MOOCs,Open Education andImplications forOnline Schooling forMiddle School/High School StudentsKristin GorskiTeachers College, Columbia UniversityMay 1, 2011
What is a MOOC?Its a Massive Open Online Course. Term coined by Dave Cormier, Web Technology Specialist at University of Prince Edward Island, Canada Video: “What is a MOOC?” Click on image to view.Related video:“Success in a MOOC”
Connectivism & decentralizationMOOCs are based on theories ofconnectivism and decentralizationFrom “Places to Go: Connectivism & Connective Knowledge” by Stephen Downes,Innovate http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=668Connectivism – “a form of knowledge and a pedagogy based on the idea that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections and that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.”Connectivism makes MOOCs work—“More importantly, connectivism, as a theory, focuses on autonomy and diversity in networks. It is through the interaction of different sets of perspectives that a community can arrive at new knowledge. As James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, argues in a podcast for Research Talk, "Diversity expands the range of information that a group has available to it . . . . much of the time, groups dont necessarily know in advance what tools or perspectives are really going to be valuable in solving a problem" (Surowiecki & Warren, 2006). Encouraging participants to make their own choices about what they read helps them develop unique perspectives that they can bring to the conversation.”
CCK08 — Setting the stageThe first MOOC — Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) courseDates: 12 weeks, running September-December, 2008Participants: 24 learners took for credit, 2200 non-credit registered participants (150 remained active)Tools: Wiki – used to start the course Elluminate conference sessions Moodle space PageFlakes aggregator course newsletter “The Daily” (created using gRSShopper) course mailing list (via Google Groups) Twitter (follow the cck08 account and use #cck08)Initial Response: Information overload can be very overwhelming: “over 1000 posts in Introductions forum from 560 participants” (Mak, Williams, & Mackness, 2010)Once participants found their own networks, they engaged. Some subcommunities formed in Second Life to find meaning. Extremely high drop-out rate. (Mak, Williams, & Mackness, 2010).
CCK08 — Some findingsFrom Antonio Fini — “The technological dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The case of the CCK08 course tools”Participants: Adults “not concerned about course completion”; informal learnersProblems encountered: ° Time constraints (especially for synchronous Elluminate sessions) ° Language barriers (global attendance, course materials in English only) ° Participant skill level affected interaction with ICTs and toolsRecommendations: ° Providing more information about tools needed to participate ° Better communication with participants and freedom of tool usage (their choice)Further research: ° Looking at their effectiveness, are MOOCs work the time and effort? ° The sustainability of course and facilitator workload ° “Daily email digest chosen over direct interaction with the forums” (how best to process information in an open network)
Im taking a MOOC! What is it? MobiMOOC (on mobile learning) Date and length: 6 weeks; April-May, 2011 Homebase: Wiki and Google Groups Leader: Inge de Waard, eLearning Coordinator, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium Facilitators: Andy Black, Judy Brown, Inge de Waard, David Metcalf,Members stats: 553 participants John Traxler, Niall All over the world Winters 3 types—lurking, moderately active, memorably (self-chosen) Goals: Determined by each *Click on image to go to site. participant
MobiMOOC11: Global reach Sean Abajian, a “memorably active” participant, Teacher Adviser, EdTech consultant, and ESL teacher created a crowdmap of Tweets, messages and emails to geo-locate MobiMOOC participants. Click on map to go directly to the interactive website. Email Sean.Abajian@gmail.com for more information.
Created a MobiMOOC survey Why a survey? Im learning a lot. Im enjoying the discussions. I think MS/HS students can learn in open, “free school” type settings. Could this work for them? Curious! Survey design: SurveyMonkey digital survey, 9 questions Publicized: In discussion forum (see image at left; click on it to go to discussion thread) Dates: April 25-30, 2011 Response: 20 respondents Resulting interviews: 1 MOOC leader and 3 participants (representing each type)
Results: Past MOOCs, teachersHave you ever participated in a MOOC before? (All 20 answered question) Response Response Percent CountYes 45.0% 9No 55.0% 11If “yes,” what MOOCs were they? (9 provided answers) – PLENK 2010 – CCK 2011 – CCK 2010 – CCK 2009 – LAKAre you a teacher? (All 20 answered question.) Response Response Percent CountYes 60% 12No 40% 8
Why participate?Multiple choice + open-ended “Other” Other (please specify) [some responses]: “To learn more about mLearning - I have already done a fair amount of work in this field.” “Next semester in the Uni of Manitoba certification program in Emerging Technologies for Learning, I am taking a three month course for credit in mobile learning and I wanted a head start.” “I am keen to keep up with technology as it changes.”
