Ours is smaller than yours

I read Stephen Downes’ commentary on a Chronicle post on MOOCs.

In his post, Stephen observes:

For me, what’s revolutionary about MOOCs isn’t size, it’s openness – and openness isn’t just about free content, it’s about ownership over the process. And I don’t see anyone who is bored (yet) of talking about open education.

42rdv39p-1353975764I agree with Stephen about ownership. My experience of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport was that the idea of openness is realised when participants own the opportunities to share and learn.

Just as I was finishing Stephen’s commentary I received an alert to Michael Rose’s explainer about fractals in The Conversation.

In the explainer, Michael quotes Benoit Mandelbrot “Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules which are repeated without end“. It seems to me that open education has this potential. Like fractals I do think open courses are scalable.

As with our SOOC it seems entirely legitimate to laud smallness … if it empowers ownership through self-organisation.

Photo Credit

The Mandelbrot Set (from Wikimedia Commons)

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