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The resurgence of community in online learning


In this contribution Stephen Downes addresses the question of how massive open online courses (MOOCs) will impact the future of distance education. The presentation considers in some detail the nature and purpose of a MOOC in contrast with traditional distance education. He argues that MOOCs represent the resurgence of community-based learning and will describe how distance education institutions will share MOOCs with each other and will supplement online interaction with communitybased resources and services. The phenomenon of ‘wrapped MOOCs’ will be described, and Downes will outline several examples of local support for global MOOCs. The implications for the non-English-speaking world of distance education will be considered, and Downes will outline strategies and examples of the use of MOOCs to promote linguistic diversity.


Educational Technology; IT; Massive Open Online Course; MOOC; Online learning community; Open courses; Peer community; Learning Analytics; Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

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Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) | ISSN (print) 1970-061X | ISSN (online) 2499-4324