MOOCs: Opportunity or Threat?

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To answer this, we need to consider student numbers,finance, and active learning. All three factors are relevant, but our focus in this presentation is on enhancing active learning in MOOCs. We sketch out the main options that allow us to do that.

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MOOCs: Opportunity or Threat?

  1. 1. Numbers? / $? / Active Learning? MOOCs: opportunity or threat? … where do we start?
  2. 2. Formal Higher Education Courses & Research … has traditionally been based in
  3. 3. Closed Peer Groups (pre-internet) Formal Higher Education Courses & Research … all of which is now embedded in
  4. 4. Closed Peer Groups Open Networks (internet-based) Formal Higher Education Courses & Research
  5. 5. MOOCs
  6. 6. MOOCs Massive emergent learning
  7. 7. MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning
  8. 8. MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Open research
  9. 9. PRS on steroids MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Open research Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media
  10. 10. PRS on steroids MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Open research Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media
  11. 11. PRS on steroids MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Open research Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Prescriptive Courses
  12. 12. PRS on steroids MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Hangouts Open research Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Prescriptive Courses
  13. 13. PRS on steroids MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Massive emergent learning Hangouts Open research Open Courses Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Prescriptive Courses
  14. 14. PRS on steroids Nested within a MOOC MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Formal Courses Massive emergent learning Hangouts Open research Open Courses Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Prescriptive Courses Tasters
  15. 15. PRS on steroids Nested within a MOOC MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Formal Courses Massive emergent learning Hangouts Open research Open Courses Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Research Beta’s Prescriptive Courses Tasters
  16. 16. PRS on steroids Nested within a MOOC MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Formal Courses Massive emergent learning APL / WBLExams Certificate of Completion Hangouts Open research Open Courses Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Research Beta’s Prescriptive Courses Tasters
  17. 17. PRS on steroids Nested within a MOOC MOOCs Massive prescriptive learning Formal Courses Massive emergent learning Accreditation APL / WBLExams Certificate of Completion Hangouts Open research Open Courses Social Media Open Curricula & Outcomes Novices Practitioners Intermediate Fixed Curricula & Outcomes Interactive Media Research Beta’s Prescriptive Courses Industry CPD Univ. Tasters
  18. 18. Open research wiki: http://footprints-of-emergence.wikispaces.com/
  19. 19. Narrative … This presentation was given at the Faculty of Technology’s Teaching and Learning Conference in June 2013, at Portsmouth University. Slide 1: Active Learning MOOCs can be seen as either an opportunity or a threat. Before we answer that, we need to think through the issues, and for that, we need to decide where to start: the numbers of students, the money, or active learning? Ideally we should consider all three, but if we have to choose, we should start with enhancing active learning, and that is the focus of this presentation. Slides 2-4: Open Networks Networking in closed peer groups has always been part of higher education and research, ever since the beginnings of the Royal Society in the 17th Century. What’s new is that these peer groups, as well as teaching and learning, are now embedded in open networks and open research. In a sense we are all e-learners and networked learners now; the question is just how we are we going to use it.
  20. 20. Slides 5-10 Basic Choices MOOCs are massive, open and online. There are two basic choices: do you want to run a massive prescriptive learning event, in which process and outcomes are tightly specified (and ‘closed’), or a massive emergent learning event, in which process and outcomes are, precisely, open and somewhat unpredictable? Active prescriptive learning requires interactive media, and real-time individual (or group) feedback – e.g. using what could be called PRS (personal response systems) ‘on steroids’. Within the limits of prescribed learning, it can deliver large numbers of students, and fixed outcomes in a fixed curriculum. It does not require social media, although it can very usefully be supplemented and enriched by the use of them. Active emergent learning is open in a much broader sense. It requires extensive use of social media and interaction between learners, but also some form of facilitation or moderation. It can yield open, emergent learning, and even an open, emergent curriculum. It relates to, and interacts naturally with, open research.
  21. 21. Slides 11- 15: Extended Options Emergent learning MOOCs can be approached in two basic ways: i) as Hangouts (at three different levels), to get to learn something about a topic or a course, or people with similar interests, without any onus on them to complete the course, or ii) as Open Courses, with the intension of completing the whole course. Prescriptive learning has implicit expectations of course completion, although this too is not a requirement. Prescriptive courses don’t really function as hangouts, but they can function as taster courses. In addition, there is a useful hybrid option, combining features of Open (MOOC) Courses and traditional HE courses (whether on-campus or on-line): ‘Nested Courses within a MOOC’. These link a formal HE course with a broader community of interest such as the relevant professional community for that topic or subject.
  22. 22. Slides 11- 15: Extended Options (cont.) And there is one further variation, which is a ‘Research Beta’ Emergent learning MOOC, in which emergent research ideas are tested and developed collaboratively. The expectation would be that it would be a ‘serious hangout’ (yet another hybrid form), of established practitioners, although not exclusively so. All of these variants overlap to some extent. All MOOCs, insofar as they are ‘open’, can be used in a variety of ways. Slides 16-17: Accreditation MOOCs generally offer ‘certificates of completion’ (or even ‘badges’ for micro- components, or micro-MOOCs). These are, in themselves, of little value in traditional accreditation terms. Because of the basic problems with online identity validation, these have little currency in the accreditation market .
  23. 23. Slides 16-17: Accreditation (cont.) However, there are two accreditation options: i) Examination centers have for years been provided for distance education, and could be expanded for MOOCs, and ii) Accreditation of Prior Learning – APL can be obtained, most effectively through ‘work-based learning’ (or ‘learning at work’) programmes, provided by several UK Universities, such as Portsmouth. These can lead to formal University credits and, potentially, to credits for industry and professional CPD credits.
  24. 24. And finally, there is an open research wiki on emergent learning, including design, research and evaluation, here.

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