Interesting discussion about this subject on the Rhet-tech listserve…as one poster noted, e-teaching isn’t the question here, but e-learning is, so the question of scalability might not be of all that great importance, but I’m curious about this issue from another perspective, one I guess I can call practicality.
Assuming that e-learning on the MOOC scale becomes a means of delivering at the very least a significant component of FTEs in the near future, the other question to consider becomes one of how students use these massive spaces to their advantage. I also wonder what that advantage is, but that’s probably a bit tougher question to handle.
If we use MMORPGs as an example, students will start to carve out spaces for themselves, and do so pretty quickly. My only real MMORPG experience is WoW, and I’ve heard that in games that require cooperation on a larger scale the rules are somewhat different (as is evident from this E.V.E. superbattle), but in WoW players organized themselves into the Blizzard-approved format of guilds, with top guilds competing for all kinds of self-proclaimed prizes (first to take down a new dungeon boss, for instance) and PVP trophies, and small guilds coming along at their own pace at some of these tasks. Guilds quickly developed identities and stories of their own, some that become compelling enough to transcend servers and even games. Leeroy!
In some sense, I’m guessing, this #edcmooc will develop this kind of spacing and territorial map, and I hope that the course leaders are collecting enough data to track how this happens. I happen to have gotten into because of the RhetTech listserve folks, and I’ve followed a couple of their links. Still, Twitter has been my best source of community (the chats have happened at times that I haven’t been able to make so far), and it’s been a way, using the #edcmooc hashtag, to filter the oncoming flash flood of data.
I hope to keep track of this as we proceed…