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MOOCs for Professional Development: Transformative Learning Environments and Roles for LIS


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Dr. Michael Stephens participated on a panel discussing the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for professional development at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) 80th General Conference and Assembly, held in Lyon, France from Aug. 16, 2014 to Aug. 22, 2014. Stephens presented some of his findings from his ongoing research with The Hyperlinked Library MOOC. “The panel in France was also about the broader idea that large scale learning is something that information professionals should be using, and about how it supports professional development,” said Stephens. An assistant professor at the San Jose State University School of Information, Stephens teaches courses in the iSchool's exclusively online Master of Library and Information Science degree program.

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MOOCs for Professional Development: Transformative Learning Environments and Roles for LIS

  1. 1. MOOCs for Professional Development: Transformative Learning Environments and Roles for LIS Michael Stephens, PhD SJSU School of Information IFLA World Library and Information Congress 80th IFLA General Conference and Assembly 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France
  2. 2. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Learning
  3. 3. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 “Being adaptable in a flat world, knowing how to ‘learn how to learn,’ will be one of the most important assets any worker can have, because job churn will come faster, because innovation will happen faster,” writes Thomas Friedman in The World Is Flat.
  4. 4. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Learning Organization
  5. 5. Staff Development Days Conferences Webinars Workshops Training Departments
  6. 6. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 I’d argue for continuing staff development days, but I’d also urge administrators to promote a culture of learning all year long.
  7. 7. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Learning 2.0 Mobile 23 Things MOOCs
  8. 8. Confidence Comfort Willingness to explore
  9. 9. Tame the Web | Michael Stephens | SJSU SLIS | Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0
  10. 10.
  11. 11. cMOOC for LIS Professional Development Connectivist Theory
  12. 12. #hyperlibMOOC Background
  13. 13. Stephens, M. & Jones, K. M. L.(2014). “Emerging Roles: Key Insights from Librarians in a Massive Open Online Course,” proceedings of 16th Distance Library Services Conference, Denver, April 2014.
  14. 14. http://
  15. 15. The MOOC Structure • 10 modules of content over 12 weeks • Primary lectures provided by Michael & Kyle; guest lectures provided by leading professionals in the field • All course readings and media were open and accessible, including the textbook (Library 2.0: A guide to participatory service) • 11 LIS students–some from SJSU and some from other programs–worked as leaders of homerooms in which students were placed to support course logistics and act as a go-to resource for students 15
  16. 16. Statistics • 2 instructors • 9 guest lecturers • 363 registered students • 310 blogs • 10 homerooms • 3,929 blog comments posted • 3,788 instances of badges unlocked • 2,099 status updates • 1,246 public blog posts published • 80 Tribes (groups)
  17. 17. Recent Findings
  18. 18. Their Expectations Going In Students wanted to… • Understand MOOCs better: their design, their structure, our approach • See the LIS & MOOC connections: they wondered if MOOCs held any opportunity for their own institution and relationship to their professional practice • Take advantage of the convenience: in terms of time, duration, portability, and ease of access 20 ©
  19. 19. After #hyperlibMOOC • 53 participants earned certificates (15%) • Alumni formed Facebook groups • Meet ups & sharing on Twitter
  20. 20. 76% of survey respondents indicated that they felt successful.
  21. 21. Measuring Their Own Success Students spoke of their success in terms of… • Completion: they viewed all the lectures, read the materials, completed the assignments, and stuck with the course to the end • Interaction: they felt that they had engaged and interacted with their peers • Time: their lack of it interacted with their level of participation • Content: they felt they had knowledge of core concepts and models and could apply them in their professional setting 23 ©
  22. 22. Ideas
  23. 23. Networking
  24. 24. Self
  25. 25. Renewed Outlook
  26. 26. Roles for LIS Professionals
  27. 27. Reflecting on your MOOC experience, what roles do you think librarians might play within MOOCs?
  28. 28. Guide
