 (NZ standard time). The Programme Committee cannot guarantee that your paper will be published in the conference proceedings if you submit changes after 17th September.

To ensure publication in the conference proceedings, you must register for the conference. To register, go to http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz/register/. Please remember that Earlybird rates close on 3rd October 2014.

Additional information about presentations will be announced on our conference website (http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz) before the end of October. If you are unable to present, please notify us as soon as possible: ascilite.submissions@otago.ac.nz.

Thank you and we look forward to your participation in this event.