What’s a mooc and why you should know and care!
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What’s a mooc and why you should know and care!



This talk will explain the basic concept of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and how one can learn, for free, and gain knowledge, together, with other learners. In this talk, Sarah Siegel and Khalid ...

This talk will explain the basic concept of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and how one can learn, for free, and gain knowledge, together, with other learners. In this talk, Sarah Siegel and Khalid Raza will share their experiences and discuss how MOOCs are revolutionizing the social learning sphere.



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  • Sarah: Welcome everyone to today’s Social HR, Lunch n learn session. Today my colleague and friend Khalid Raza and I will talk about MOOCs or Massive Online Open Courses. This is going to be an informal interactive conversation. We would appreciate your thoughts and comments in the chat. Howard along with us, will keep an eye on the chat. If you are on the phone, feel free to unmute your line and share your thoughts or questions… So let’s begin with Khalid sharing our agenda and the basics on MOOCs. [Next slide.]
  • Khalid: So here we begin… today, we will focus on explaining what is MOOC for the benefit of some of us who do not know the concept and then talk about its common characteristics… The major part of the session will a dialogue between Sarah and me, talking about our experiences as MOOC students and observers as Learning professionals. We will also look at the growth of MOOCs and if it is a viable option for organizations to adopt and if yes, how? [Next slide.]
  • Khalid: A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 during a course called “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” that was presented to 25 tuition-paying students in Extended Education at the University of Manitoba in addition to 2,300 other students from the general public who took the online class free of charge. We have embedded a video in the slide, which may not play now, but you can access it later. Link is mentioned below the video. This video by Dave Cormier explains MOOC in a very simple manner. [Next slide.]
  • Khalid: Traditional online courses charge tuition, carry credit and limit enrollment to a few dozen to ensure interaction with instructors. The MOOC, on the other hand, is usually free, credit-less and, well, massive. Because anyone with an Internet connection can enroll, faculty can’t possibly respond to students individually. So the course design — how material is presented and the interactivity — counts for a lot. As do fellow students. Classmates may lean on one another in study groups organized in their towns, in online forums or, the prickly part, for grading work. The evolving form knits together education, entertainment (think gaming) and social networking. Unlike its antecedent, open courseware — usually written materials or videotapes of lectures that make you feel as if you’re spying on a class from the back of the room — the MOOC is a full course made with you in mind. The medium is still the lecture. Thanks to Khan Academy ’s free archive of snappy instructional videos, MOOC makers have gotten the memo on the benefit of brevity: 8 to 12 minutes is typical. Then — this is key — videos pause perhaps twice for a quiz to make sure you understand the material or, in computer programming, to let you write code. Feedback is electronic. Teaching assistants may monitor discussion boards. There may be homework and a final exam. The learning comes gratis from an impressive roster of elites offering a wide range of courses, from computer science to philosophy to medicine. Not all are highbrow or technical; “Listening to World Music” from the University of Pennsylvania aims to broaden your iPod playlist. Let’s talk about our own experience with MOOCs so far. I’ll ask Sarah to start. [Next slide.]
  • Sarah: I think my favorite part of the experience was the incidental learning, and with such a massive number of classmates, there was bound to be an interesting range. By incidental learning, I mean the learning I did on the way to the intended learning. There was an amazing literary theorist who has a great blog, “Discourse Ate My Baby”, and the MOOCmate who ran a web-based, contemporary Chinese writing translation project intended to show the progressive writing coming out of China that people not fluent in Mandarin have no access to. My least favorite part was the zero student-teacher bonding…though I’ve been thinking lately that perhaps I need to grow up and be tougher next time I take a MOOC. It’s not realistic to hope for such a bond with a 61,000:1 student: teacher ratio. Khalid: But what if someone is a horrible grader? Coursera is developing software that will flag those who assign very inaccurate grades and give their assessment less weight. Mitchell Duneier, a Princeton professor, is conducting a study that compares peer grading of the final exam in his sociology MOOC on Coursera last summer with the grades he and his course assistants would have given the students.  The diversity of MOOC takers — teenagers to retirees, and from across the globe — means classmates lack a common knowledge base and educational background. Most important, what do you get for your effort? Do you earn a certificate? A job interview? Or just the happy feeling of learning something? “ If one is going for the knowledge, it’s a boon,” says Dr. Schroeder of the University of Illinois. “If one is looking for credit, that is one of the challenges. How do we fit this into the structure of higher education today?” The line between online and on campus is already blurring. One of the big points of debate is the dramatic student dropout rates from MOOCs (typically 85% – 95%) and what this means for their future development. http://mediacore.com/blog/is-the-95-mooc-dropout-rate-the-big-issue . [Next slide.]
  • Sarah: One of the most interesting stats is not even listed here and it’s the dropout rate, which so far, tends to be between 85% and 95%. Does that matter? Are students not learning if they audit and don’t opt to complete the course? It will be interesting over time to see if the number of MOOCs rises along with the demand for them. Also, will the trend of more students from beyond the United States continue? Or not once more universities from beyond the United States participate? I ask because I was especially glad that my MOOC was taught by professors from a university that I’d not likely have access to. Also, notice how technical, math and science courses are more common currently than Humanities courses. As artificial intelligence improves and computers are better able to evaluate essays, might that change? [Next slide.]
  • Sarah: This is the most interesting discussion, perhaps, for this audience – the implications of MOOCs for corporations and the tie-up opportunities they can lead to with premier universities. Let’s talk about each of these points. [Next slide.]
  • Thank you.

What’s a mooc and why you should know and care! What’s a mooc and why you should know and care! Presentation Transcript

  • © 2012 IBM Corporation1Sarah Siegel and Khalid Raza28 May 2013MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses)A new learning era..1
  • © 2013 IBM CorporationWe will talk about …• What is MOOC• Common characteristics of a MOOC• Experience sharing by Sarah and Khalid• The rise of MOOCs• MOOCs in corporate world?
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation3What is a MOOC?https://ibm.biz/Bdxh9XClick on this black box to playthe video and slide show modeOr go herehttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9XA Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an onlinecourse aiming at large-scale interactive participation andopen access via the web.
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation4Common characteristicshttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9E
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation5MOOCs are promising but there is a long way to go..Sarah SiegelBlog on MOOChttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9sSarah SiegelBlog on MOOChttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9sKhalid RazaBlog on MOOChttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9rKhalid RazaBlog on MOOChttps://ibm.biz/Bdxh9rThe contentdid not stretchmeRelished a rangeof incidentallearningopportunitiesEngaged in astimulating livechatHad funexperimenting withthe creation of my“digital artefact”experienced nostudent-teacherbondingThe sheerexperience isphenomenalHelped evaluatemy ownunderstandingand learn fromothersAllows acommunity-typelearning modelThe onus is on thestudent. Youdecide if you aresuccessful or notexperienced nostudent-teacherbonding
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation6https://ibm.biz/Bdxh9j
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation7• To attract talent from the wider world• To up-skill talent within the organization, e.g., micro-MOOCs• As a means of developing eminence, e.g., tagged upon graduation• As a filter for career movement, e.g., part of STSM package.MOOCs in corporate world?
  • © 2013 IBM Corporation8