An interesting reflection in the article “Next Steps for MOOCs and Libraries” By Ian Chant, describing how libraries can support and encourage the construction and use of MOOCs.
According to Stephen Downes, libraries were characterized, even in the digital age, as a closed environment, limited to users of the nearby environment (students, teachers, researchers, readers, access etc.)
The author describes four examples from experiences in U.S. libraries:
MOOCs on Public Libraries
To facilitate access to MOOCs and digital resources in social contexts with limited internet access. A Chicago Public Library offers resources that make online learning a viable option: “We are the biggest provider of public technology and wireless access”, “we have the resources people can use to do the homework in these courses.”
Developing own MOOs
Other libraries have developed their own MOOCs as an independent resource or as a complement to face-to-face workshops, allowing students to students to take the MOOC more casually, on their own schedule and at their own pace. In some cases the library build the content and in other cases including content created by partner outside the library.
MOOCs as supplement
At Syracuse University have experienced how the MOOCs could supplement or even replace the standard online courses. These courses offer the ability to follow the rhythm of the student. It offer the option to taking the course for academic credit with the support of a guide.
Building significant MOOCs
A MOOC can be a valuable resource for providing informal learning and helping community learning in a connected environment without worrying whether that learning is officially recognized by the universities.