Developing World MOOCs - Wrap-up session


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e/merge discussions 27 June 2014

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Developing World MOOCs - Wrap-up session

  1. 1. DEVELOPING WORLD MOOCS e/merge discussions 27 June 2014 Andrew Deacon, Janet Small, Sukaina Walji
  2. 2. PERSPECTIVES ON MOOCS Participants Institutional researchers Educators What MOOCs exist and why might I want to do a MOOC? What is there is learn from MOOCs? How can I use and develop MOOCs? Why are MOOCs useful?
  4. 4. WHAT WE GET FROM MOOCS? • Valerie: I have participated in many MOOCs since before the name MOOC existed. Even in this discussion, people are talking about “dropping out” – negative, failure to comply with rules and requirements, .. and yet they found the learning experience personally interesting and informative on many levels. Perhaps this is just part of a natural process of growth for using MOOCs for teaching and learning.
  6. 6. • Reasons for doing MOOCs are of interest • but reasons for not completing tell us about other forms of learning
  7. 7. WHAT MOOCS? • Guy: I have done 2 MOOCs – “Mobile for Development” by the Commonwealth of Learning and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and currently “ICT in Primary Education” by the Institute of Education (UK) and UNESCO. • In both cases I found the content reasonably accessible. • The main weakness, in both cases, has been the chaotic nature of forums because of the range of experience and ability.
  8. 8. BATES’ OBSERVATIONS • Social aspect of learning is extremely important • MOOCs are primarily instruments for non- formal learning • Increasing facilitation makes MOOCs like conventional lectures Bates. Tony. (2014) MOOCs: getting to know you better, Distance Education.
  9. 9. WHY? TO CERTIFICATE • Jolanda’s summary: • … certification as evidence of learning achievement is important in all countries • … the current MOOC model is not compatible with many learning settings From “A Cross-Modal Analysis of Learning Experience from a Learner’s perspective” by Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
  10. 10.
  11. 11. PERSPECTIVES ON MOOCS Participants Institutional researchers Educators What MOOCs exist and why might I want to do a MOOC? What is there is learn from MOOCs? How can I use and develop MOOCs? Why are MOOCs useful?
  12. 12. THE EDUCATOR’S PERSPECTIVE Alice Barlow-Zambodla, Tony Carr, Mohamed Ahmed El-bahay and Gabriel Konayuma
  13. 13. WHY USE MOOCS # 1 Extending the contacts, exposure to different contexts & accessing experts • Rachel: It introduced some interesting perspectives on ethics to the participants from high resourced countries that they wouldn’t otherwise consider if they were attending a course on this topic in their own country. Interestingly the connections made on this course also turned into long term mentorships between people in high and low resourced settings, with the learning going both ways.
  14. 14. WHY USE MOOCS # 2 Putting Africa into global network Rachel: Clinicians from Africa (and other low resourced settings) were given direct access to experts and people fortunate enough to have more access to education and educational resources, in other words it provided access to education to those that really needed it who could then directly impact peoples lives.
  15. 15. WHY USE MOOCS # 3 Creating more appropriate content and considerations about the local context • Peter: It would seem beneficial…to look for Afrocentric MOOCs produced by African providers – or via authentic partnerships between African and Northern providers to properly ground content and delivery in African realities.
  16. 16. WHY USE MOOCS # 4 Benefit from other educational resource inputs Joel: give students access to high quality materials Sipho: MOOCs can lower the burden of overflowing ‘face-to-face classes’ for staff and can liberate the learner to construct his/her own knowledge Joel: academic staff development through accessing latest courses that are available in the MOOC platforms. Offers less experienced academic staff access to leading academics knowledge (a teaching development resource)
  17. 17. WHY USE MOOCS # 5 Supplement gaps in local provision • Janet: to supplement classroom teaching; ‘wrapping’ whereby, groups of postgraduate students enrol for a MOOC together and set up an accompanying study group, perhaps facilitated by a tutor. Usually these are for supplementary skills; for example, science writing, essay writing • using MOOC technology and practices to fill gaps in local educational provision (Sukaina, Peter) • Rita: offer remedial support in the HE learning. I am particularly thinking about areas such as writing, numeracy and digital literacy
  18. 18. WHY? TO SEE WHAT WORKS • Jolanda: From the discussion I am picking up a range of interesting criteria for assessing the success of MOOCs, some of which are: • Content: to be clear, well curated (Sukaina), short video • Assessments: to be clear: short essays in response to discussion points (Sukaina), peer assessments (Guy) • Forums: to be structured (Guy, Janet) • Duration: Time demands to be realistic and achievable (Janet) • Engagement: to be focused, students from too diverse backgrounds (Guy, Janet), excluding others by setting up alternative spaces for interaction (Janet)
  19. 19. HOW YOU CAN USE MOOCS? • Create your own MOOCs – relevant content (Peter), appropriately delivered (Rachel, Peter) • Create collaborative MOOCs - create pan-African or regional MOOCs that are relevant to all recipients in all countries involved (Peter, Jerome) • Creating MOOC-type variants • Use existing MOOCs
  20. 20. CREATING YOUR OWN • Creating MOOCs need not be resource intensive – depends on purpose and choices you make • Some argue “perfect way to provide education to those that otherwise don’t have access to this knowledge” (Rachel)
  21. 21. CREATING VARIANTS • An example: ‘open boundary course’ can be a lower cost approach to offering a MOOC and is where an existing course is simultaneously opened out to others who are not formally enrolled (Sukaina) Key benefit: Bringing a more diverse student body into existing course – open boundary courses (Sukaina; Rachel) • Distance education in developing world & Africa has been offering massive enrollments but only now tentatively venturing into online and blended forms e.g. Unisa offering MOCs
