Tagged: W10A14

Week 10 – Activity 14: Comparing MOOCs

Timing: 4 hours

  • Compare either DS106 or Rhizomatic Learning with offerings from UdacityFutureLearn or Coursera.(You may not be able to access a course on these sites without signing up – you don’t have to do this but we recommend that you do, in order to gain a sense of the material in a MOOC. Some courses are only available over certain dates, so you may not be able to enrol on the MOOC of your choice.)
  • Write a blog post comparing the courses with regards to:
    • technology
    • pedagogy
    • general approach and philosophy.
  • Remember to read and comment on some of the posts of your fellow students.
MOOC badge icon
Badge: Completing this activity will make you eligible for the MOOC understanding badge, as explained in Week 7. You will need to blog your solution to this activity, and then send an email to h817open@gmail.com, providing a link to your blog post. As explained in Week 7, you will need to register on the Credly system to gain your badge. Acquiring the badge is entirely optional.





  • Rhizomatic Learning: Up to the user. Very much community based and decided from there.
  • Coursera: Software created through the Coursera platform, as well as from the course provider. Students are welcomes to venture beyond the given technologies. Such as students meeting through Twitter as appose to the often cluttered course forums.


  • Rhizomatic Learning: A connectivist approach to learning. The learning occurs in networks, where challenges and solutions are undefined from the start. The idea is for the learning to be fluid and non-restrictive. This is likened to real world situations, where complex and chaotic challenges are what is needed to be overcome, rather than learning occurring in a neat structure manner. Links could be made to constructivism as well.
  • Coursera: offers more traditional distance learning structure and pedagogy. Course tasks are set, and correct/incorrect answers are present. Learners progress in a more standard behaviourist approach, from receiving correct and incorrect machine marking in some cases.

General approach and philosophy:

  • Rhizomatic Learning: Learning should be open and non-structured. The evaluation of learning shouldn’t be based on how much someone can get into their heads, but rather their engagement, networks created, and effort exerted in the course itself.
  • Coursera: Learning is based on standard means, where if you ‘fail’ to complete the course you are counted as having not finish, and subsequently not acquired the targeted information. The debate is that many learners do not wish to receive all the targeted information – some might want only a segment, or look to broaden their learning network – and still end up ‘failing’ based on traditional thinking.


A good video on Rhizomatic learning: