Instruction does not equate to learning. This is the fundamental fly in the ointment of instructional design, and the epistemological failing of learning management systems and most MOOC platforms, Hybrid Pedagogy reports. Learning, unfortunately, is something no instruction has ever quite put its finger on, and something that no methodology or approach can guarantee. Instead, pedagogical praxis creates roads along which learning may take place (along with plenty of other experiences); and assessment is merely a system of checkpoints along the way to evaluate how well the road, the vehicle, and the driver are cooperating. In other words, assessment doesn’t measure learning. Assessment measures the design of the instruction. According to old systems of instruction, massive open online courses are no different from other forms of online learning (which are no different from correspondence courses). They are click-to-read-the-next-lesson environments that guide readers/students down a specific path where information (in the guise of learning material) has been contained so that it may be mastered. Learning is meant to happen in coordinated steps, and as long as preconceived outcomes appear to be met, it’s a supposed win-win for students and teachers.

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