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Facilitated MOOC support – closed bubbles in a sea of openness by Gabi Witthaus (University of Birmingham)


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Facilitated MOOC support – closed bubbles in a sea of openness by Gabi Witthaus (University of Birmingham)

  1. 1. Facilitated MOOC support – closed bubbles in a sea of openness By Gabi Witthaus MOONLITE Webinar, 14 May 2018 Photo by David Chao on Flickr, CC-BY-SA:
  2. 2. Overview • Wrapped MOOCs 1: Connecting local learners to global learning opportunities • Wrapped MOOCs 2: Bringing specific MOOCs to local learners • Cascading MOOCs • Discussion • MOOC support for refugees • Discussion
  3. 3. Connecting local learners to global learning opportunities • Coursera Learning Hubs, e.g.: • IDCourserians community in Indonesia (Firmansyah & Timmis, 2016) • US Dept of State supports Coursera Learning Hubs globally (Coursera, 2015) • P2P University Learning Circles, e.g.: • Chicago Public Library (P2P, No date) • Public libraries bordering Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya (Damasceno, 2017) • Swedish universities piloting Study Circles: • Aim is to provide a learning space serving local students, but connected to many universities around the world (Norberg et al., 2015) • iLab technology hub in Liberia • Support for learners in choosing and completing MOOCs (Madaio et al., 2016)
  4. 4. Bringing specific MOOCs to local learners • MOOC providers offering local support in different locations, e.g.: • University of Wisconsin-Madison partnered with 21 public libraries around Climate Change MOOC (Ackerman et al., 2016) • Third parties providing local support: • Rlabs in South Africa using UCT’s Changemaker MOOC (Sonday, 2016)
  5. 5. Cascading MOOCs • UWC (South Africa) – cascaded a professional training programme in HR for Health to 3 African states (Amde et al., 2014) • Laurillard & Kennedy (2017) – propose that local teachers participate in MOOCs and cascade them to their own learners
  6. 6. Discussion Photo by Jannis on Flickr, CC-BY:
  7. 7. MOOC support for refugees • EU Report on Free Digital Learning for refugees – many resources available (Colucci et al., 2017) • Jesuit Commons – piloted face-to-face learning in multiple locations (Crea 2015) • CARE - weekly MOOC screenings in a refugee camp in Jordan (Bokai, 2017) • University of Geneva INZONE – support for online learning in refugee camps (University of Geneva, 2017) • Kiron Open Higher Education in Germany – online and offline support (Suter & Rampelt, 2017)
  8. 8. MOOC support for refugees - challenges and successes • Issues arising: • Challenges are technical, linguistic and cultural (Moser-Mercer, 2014) • Women’s access to resources often restricted (Dahya & Dryden-Peterson, 2017) • Successes: • Increased online retention and success for refugees supported by Kiron in Germany (Suter & Rampelt, 2017)
  9. 9. Discussion Image by Gillie Rhodes on Flick, CC-BY-NC::
  10. 10. References • Ackerman, S., Mooney, M., Morrill, S., Morrill, J., Thompson, M. and Balenovich, L. K. (2016) ‘Libraries, massive open online courses and the importance of place’, New Library World, 117(11/12), pp. 688–701. doi: 10.1108/NLW-08-2016-0054. • Amde, W. K., Sanders, D. and Lehmann, U. (2014) ‘Building capacity to develop an African teaching platform on health workforce development: A collaborative initiative of universities from four sub Saharan countries’, Human Resources for Health, 12(1), pp. 1–11. doi: 10.1186/1478-4491-12-31. • Bokai, D. (2017) Insights from using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Refugee Camps, OpenIDEO. Available at: • Colucci, E., Smidt, H., Devaux, A., Vrasidas, C., Safarjalani, M. and Castaño Muñoz, J. (2017) Free Digital Learning Opportunities for Migrants and Refugees: An Analysis of Current Initiatives and Recommendations for their Further Use. Luxemburg. doi: 10.2760/684414. • Coursera (2014) New Learning Hubs Locations Hosted by The New York Public Library and Seven Other International Partners Coursera Blog. Available at: (Accessed: 24 February 2018) • Coursera (2015) Coursera Learning Hubs, Coursera. Available at: (Accessed: 24 February 2018). • Crea, T. M. (2015) ‘Higher education for refugees: Lessons from a 4-year pilot project’, International Review of Education. Springer Netherlands, 61(2), pp. 229–239. doi: 10.1007/s11159-015-9484-y. • Dahya, N. and Dryden-Peterson, S. (2017) ‘Tracing pathways to higher education for refugees: the role of virtual support networks and mobile phones for women in refugee camps’, Comparative Education. Taylor & Francis, 53(2), pp. 284–301. doi: 10.1080/03050068.2016.1259877. • Damasceno, C. S. (2017) ‘Massive Courses Meet Local Communities: An Ethnography of Open Education Learning Circles’. Raleigh, NC, pp. 1–192. • Firmansyah, M. and Timmis, S. (2016) ‘Making MOOCs meaningful and locally relevant? Investigating IDCourserians—an independent, collaborative, community hub in Indonesia’, Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 11(11), pp. 1–23. doi: 10.1186/s41039-016-0032-6.
  11. 11. • Laurillard, D. and Kennedy, E. (2017) The potential of MOOCs for learning at scale in the Global South. 31. London. • Madaio, M. A., Grinter, R. E. and Zegura, E. W. (2016) ‘Experiences with MOOCs in a West-African Technology Hub’, Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development - ICTD ’16, pp. 1–4. doi: 10.1145/2909609.2909633. • Moser-Mercer, B. (2014) ‘MOOCs in fragile contexts’, in Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2014. Lausanne: eLearning Papers, Open Education Europa, pp. 114–121. • Moser-Mercer, B., Hayba, E. and Goldsmith, J. (2016) ‘Higher education spaces and protracted displacement: How learner-centered pedagogies and human-centered design can unleash refugee innovation’, in 2016 UNESCO Chair Conference on Technologies for Development: from Innovation to Social Impact. Lausanne. • Nelimarkka, M. and Vihavainen, A. (2015) ‘Alumni & Tenured Participants in MOOCs: Analysis of Two Years of MOOC Discussion Channel Activity’, in L@S ’15: Proceedings of the Second (2015) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale. Vancouver, pp. 85–93. doi: 10.1145/2724660.2724671. • Norberg, A., Händel, Å. and Ödling, P. (2015) ‘Using MOOCs at learning centers in Northern Sweden’, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 16(6), pp. 137–151. doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v16i6.2035. • P2PU (no date) P2PU Learning Circles, P2PU. Available at: (Accessed: 18 February 2018). • Rambe, P. and Moeti, M. (2017) ‘Disrupting and democratising higher education provision or entrenching academic elitism: towards a model of MOOCs adoption at African universities’, Educational Technology Research and Development. Springer US, 65(3), pp. 631–651. doi: 10.1007/s11423- 016-9500-3. • Sonday, A. (2016) New RLabs cafe brings the Social Innovation MOOC to the community, UCT MOOCs Blog. Available at: (Accessed: 18 February 2018). • Suter, R. and Rampelt, F. (2017) ‘Digital Solutions for Alternative Routes Into Higher Education – Possibilities and Challenges of Digital Teaching and Learning Scenarios for Refugees: First Results From the Integral2 Project’, in Proceedings of EDULEARN17 Conference 3rd-5th July 2017, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 4640–4645. doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2024. • University of Geneva InZone. (2017) MOOCs4Peace Center [Online]. Available from: africa/moocs4peace-center/.
  12. 12. Contact Gabi Witthaus Blog: E-mail: Twitter: @twitthaus