Affordances for hybrid learning – the next learning architectures.
I was trying to get to grips with the question of what value MOOCs add to learning, and started by mapping it out in an analytic matrix for MOOCs against added value – and it struck me that this focus is quite wrong.

MOOCs are, in the classic McCluhan sense, extensions of the 'embodiedmind' (see Understanding Media: “the wheel is the extension of the foot”, which I would extrapolate to: language is the extension of the mind / hand/ arm; the gun is the extension of the stick (which is an extension of the arm, etc – a new theory of projected-haptics, technologically mediated affordances, and/or temes (Blackmore).

And 9/11 and military drones are the new archetypes – the reverse asymmetric answer to the smart bomb of the suicide bomber. The answer to the military hegemony of the USA is not to fight them from the outside, but from the inside – of their own civilian transport system – don’t just join them, get them to join you. Contrariwise, the answer to the suicide bomber is not to eliminate them, but to join them, to take them on at their own game, only smarter. The new SALT global peace negotiations will need to start from this premise / framework. (SALT could be reworded as the "Smart Arms Limitations Treaty", not the strategic arms limitations treaty).

The point? The point is that technologically mediated affordances are, in principle, inherently hybrids / mashups / technically mediated extrapolations of cross-modality, to “cross-affordality”. Don’t think technologies, think affordances, think shih (art of war) – think about what you can pull with you, and open out, not what you can push against, and close down.

So? So we should not be looking for the value added by MOOCs, i.e. between various existing modes of learning and new architectures of teaching and learning, but rather at new hybrid architectures themselves. Architectures are by definition hybrids; they are inherently cross-modal, and cross-affordal – they are designed to provide affordances for the whole range of Maslov’s needs – shelter, food, love, communality, entertainment, reproduction (social, sexual and manufacturing), aesthetics, sustainability / projection of power, etc.

Social media likewise – they are not hard-wired or soft-wired, they are reprogrammable media, hackable, mashupable – see the new photo-apps.

Two cases in point:
Advanced Data Structures, the computing course that was redesigned as a hybrid course – a ‘post-flipped’ classroom (created before the term ‘flipped’ was invented - see here ...), and the Stanford AI MOOCs’s i-lecture platform (interactive lectures) in late 2012. The point about both of these is not that they re-use, or transfer/ transcribe value from one mode to another (f2f to virtual), but rather that they create, in principle, a new cross-modal (and cross-affordal) hybrid, where value is distributed by dynamic re-versioning and cross-versioning.