A Critical Examination of MOOCs with Remarks about Mini-MOOCs

Professor J. Michael SPECTOR, Visiting Professor at The University of Hong Kong, Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas


Time: 13 June 2014 (Fri)  14:50 – 15:40

Language medium: English


A hierarchical framework of components to support learning and instruction includes information objects, knowledge objects, learning objects, instructional objects, courses, programs and ongoing efforts, with each subsequent component building on the former components. For example, a course is a structured collected of instructional objects, which in turn are structured collections of learning objects with learning activities, feedback, and assessments (both formative and summative). Based on that hierarchical perspective, most of the current MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are not actually courses. This presentation proposes taking what is good about the MOOC concept and transforming it into something that could be considered a course – namely, a Mini-MOOC.

About the Speaker

J. Michael Spector is a Professor/Former Chair at the University of North Texas. He was previously Professor of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology, Doctoral Program Coordinator for the Learning, Design, and Technology Program, and a Research Scientist at the Learning and Performance Support Laboratory at the University of Georgia. Previously, he was Associate Director of the Learning Systems Institute, Professor of Instructional Systems, and PI for the International Center for Learning, Education and Performance Systems at Florida State University. He served as Chair of Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation at Syracuse University and Director of the Educational Information Science and Technology Research Program at the University of Bergen. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on intelligent support for instructional design, assessing learning in complex domains, and technology integration in education. Dr. Spector served on the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (ibstpi) as Executive Vice President; he is a Past President of the Association for Educational and Communications Technology as well as a Past Chair of the Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning SIG of AERA and is an active member of AERA’s Instructional Technology and Learning and Technology SIGs. He is editor of Educational Technology Research & Development and serves on numerous other editorial boards. He edited the third and fourth editions of the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, as well as the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, and has more than 150 publications to his credit.