Recently I did a talk about learning and collaborating online in small groups with slides HERE.
Main storyline goes as
- Higher education is shifting from location/culture based towards objective/interest based. My undergraduate education was totally immersed by Chinese culture. But the situation is much different when I take a MOOC course or even doing an online degree program which was designed by a Canadian university.
- A diversified learner population decreases the chance of marginalising minorities (in terms of races and professions). Being marginalised is not some experience I am familiar with as a child but something I had to deal with as a grown up. A carefully designed international program usually balances its student background mix so there will be no dominant culture. Naturally so does a MOOC course.
- A good team communicates and works together to overcome a shared challenge.
- Network formed from a good small group experience goes beyond course duration and course content.
A good team and network formed after can be a result from either a MOOC course or an online degree course. The prerequisite is that the team shall be motivated intrinsically and have certain collaboration skills. So that they are prepared to spend time communicating, negotiating, sweating altogether in the same boat and know how to do that.
Isn’t that the same with all our human experience? You share a challenging journey together and bond after.