Why do ECO sMOOC rely on learner interactions?

The ECO project has described an innovative pedagogical framework that should benefit in particular the learners enrolling in sMOOCs. What are sMOOCs? sMOOCs are social in that the learner learns from and with others by interacting with other participants, by not only exchanging and sharing knowledge, information, but also creating new knowledge through interaction and discussion. sMOOCs are seamless because they transgress borders found in traditional education: they integrate with learners’ real life experiences, and are accessible from a multiple platforms.

ECO sMOOCs are seen as part of the Open Education movement. Therefore, they are intended to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning and provide participants with a reasonable chance of success in education. This implies ‘openness’ in the sense not only of no financial cost, but also open accessibility, open licensing policy, freedom of place, pace and time of study, open entry, and open pedagogy.

ECO sMOOCs rely on a flexible pedagogical framework with a focus on networked and ubiquitous learning as the only means to deal with the number of students enrolling and to deal with the personalised learning objectives of these learners and to allow MOOC designers to design their courses flexibly in a variety of ways to meet pedagogical requirements. The learner is put central and enters the sMOOC to meet his personal learning objectives. Leaners learn by interacting with others, by being active in situated, authentic tasks. The teacher is there to facilitate the process, not to act as knowledge provider in a one-way knowledge transfer mode.