European Students and Employers Want More Web-Development MOOCs

Students, education providers, and employers call massive open online courses one of the best ways to learn web-development skills, according to a report released on Thursday by the European Commission.

The report, which drew on a survey of about 3,000 people, including 731 students, said that only one student in four was not familiar with MOOCs and that about 64 percent of the respondents had taken such courses.

Web-development courses appeared to be in high demand but were not always easy to find online. According to the report, only 56 MOOCs teach such skills throughout Europe, compared with 115 in the United States.

Most employers surveyed, including corporate managers, developers, and human-resources staff members, said MOOCs could help close a skills gap in web design. “They stressed the fact that in the current market it is especially difficult to find employees with domain-specific skills, iOS, Android, and HTML5 experts,” the report said.

For the most part, respondents rated MOOCs as more effective than colleges in teaching such skills.

cMOOC and xMOOC: Will They Blend?

dual layer
Ever visited the site? They literally blend things - like iPhones. They have powerful blenders, but they would not be able to blend the two types of Massive Open Online Courses.

George Siemens, a MOOC pioneer who is still deeply involved in them, wrote recently that is planning a MOOC for this fall (Data Analytics & Learning on edX), the topic of xMOOCs & cMOOCs and possibility of blending the two types was discussed.
His conclusion on that?

I’ve concluded that cMOOCs and xMOOCs are incompatible. They cannot be blended. Pedagogically and philosophically, they are too different. It’s like trying to make a cat a dog. Entertaining, perhaps, but a fruitless venture.
That doesn't mean he has given up on some redesign. Siemens suggests that the two can work "as parallel tracks where learners can navigate from one approach to another."

xMOOCs are the most popular now with the big MOOC providers (like Coursera and EdX) with module-based courses and traditional test-based assessments. It is impossible for a MOOC to be instructor-centered, but the design of the instruction and delivery is still much in control by the instructor(s).
In a cMOOC, the technology should a learner-centered system. That is harder to do with tens of thousands of learners.

Matt Crosslin (who participated in Siemens' "DesignJam") suggests that perhaps one day a platform will be able to offer a course that presents a learner with the option of choosing their path.
Maybe at some point an Artificial Intelligence data-driven program will even be able to recommend the path for them. Learners would enter one of the two paths and follow the paradigm presented. At any time that the learners on the cMOOC track need help (or at some point, when the AI data identifies a need), they can be directed towards the appropriate part of the xMOOC track for help. At any time the learners on the xMOOC track start to get comfortable with the idea of interacting with others (or the AI data identifies this), they can move into the cMOOC track.

Coursera Attempting to Improve MOOC Learning With F2F Learning Hubs

The N.Y. Public Library is planning face-to-face sessions for MOOC students in a partnership with MOOC provider Coursera.

Coursera is trying to build an infrastructure for in-person learning around its free online courses. Research has suggested that MOOC students who receive offline help earn higher scores on their assessments.

Coursera is not paying the library to provide this service and the library will fund it as part of its own public-service mission.

Learning Hubs is Coursera's global initiative in community building + blended learning. But this online company is doing it through establishing physical networks of space, facilitators and students worldwide.

Coursera, as part of its mission to connect the world to a great education, is launching the Coursera Learning Hubs Initiative, which establishes physical spaces where students can access internet to take classes online. The Hub framework aims to improve the accessibility of and support for online education. Students who may not have access to the Internet at home - common in places where affordable education is most needed - can come to learning hubs to take Coursera courses and can participate in interactive learning sessions with facilitators in their local area.

Coursera has been helping organizations establish similar “learning hubs” but they have been almost entirely outside the United States. 

Reinventing the Classroom Conference

Time: April 30, 2014 to May 1, 2014
Location: online
Organized By: Reinventing the Classroom
Attending: There is no cost to attend.

Event Description: Inaugural Reinventing the Classroom Conference: "How Ed Tech Is Reshaping the Classroom Experience" on Wednesday, April 30th and Thursday May 1st, 2014.

This free world-wide conference will be held online and will be a unique chance to participate in a collaborative global conversation on innovative classroom uses of ed tech with presentations by your peers. 

To be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates:
Join the Reinventing the Classroom network and conference website at
Follow conference discussions on Twitter using #reinvent14

Conference strands will include the following topics: Teaching with Technology, Student Devices, Online Learning, Subject-Specific Ed Tech, Creative Ed Tech, Web 2.0 & Social Software, and Administrative Support.