"U" in user-agreement
If you have ever hastily scrolled through and electronically signed a user agreement (e.g., wireless Internet access, credit-card application, or loan application), you are probably familiar with some of the soul-crushing discourse in user agreements/terms-of-service statements for major MOOC providers. And although it is common to disregard such agreements because they take too long to read or because they seem to require a law degree to understand, we contend that language in such agreements sheds light on underlying attitudes about participation and the intended role of students in some MOOCs. It is important to note that regardless of whether the treatment of participation is diverse, refined, or progressive in individual course syllabi, the terms of service/user agreements created by MOOC providers trump, in a sense, the policies of individual courses. Thus, it is worthwhile to examine more closely the rhetoric of participation in these contexts. Doing so reveals the complex relationship between attitudes about participation and the presumed role of students in online learning environments.
[Go to "User" and user-experience]