MOOCS - Which Way Now?


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Presentation on the main points raised at MOOCS - Which Way Now? A one day event hosted by the Association for Learning Technology MOOC Special Interest Group

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  • This was a one day event run by the Association for Learning Technology MOOC Special Interest Group
    For those that don’t know MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course
    This brief presentation will focus on a few of the main themes of the day
  • Are MOOCs delivering what they promised?
    One of the main discussions focused on whether MOOCs have brought about the change in delivering education that they promised to
    They were touted as a way to solve problems such as the global demand for education, the shortage of teachers and the prohibitive cost of student loans. Whilst they are certainly succeeding on providing education at scale this is not the only metric we should be concerned about
    Research shows that most of those who take MOOCs already have a university education so we need to ask whether we are just adding to the skills of those who already have an education rather than widening opportunities for those who might need a different routes into education
    The openness of MOOCs is not just about making sure that that people can access education on a global scale, but about making sure that we are broadening the reach of education to those who might not otherwise be able to access it e.g. Those who dropped out of school at an early age or those for whom tradition education was not possible
    Another key question raised is whether MOOCS are closing or widening the digital divide – not everyone is able to access education in this way
    Measuring the success of MOOCs has traditionally concentrated on the number of people that sign up or complete the course but maybe measurement should concentrate on the meaningful impact that they make to people’s lives and education
    Learning with MOOCs should be social, informal and about discussion; otherwise all they are doing is e-enabling traditional learning rather than transforming it

  • Benefits of developing MOOCs:
    MOOCs can help to enhance the reputation of the teacher and institution but only if done well. Anyone creating a MOOC needs to be prepared to invest the time
    Developers talked about the fact that there is a steep learning curve involved in creating and running a MOOC but it also left them with many valuable transferable skills in teaching and technology
    Also highlighted was the fact that building a MOOC can bring those involved together – not just the student and the teacher but it can also result in stronger cross faculty relationships. There may be an opportunity for libraries here as we have technical skills and knowledge about selecting appropriate information that would be useful in developing a MOOC
    Although MOOCs cost money to develop they don’t have to break the bank. Creators have discovered that students prefer “home made” videos recorded on webcams or mobile phones to big budget videos. The other advantage is that these are easy to update if needed
  • Community
    There was much talk about the community nature of MOOCs
    We need to stop thinking about MOOCs as courses and start thinking of them as ways to connect communities
    In fact MOOC learners cite membership of a community of people with similar interests as one of the perks of the format
    Mini-MOOCs are courses designed to promote online collaborative innovation. The example given was courses run for teachers on learning resources. Most of the activity was in the forums where participants discussed different tools and how they used them
    When running a MOOC, creators want to get people to contribute to the discussion and share their ideas – this way both participants and educators can learn
    Interest-driven learning is important here – teach participants what they want to learn about and they will come. Don’t just teach what you think they need to know
    Learning shouldn’t be like broadcasting, it needs to be a two way interaction. MOOCs can help to address this IF they are designed in the right way
  • Conclusion
    MOOCs offer opportunities for all involved – student, teacher and developer
    They key is to create a community of learners who can then take their knowledge forward, expand on it and create new knowledge as a result
    MOOCs can do this by expanding beyond traditional methods and making learning an interactive conversation – one that librarians need to take an active part it
    CLICK Thanks
  • MOOCS - Which Way Now?

    1. 1. MOOCs – Which Way Now? Association for Learning Technology MOOC Special Interest Group June 2014
    2. 2. Are MOOCs delivering what they promised? •Mostly taken by those with a university education •Need to broaden the reach of education, not just access to it •Digital divide – do MOOCs help to close it or widen it? •Need to concentrate on the meaningful impact MOOCs make on lives rather than the number of people signed up •Are MOOCs e-enabling traditional education rather than transforming it?
    3. 3. Benefits of developing MOOCs •Can enhance the reputation of both teacher and institution •Develop transferable skills •Brings people together – can be useful for building relationships with other departments and faculties • Creating a MOOC doesn’t have to break the bank – webcams and phones can film videos, websites can be easily created
    4. 4. Creating a community •Need to stop thinking about MOOCs as courses and start thinking about them as ways to connect communities •MOOC learners cite community membership as a perk of taking part •Mini-MOOCs can promote online collaborative innovation •MOOCs should enable people to share their ideas – that way everyone can learn •Teach people what they want to learn, not what you want them to learn •Learning is not broadcasting – needs to be a two way system
    5. 5. Thanks!