Welcome to the “More Than a Moment” web site– and some recent MOOC/OPM/Online Ed News

I’m proud to announce that my book More Than A Moment: Contextualizing the Past, Present, and Future of Massive Open Online Courses is in production and will be coming out later in 2019 from Utah State University Press and/or University of Colorado Press (I still am not quite sure what the distinction is since they’ve merged). This is a project that has been in the works for almost four years, and I’m obviously excited to see it come out. 

I decided to start a web site/blog specifically connected to the book for two reasons. First, the reality is authors of small and academic books like this one have to be willing and able to do their own marketing efforts via things like this, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And really, I think that’s true for all but the most major of major books published nowadays.

Second and more important, the speed of changes and developments in MOOCs, OPMs, and online pedagogy radically outpace the speed of academic publishing. This is not the first time I’ve experienced this. The book of essays I co-edited, Invasion of the MOOCs, came out in 2014, just after the “MOOC Moment” was about over. Our intention to capture the zeitgeist of the moment of MOOCs just missed it by a couple of months and it became more of a “recent history.” 

In hindsight, the time it has taken me to research, write, and revise More Than A Moment has turned out to be a good thing. The working title of this book was MOOCs in Context because my central argument is MOOCs were not a completely new/unprecedented/from-out-of-nowhere innovation in distance education. Rather, MOOCs were (and still are) part of the “context” of distance education in the U.S. in terms of the history of previous innovations, the student experience, and the faculty experience. A lot of my initial research and blogging about MOOCs began in 2012 during the height of the so-called “year of the MOOC.” But the idea MOOCs would upend everything as we know it in Higher Education pretty much ended by 2015, and by 2017, even senior management at the big for-profit providers said “MOOCs were dead.” So in a way, the “story” I tell in this book about the context of MOOCs conveniently has a beginning and an end.

But as the new title More than a Moment hopefully suggests, there’s more to this story because while MOOCs are no longer the “disruptive threat” promised us by educational entrepreneurs and media pundits, their influence continues. A few simple examples: I end the book with a discussion about how MOOCs have thrived outside of the realm of higher ed (there are more people registered for MOOCs right now than are registered for more traditional community college/proprietary school/college/university courses right now), how MOOC providers have pivoted toward training programs, the rise of online graduate studies, and about the role of Online Program Management (OPMs) firms. So the “moment” ain’t over yet.

The problem is I finished the manuscript for the book in early October 2018 and the book isn’t going to come out for another eight or nine months. And, of course, print is fixed for better or worse.

So my goal here is to promote and to update. I’ll share more information about the book and the process as the publication date nears (and I am sure I will update the look of this web site to better reflect what the book actually looks like once I know that!), and I will share/comment on some news about MOOCs, Online Education, OPMs, and other stuff related to this project as I come across it. 

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