What are you learning? Open-ended questionWhat an amazing and diversesubject this is. Ive been I am learning about what peopleinterested in mobile learning I have learned a lot about the across the world are doing infor over 5 years and it seems use of mLearning in Africa - and mLearning.that it is starting to grow. how we can adapt this to rural communities in BC. New projects, new studies on mobile learning. İ learnt different I came in most interested in learning how mobile learning is applications and softwares impacting users in countries that I would categorize as "less- names. developed" technologically than the U.S., as well as collecting resources for how mobile learning is being used in classrooms (both K12 & Higher Ed). Im finding that there are some pretty sophisticated uses out in the field—medical training, etc.—and that teachers are struggling with many of Ive gotten some ideas for different uses for the same questions about how to use mobile devices in their using mobile devices in the classroom. Ive classrooms/curriculum. also found several blogs that Im going to follow.I am learning primarily of some best practices in I am learning that there are some incredibly smartterms of project management and about a fairly people who have substantial knowledge on the subject,energetic community. Many of the applied examples and are very willing to share their knowledge through aI was aware of previously, but I love the variety of ways. I am also learning about mobile learningcollaborations as it captures the spirit of online and what it is, and different ways it is being utilized. I amwork. Group dynamics via mobile learning. learning that mLearning can be both informal and formal, and is used in many different fields.
MobiMOOC participant “type”From the MobiMOOC wikispaces section on "Learning Actions”:3 different types of participant learner:1. lurking participant: follow the course, read forums, go through the resources, watch videos/listen to audios posted2. moderately active participant: choose 1 or 2 topics (of 6 weeks) and engage in the conversation with everyone involved.3. memorably active participant: engage actively in 4 of 6 weeks (lurk the other 2 weeks to keep up on discussions); start a topic thread each of those weeks; respond to others; write blog posts; post idea and work on an mLearning project (due at end of 6 weeks) – Lots of involvement = Benefits: participation certificate, book on how to set up a MOOC, feedback from experts and peers on mLearning projectSurvey ?: For this MobiMOOC, what type of participant are you? (All 20 answered.) Response Response Percent CountLurking 20.0% 4Moderately active 60.0% 12Memorably active 20.0% 4
MOOCs for undergrads: “Lurking” learnerBibiana Jou, university lecturer in Spanish, Tel Aviv, Israelemail interview – April 26, 2011Q: From the "lurking" perspective (based on your own experience with this and the past MOOC), could your undergraduate students benefit from a "lurking" approach to a MOOC? If so, is there a best way students should "lurk" to get the most information/best experience out of a MOOC?A: I think that most of my students could benefit from a lurking perspective on MOOC. It is a great way to get ideas, resources, contacts... and to get a general idea of concepts/subjects that you are not too familiar with. At the same time, they wouldnt feel the pressure to participate, just whenever they would be ready or only if they wanted. I am not sure what would be the best way to make the most out of their lurking experience, but maybe creating another forum/blog/wiki outside the MOOC, maybe in a less "threatening" environment, where they could share the links and ideas that they found more useful and explaining why to their classmates. Kind of creating a "private conversation" among themselves.
MOOC success: “Moderately active” learnerMichael Sean Gallagher, Outreach & Education Manager, Research & Teaching Environments at JSTORemail interview – April 28, 2011Q: What does it mean to you to be a "moderately active" participant?A: According to Inge, I am a memorable one, but a moderately active participant in my estimation is one who reads all the messages, maybe responds to one or two, and writes at least one blog post per week. I call myself moderate in this instance in that I am taking much more than I am giving (I think). I am learning quite a bit from the group and have zeroed in on a few threads that interest me.Q: How has the pacing been for you week to week in the MobiMOOC?A: Pacing is fine. I was familiar with the mooc format and generally heeded the advice of latching onto the bits most relevant to you. So, for example, I generally dont need to participate in the discussions of mobile in K-8; I try to skim them over, but not feel bad about it if I dont. Pacing is fine, although judging by the energy loss in Week 4, I am thinking 3 week mini-courses might be the best format. 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off, that sort of thing.Q: What will you take away from this MOOC?A: More than anything, community. It is nice to identify the people and some of the experimentation going on in the field. I respect a lot of these people very much and knew their work well before coming to this course (Inge, Niall Winters, John Traxler). So it was nice to work with them and put a face to a name, so to speak. So, predominantly, I will take away community and a sense of experimentation.I suspect a nice mini-course would be actual design of a mobile application/interface. Three weeks on taking this idea we proposed here and wireframing it. So, the MobiMOOC is successful in that is has me thinking of other complimentary MOOCs.
