While massive open online courses (MOOCs) garnered plenty of attention at the beginning of the decade, initial findings about their value have been disappointing. In particular, only a narrow range of participants appear to be successful in completing and passing these unmonitored courses: white, educated, affluent males. One prominent Catholic scholar, Jonathan Malesic, went as far as saying that the very nature of MOOCs does not align with Catholic teachings of learning through social interaction, adapting to the needs of the learner, and teaching (i.e., successfully) the masses. Further, by extension, he applied these criticisms to online learning in general. This article examines these criticisms, describes how these problems are present in K-12 online learning, and gives examples of how these issues are mitigated. The article concludes with ideas for using the online learning medium to promote Catholic and Christian values.
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Barbour, M. K., Siko, J. P., Beadle, M., & Bitgood, G. (2019). Schism or Communion? A Discussion of the Morality of Online Learning through a Christian/Catholic Lens. Journal of Catholic Education, 22 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.15365/joce.2201092019