More and more MOOC and OER are now offering a pretty Badge, some are offering e-Certificates on completion, and one (so far) offers a Badge for starting the MOOC – although to be fair this might be more small-scale Webinar than large-scale MOOC. Nevertheless we are seeing increasing use of these tokens. They are intended perhaps to encourage completion ? If employers recognise them, then the Badge and Paper serve a function. When employers have great difficulty to distinguish between an upper-second from Elite University and a first from Provincial University College, then these Badges indicating achieved skills can only be welcomed. Or do we need the employers to become better qualified ?
My concerns are that e-learning has not yet been rigorously shown by research to improve deep quality learning, and that we are resorting to extrinsic rewards …
The motivations to learn were divided “into two sub-types according to whether the student was directly interested in the content of the course or whether they were studying the course merely as a means to an end. These sub-types were labelled intrinsic and extrinsic, respectively” by Taylor in 1983, which form the basis of our understanding these days of the motivations to learn (Gibbs, Morgan, & Taylor, 1984, p.170). It looks awfully like we are focusing on extrinsic motivation, and not yet even trying to build in the pedagogy into OER to initiate the intrinsic motivations that bring about the desired deep long-lasting meaningful learning. How to initiate the intrinsic motivations to learn is well known (Kawachi, 2003), and OER / MOOC instructional design could be improved ~
All best wishes
Gibbs, G., Morgan, A., & Taylor, E. (1984). The world of the learner. In F. Marton, D. Hounsell, & N.J. Entwistle (Eds.), The experience of learning, (pp. 165-188). Edinburgh : Scottish Academic Press.
Kawachi, P. (2003). Initiating intrinsic motivation in online education : Review of the current state of the art. Interactive Learning Environments, Special Issue on Cognitive Skills Acquisition In Life-Long Learning, 11 (1) : 59-81.
Talyor, E. (1983). Orientations to study : A longitudinal interview investigation of students in two human studies degree courses at Surrey University. PhD Thesis. Guildford : University of Surrey.