Project, design: “Memorably active” learnerSean Abajian, Teacher Adviser; Mentor with OTAN Technology Integration Academy (TIMAC) Cohort 7; EdTech Consultant; ESL teacheremail interview – April 28, 2011Q: What does it mean to you to be a "memorably active" participant?A: By Mobimooc standards it involved posting a new topic to the Google Group and responding with at least three relevant comments to other peoples posts – for 4 of the 6 weeks. For me it has meant actually designing, completing and field testing an mLearning project, and then getting to share that with others for feedback.Q: Is there anything about the general MOOC design that (a) works really well or (b) needs to be framed a different way? MOOCs are a great way for a lot of people to interact with experts in a specific field.A: Im not sure if Google Groups is the ideal space, but its very functional...one of the best ways to overcome being overwhelmed is reading the daily email digest...this is excellent. I think it would be great to have more of a control panel or dashboard that tells you more about whats going on, so you can attempt different approaches to pursuing info and connecting with people that are of particular interest to you. Some ways this was done: 1. the wikispaces page 2. http://paper.li/mobimooc 3. Twitter hashtag #mobimooc 4. https://www.facebook.com/mobimooc#!/home.php?sk=group_189711271074317 5. my http://mobimooc.crowdmap.com I think it would be nice to have a ubiquitous button that says "Overwhelmed? Click Here" and tips. Maybe on the Dashboard page could be a built-in chat, where people could ask questions, interact immediately with people.
Authentic learning: MobiMOOC leaderInge de Waard, eLearning Coordinator, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, BelgiumSkype interview – April 28, 2011Q: What inspired you to facilitate this?A: I had multiple goals: I thought it would be nice to have a course organized around mobile learning. I have a personal interest in looking at the methods for enabling lifelong learning in more informal ways. Also, I wanted to enable the participants to start learning from each other, so that they could exchange knowledge and make this group of specialists even stronger.Q: How did you connect with the weekly leaders?A: Ive met them all in person. They are specialists in mobile learning, and they are also really kind people and easy to relate to. Even though all have very busy schedules, they agreed to facilitate. Everybody is doing this on their own behalf – nobody is getting paid.Q: How would you develop a MOOC for middle school/high school students?A: I would start from the students interests because forming a MOOC is about keeping yourself motivated to fully engage in it. For teenagers, it would be a benefit to start with something they know. Its like David Metcalf described in his presentation on the MOOC, that it was so effective for teens to learn statistics through looking at sports. So while a MOOC could start by focusing on the interests of teenagers, it would then link to a domain without them really knowing that the domain is relevant.
MOOCs and MS/HS students: PossibilitiesQ: How could a MOOC format be used for middle school (ages 10-13) or high school (ages 14-18) students? (open-ended question)Survey answers:It would need to make use of the popular social media in the target group, whether FB or cell texting. It would also need to be on topics which appeal to the age level. This would result in peer-promotion, much more effective at engaging students than teacher promotion. It may contribute to success if the MOOC was developed around a game app.In a school district like Los Angeles Unified this could prove difficult, without some sort of walled-garden, because social media is widely blocked by internet filters.Literacy programs (choose your own adventure, second language learning, spelling, grammar) Social intelligence (choose your own adventures/identify consequences, reflect) Science/math (simulations, quizzes). I think overall you would need some buy in from the students rather than proceed completely with an open structure. It would have to be part of a larger curriculum (I think), but it would be stimulating to have students work outside their own schools/districts. Perhaps a mobile pen pal/group type approach. Students are assigned to groups to work on collective projects.For middle schoolers, it could be used in one of area of study; for example, math to help students discover different sources of information by having each student contribute resources. For high school students, I see a MOOC format being used in a similar way but maybe bridging across subjects to better connect them. For example, a MOOC that covers social studies and language arts. I think that older students might be able to bette handle more streams of information in a MOOC, i.e. Twitter, google group, Facebook etc. than the middle schoolers. Although my experience with younger ages is limited, and this may not be the case. Lastly, perhaps a MOOC format could be used by both age groups as an overarching backdrop to the entire years work. This would of course need participation from other teachers.
