Public libraries are the best platforms for success with community-focused online learning of all sizes. It’s easy to create successful MOOCs in an academic environment. It’s something else to make them successful in a nonacademic environment. Jeff Jarvis, on This Week in Google (9/11/13), discussed the idea of unbundling education from universities, unbundling lessons from courses, and looking at new ways to view/score outcomes. Public libraries, with limited resources of staff and time, could still create unbundled MOOCs—smaller, shorter lessons that, when combined, total a full course. Busy patrons plus busy librarians still can equal quality learning opportunities.
The above may seem daunting to some or far from the library’s mission. Many of the folks in our MOOC have been confronting their own ideas of what it means to be a learner in a new and sometimes unsettling landscape. I’m here to learn, one participant told me, “and figure out how I might play a role in MOOCs on my campus.”