  29. 29. For example, one respondent envisioned librarians as “learning mentors” in a MOOC, by acting as real-life educational resources, who would help students, through conversation and resource connection, understand the course’s concepts. Another respondent saw librarians supporting MOOCs with “resources, space, and additional materials” to aid student learning.
  30. 30. Access Provider
  31. 31. Same role“we play in supporting all learners– connecting them with materials and support that will help them achieve their educational goals.”
  32. 32. Creator
  33. 33. Libraries are places “of learning [that are] only going to grow,” and creating MOOCs seems like a part of that natural evolution. By running and hosting MOOCs, librarians could create learning environments tailored to the needs of their communities.
  34. 34. Instructor
  35. 35. Librarians, to one respondent, have a professional inclination to teach, which makes them an asset to MOOCs “as a course leader or as a contributing voice.”
  36. 36. Learner
  37. 37. “Librarians would be well-served to participate in MOOCs to gain understanding of that type of learning experience as well as information presented for their own professional growth.”
  38. 38. Implications
  39. 39. Emerging Thematic Areas • Large scale professional development can engage, educate, and enhance current continuing education models. • The learning platform matters: participatory and connected design results in increased opportunities for professional networking and information sharing. © • This model, after further refinement, could be replicated for other courses and initiatives. It offers a low cost means to create professional development learning communities, and it could be adopted by other LIS programs, organizations, and consortia for similar educational purposes. 43
  40. 40. Potential Benefits • Large scale professional development offers global opportunities for networking and sharing. • Learning is active and production-centered, and groups may work together to create something new. © 44 • Cultural awareness is enhanced in the global “MOOC” classroom. • Professionals can have access to experts from all over the world.
  41. 41. 45 MOOCs provide a way to engage with other professionals working on the same issues in other libraries and for a reasonable cost and time-commitment.
  42. 42. Implications ! • Make time for continuous learning & PD • Organizations & associations should explore these models of open online learning. • Grass roots efforts and official partnerships may yield some new opportunities.
  43. 43. A deeper understanding of creating a learning space, argues Morville (2012), may lead to educators and LIS professionals becoming influential architects of learning environments.!
  44. 44. ! References & Further Reading! ! Barnes, C. (2013). MOOCs: The challenges for academic librarians. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 44(3), 163-175. doi: 10.1080/00048623.2013.821048 ! DeJong, R. (2013, November 10). Why do students drop out of MOOCs? [Web log post]. Our Essays. Minding the Campus. Retrieved from http:// ! Educause. (2011). 7 things you should know about MOOCs. Retrieved from ! Haggard, S. (2013). The maturing of the MOOC (Research paper number 130). Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Retrieved from government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/240193/13-1173-maturing-of-the-mooc.pdfDeJong, (2013) ! Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., & Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from ! Kendrick, C., & Gashurov, I. (2013, November 4). Libraries in the time of MOOCs [Web log post]. Educause Review. Retrieved from article/libraries-time-moocs ! Mahraj, K. (2012). Using information expertise to enhance massive open online courses. Public Services Quarterly, 8(4), 359-368. doi: 10.1080/15228959.2012.730415 ! Morville, P. (2012, December 18). Architects of learning [Web log post]. Semantic Studios. Retrieved from 000662.php ! Pappano, L. (2012, November 2). The year of the MOOC [Web log post]. Education Life. The New York Times. Retrieved from education/edlife/massive-open-online-courses-are-multiplying-at-a-rapid-pace.html?_r=0 ! Penn GSE. (2013, December 5). Penn GSE study shows MOOCs have relatively few active users, with only a few persisting to course end [Press release]. Retrieved from ! Stephens, M. (2013a, October 23). Infinite learning [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from infinite-learning-office-hours/ ! Stephens, M. (2013b). MOOCs for LIS professional development: Exploring new transformative learning environments and roles. Internet Learning, 2(2), 71-88. Retrieved from %20Development.pdf ! Yeager, C., Hurley-Dasgupta, B., & Bliss, C. A. (2013). cMOOCs and global learning: An authentic alternative. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(2), 133-147. Retrieved from