  22. 22. Course offered simultaneously as a formal and as a open course. Small private open course nested inside a MOOC Massive Online Course: formal course inspired by MOOC pedagogy Students in a course taking a MOOC with added local support and additional material Massive Open Online Course Formal course with lectures and support.
  23. 23. USING EXISTING MOOCS • Flipping courses with MOOCs (Joel) • Blending MOOCs with face-to-face classroom (Joel) • Use MOOCs as Learning Resources (Joel) • Use for Professional development (Joel) • Wrapping a MOOC to supplementary skills for students (Janet) • Extending the reach of a course by incorporating other ICTs such as radio, tv, mobile phones and print media (Alice)
  24. 24. PERSPECTIVES ON MOOCS Participants Institutional researchers Educators What MOOCs exist and why might I want to do a MOOC? What is there is learn from MOOCs? How can I use and develop MOOCs? Why are MOOCs useful?
  25. 25. RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY The massiveness of MOOCs, their accessibility, and the wide range of questions they raise make the topic a very fertile area for research, and this is likely to generate new methods of research and analysis in the educational field (Bates, 2014) Bates. Tony. (2014) MOOCs: getting to know you better, Distance Education.
  26. 26. WHAT WE’D LIKE MOOCS TO DO Sipho: “I believe that MOOCs can lower the burden of overflowing ‘face-to-face classes’ for staff and can liberate the learner to construct his/her own knowledge. Also, this can raise professional education as access to tertiary education can be increased and extended to the working class”.
  27. 27. WHAT THE RESEARCH INDICATES… “But the people most likely to stay the course and gain a free qualification are well-educated men in their 30s working in professional jobs. Research by MOOC provider Coursera shows that 85% of MOOC participants already have university degrees. So the problem MOOCs succeed in solving is: to provide free university teaching for highly qualified professionals. (Diana Laurrilard)”
  28. 28. WHAT RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT SUCCEEDING IN A MOOC • Require digital literacies and know-how to navigate the online space, make sense of resources and (esp. Connectivist MOOCs) • Connectivity & bandwidth constraints for signed up participants in developing countries (heavy video-based courses) • Cultural and language factors • Highly motivated learners (hence plenty of e.g. of plucky individuals from developing countries succeeding in MOOCs)
  29. 29. “Alin used MOOCs to get a better job. He took Introduction to Computer Science at Udacity and at Codecademy, Introduction to R, a programming language used mainly for statistical analysis. Neither of these courses were part of his curriculum at Dhaka University. Noting it on his CV, he was not only hired by his employer but was made supervisor of a team of three holding similar finance degrees to himself. He admits not having noteworthy grades at DU, but given his MOOC knowledge, he was able to convince his employer he was qualified for the job”
  30. 30. “Mony, an artist and an animator, has been working at a prominent animation studio in Dhaka. There are no animation schools in Dhaka. She got online and took many tutorials to learn her craft. Within a few years she had a portfolio of work that was so impressive she was hired on the spot. She is currently taking the Interactive 3D Graphics course at Udacity”
  31. 31. IMPROVING MOOC DESIGN • Research is indicating how to improve the design of some MOOCs taking into account the pedagogic benefits of scale and learning analytics. • Researching MOOCs shed light on about participant behaviour, video styles, lengths and formats, design of activities & assessments • How to design for MOOCs in resource-constrained environments (mobiles, limited bandwidth) Learning Design for MOOCs - guidelines for course design:
  32. 32. MOOC DESIGN EVOLVING Many models of MOOC designs emerging • E.g. George Siemens piloting a dual pathway MOOC where learners either work though a linear pathway or through project-based groups (Siemens 2014). • SPOCs and other variants result of understanding • Platform design to scale – FutureLearn based on ‘conversational framework at scale’. • MOOCs are NOT suitable in many contexts e.g. San Jose experiment and Sebastian Thrun’s ‘pivot’ (Chafkin). Supported learning better here.
  33. 33. IMPROVING ONLINE LEARNING DESIGN • MOOCs have made online learning “respectable”. • This happened when the elite universities started to offer MOOCs. • But we have much to learn about how to design effective MOOCs and how to design effective online learning • Often a conflation of the two, but not the same.
  34. 34. MOOCS CAN INFORM ONLINE LEARNING DESIGN • Huge amount of data and research that can be mined (Harvard & MIT released anonymised data) • Pedagogy enacted in public (pre MOOCs most courses hidden from all but registered students – even from other lecturers) • MOOCs in semi-formal and non-formal spaces so experiments tolerated
  35. 35. ONLINE LEARNING DESIGN CAN INFORM MOOC DESIGN • Discussion forums • Group work • Peer learning Much of FutureLearn’s design is based on a socio-constructivist approach where the massive is mediated social and peer learning, with experiments with group work.
  36. 36. MOOCS INFORM CLASSROOM/ON-CAMPUS LEARNING DESIGN • MOOC materials used in blended and hybrid models • MOOC materials used in flipped classroom models • MOOCs used in wrapped modes Stanford University recent report about distributed flip.
  37. 37. FOR RESEARCHERS… It would be a missed opportunity for African and build knowledge around African contexts for MOOCs, online learning and classroom- based learning. Opportunity is now to define forms of MOOCs, designs for MOOCs or how MOOCs inform the provision of more diverse and flexible forms of learning Many models of MOOCs, not just one. If not us, then who ?