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Massiveness, Scale, and Automation: perspectives on the more-than-human of the MOOC

Date & Time:
15:30:00 - 17:00:00,
Monday 7 December, 2015
Event Series:
The OxCrowd Network


This talk will explore both theoretical and practical ways of engaging with education at scale. I will begin with discussing the terms ‘crowd’, ‘scale’ and ‘massive’ in the context of MOOCs, suggesting some implications for the increasing calls for ‘openness’ and networked accessibility in education. I will then discuss the recent ‘E-learning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC (#edcmooc) from the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Coursera, highlighting particular design decisions that were intended to experiment with teaching unprecedented numbers of participants. In particular, this will focus on the ‘Teacherbot’ project, which sought to develop an automated Twitter agent that could contribute to ‘teacher presence’ within the course. This ‘more-than-human’ approach to teaching will frame a discussion of the theoretical challenges associated with education in an increasingly ‘crowded’ world.

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  • Name: Dr Jeremy Knox
  • Affiliation: Centre for Research in Digital Education, Institute for Education, Community and Society, The University of Edinburgh
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  • Bio: Jeremy Knox is a Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, and a core member of the Centre for Research in Digital Education. Research interests include critical posthumanism, new materialism and the implications of such thinking for education and educational research. He is currently working on the AHRC funded project , to develop mobile applications for museum and gallery evaluation, and the to develop student-centred forms of data analysis for education. Jeremy designed and taught the partnered with Coursera, and he is the author of a forthcoming book entitled Posthumanism and the MOOC: contaminating the subject of global education with Routledge.