MS/HS students: Possibilities, continuedSurvey answers (continued):I think Wendy Drexler has the right idea. Shes very good at explaining how to scaffold so that younger students dont get lost in the midst of all the Personal Learning Networks, crazy MOOC experiences, etc. She has some info on a blog... http://teachweb2.blogspot.com/ and... She had this going.. PLEK12 - edg 693, Personal Learning Environments for Inquiry in K12 Course main page: http://community.education.ufl.edu/community/pg/pages/view/77059/ Weekly Content listed at: http://community.education.ufl.edu/community/pg/pages/view/76239 Thats a grad course - but its about using Personal Learning Environments for younger students - and I think a lot of what shes done with PLEs also applies to MOOCs (and shes been involved in those).The MOOC format appears to be a great way to engage learners of all ages in discussion, and since the open environment can encourage people to participate at many different levels, I think it opens the door for much wider participation than a more rigid, formal online discussion environment. The possibilities are endless ...It could link students for various regions — within local communities and countries.Kids use mobile technology anyway. To develop a structured approach to using this technology, it may help channel their energies in a more positive, productive way.I am not sure how it could be used, as I teach in a university and i dont know much about teaching in middle and high school. But Id love to implement some of the ideas and concepts creating a more flexible syllabus and blended experiences.This might need a considerable amount of policing or at least spelling out the rules of engagement, but yes, I think it would work and might encourage them to think about learning in a more informal and less structured school based fashion.
MOOCs for MS/HS students— ProsFrom Terry Anderson, Athabasca University — “Issues in OER”“A second open model known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is being developed by Individual faculty members (Fini, 2009) usually based on connectivist pedagogies (Siemens, 2005) and operating in networked as opposed to group models of learning (Dron & Anderson, 2007). MOOC network models (students develop, share and consume educational resources within a context of large networks as opposed to closed cohort groups) not only provide scalable and low cost learning, but they also produce an useful legacy as the persistence of an archive of contributions from previous classes serves as resource for future iterations of the class.”From Rory McGreal, Athabasca University — “Issues in OER”OER (open education resources principals): “Elearning should involve the completion of meaningful tasks” and “provide different routes to learning.”Provides more avenues for authentic interaction — Haavind (2006) discusses the importance of peer collaboration.Perhaps MOOCs could foster peer-to-peer interaction — because theyre based around authentic interests?
MOOCs for MS/HS students— ConsFrom Rita Kop -- “The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a Massive Open Online Course” in The International Review of Research in Open and Distance LearningShe looked at Critical Literacies (CritLit) (377 participants) and Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge (PLENK) (1610 participants).The format was similar to CCK08.Her findings:When starting the MOOC, participants...° Need to have a certain level of critical literacies (collaboration, creativity, flexibility)° Need to already be comfortable with the tools° Need to already be good at active learning° With aggregation, relation, creation, and sharing – people can still learn, even if not entirely skilled in all areas (creation is the most-time consuming, so most dont do it)Younger students may need a lot of skill training before MOOC participation; who will teach this? Some students already have extensive digital literacy skills (often from out-of-school); how do we get all students on equal skills footing?
