In 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the MOOC Research Initiative (MRI) with an $835,000 grant to be administered by Athabasca University, to conduct further research on MOOCs. In addition to sponsoring primary research, the MRI produced a series of reports attempting to summarize findings from existing literature reviews. These reports were compiled into a 230-page collection published in February of 2013 entitled entitled ‘Preparing for the Digital University: A review of the history and current state of distance, blended and online learning’. It was authored by George Siemens (University of Texas at Arlington), Dragan Gasevic (University of Edinburgh), and Shane Dawson (University of South Australia). The purpose of the reports is to “introduce academics, administrators, and students to the rich history of technology in education…” (p. 7). It sounds like it has important things to say to a wide audience involved in MOOCs and online education. Are you intrigued but feel less than eager to dive into a 230-page report? Or do you want a handy summary of some of the main findings? That’s why Class Central has produced this summary…but the reports are quite readable, so if these findings are of interest, please do dive into the reports, and the numerous sources that they draw upon.
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