MS/HS MOOC guidelinesThink of the end-users and design for their intellectual, emotional and social states:° Emphasize the opportunity to learn authentically° Must be structured (teacher acts as a facilitator)° Learners must be good at self-regulation (Is this a skill we need to teach?)° Must be short (1-2 weeks), so students can focus° Should be centered around an interest students are already extremely engaged in (self-selection = better results)° Get student feedback while in the MOOC; use it as a guide to improve user experience
Implications for online schooling of MS/HS studentsWhat do you think? As a teacher? A researcher? A parent? A life-long learner?How would your students handle the freedom, learning, connections to others, intensity, confusion, opportunity, engagement, flood of information, tech tools, flexibility?If there are benefits to participating in MOOCs, how do we set them up to succeed?A couple of closing thoughts: ° “I’ll confidently state that some view of learning as networked – whether conceived as connectivism or an alternative theory – is the future of education. It’s getting those details right that’s the problem…” — George Siemens, 2008 ° “I conclude with the words of John Dewey, who noted in 1916 that every expansive era in the history of mankind has coincided with the operation of factors which have tended to eliminate distance between peoples and classes previously hemmed off from one another (p. 100). As distance educators, we follow in this noble tradition of using our most technologically expansive of eras to reduce the social, technical, economic, and geographic distances that hem us off from one another.” — Terry Anderson, 2003
Areas of further researchStudents as consumers: What happens when the consumers are also the producers of the product – “produsage” (Bruns, 2008)? This is what happens in a MOOC.Who are the kinds of learners that do well in a MOOC? Is self-regulated learning a skill that can be cultivated/taught in traditional schools?Can a large open online network be successfully melded with a course format to create widespread, successful learning outcomes? (Mackness, Mak, & Williams, 2010)What combination of online tools produces the best online learning results? Take a look at gRSShopper (prototype personal learning environment (PLE)) (Downes, 2009)MOOC design/dealing with information overload – EduFeedr idea (Põldoja, 2010): “Technically EduFeedr is built as a plug-in for Elgg social networking engine. We decided to use Elgg because we have previous experience with the platform (Sillaots & Laanpere, 2009). EduFeedr works as a frontend, that displays aggregated course data from local database. Aggregating the blog posts and comments is handled by a separate web service component named EduSuckr.”
ReferencesAbajian, S. (2011, April 29). Personal communication (email interview).Anderson, T. (2003). Modes of interaction in distance education: Recent developments and research questions. Pp. 129-141. In The Handbook of Distance Education, M.G. Moore and W.G. Anderson, Eds. Mawah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Lang.de Waard, I. (2011, April 28). Personal communication (Skype interview).Downes, S. (2009, April 25). New technology supporting informal learning [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-technology-supporting-informal.html .Downes, S. (2008). Places to go: Connectivism & connective knowledge. Innovate. Retrieved fromhttp://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=668Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2007). Collectives, Networks and Groups in Social Software for E-Learning. Paper presented at the Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education Quebec Retrieved Feb. 2008 fromwww.editlib.org/index.cfm/files/paper_26726.pdfFini, A. (2009). The technological dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The case of the CCK08 course tools. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(5). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewArticle/643/1402Continued next page
References, continuedGallagher, M. S. (2011, April 28). Personal communication (email interview).Haavind, S. (2006, April 9). Key factors of online course design and instructor facilitation that enhance collaborative dialogue among learners. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA.Jou, B. (2011, April 26). Personal communication (email interview).Kop, R. (2011). The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a Massive Open Online Course. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/882/1689Mackness, J., Mak, S.F.J.M., & Williams, R. (2010). The ideals and reality of participating in a MOOC. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning 2010, Edited by: Dirckinck-Holmfeld L., Hodgson V., Jones C., de Laat M., McConnell D., & Ryberg T.Mak, S.F.J., Williams, R., & Mackness, J. (2010). Blogs and forums as communications and learning tools in a MOOC. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning 2010, Edited by: Dirckinck- Holmfeld L., Hodgson V., Jones C., de Laat M., McConnell D., & Ryberg T.Põldoja, H. (2010). EduFeedr: following and supporting learners in open blog-based courses. In Open ED 2010 Proceedings. Barcelona: UOC, OU, BYU.Siemens, G. (2008). MOOC or mega-connectivism course. Retrieved from http:ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?p=53Siemens, G. (2005). A learning theory for the digital age. Instructional Technology and Distance Education, 2(1), 3-10. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
More informationI put together this presentation for a class on Online Schools and Schooling at Teachers College, Columbia University in May 2011.If you have any questions or comments about it or the survey data, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Thank you to everyone in MobiMOOC2011 who so generously contributed their time and insights in answering this survey. Because of it, I have learned a lot and have been able to pass the MOOC and mLearning information and inspiration on to others.