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MOOCs behind the scenes

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Presentation on massive open online courses, created for Global Learn 2016, Limerick, Ireland
It shows the administrative side of MOOCs, including their conceptualisation, planning, design, development, delivery and evaluation.

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MOOCs behind the scenes

  1. 1. MOOCs Behind the Scenes Brenda Cecilia Padilla Rodríguez* Alejandro Armellini** Viviana Carolina Cáceres Villalba* * Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico) ** University of Northamtpon (United Kingdom)
  2. 2. Massive Open Online Courses The technological infrastructure has the potential to support large- scale use (Steward, 2013). Any person with Internet access can participate for free, without having to meet any strict pre-requisites (Anderson, 2013). Delivery is via the Internet. MOOCs are coherent academic interventions with a defined set of learning outcomes (Youell, 2011), and (usually) start and end dates. M O O C
  3. 3. The MOOC Process (I) Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 3 Conceptualisation • Marketing strategy • Academic purposes Development • Challenge of desgining for a wide audience • Teams of academics (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Arnold et al., 2014; Hollands & Tirthali, 2014; Ross et al., 2014; Sharples et al., 2014)
  4. 4. The MOOC Process (II) Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 4 Delivery • Little personalised support • Automated “teaching” • Community of learners as main source of guidance Evaluation • Low completion rates (approx. 15%) • Evaluations focused on learners’ perceptions (Bayne & Ross, 2014; Jordan, 2015; Milligan & Littlejohn, 2014; Padilla Rodriguez et al., 2015)
  5. 5. Participants 10 participants, 4 universities in the UK MOOC coordinator Learning designer Learning technologist Course builder Facilitator Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 6
  6. 6. Procedure • Initial contact via email • One hour semi-structured interviews o Conceptualisation: reasons for offering MOOCs o Design, creation and delivery o Course evaluation o Challenges and recommendations for the future • Interviews audio recorded • Inductive thematic analysis Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 7
  7. 7. Reasons for offering MOOCs • Pressure to join other institutions on the MOOC stage o “We felt we had to do it; others were doing it” [P7]) • Using MOOCs as a marketing strategy (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Hollands & Tirthali, 2014) • Taking advantage of existing learning materials by repurposing them o Example: converting a book or a face-to-face module into a MOOC • Reaching an international audience Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 8
  8. 8. Reasons for offering MOOCs The overarching strategy is… Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 9 “There is no strategy.” [P9]
  9. 9. Design and Creation • Team-based approach for MOOC design • Heavy reliance on videos o PowerPoint presentations with audio o Animations o Filmed discussions between content experts • Limited use of open educational resources (OERs) o Time required to find and repurpose suitable resources might exceed the time needed to create them Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 10
  10. 10. Design and Creation • Only three participants mentioned conducting a pilot before launching MOOCs • Promotion through the Marketing Department of participants’ universities Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 11 Main reasons to fail to conduct a pilot of the MOOC: Not enough time Not enough funding
  11. 11. Delivery • Communication mostly in unstructured discussions • Conversations on social media o For example: Twitter hashtags, Google Hangouts, Flickr • The assumption that knowledge is within the community of learners might be flawed. • MOOC learners sometimes offer incorrect advice. Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 12
  12. 12. Delivery • Relevant role of the teacher o Keeping conversations on track o Clarifying confusions o Student ambassadors • Making MOOCs self-sustainable by automating processes and requiring little support from teachers Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 13 Challenge: Not enough time Not enough funding
  13. 13. Evaluation • Some MOOCs offered non-credit bearing completion certificates. • Only one interviewee [P4] was involved in a MOOC which offered academic credits (for a fee) after a formal assessment. Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 14 Learning Evaluation • Quizzes with multiple- choice questions • Self-assessments General Evaluation • Satisfaction surveys • Data from learning platforms
  14. 14. Evaluation • Information on learners’ sociodemographic profile, engagement indicators (eg, clicks or page views) and perceptions of improvement • Lots of data available but not enough time to analyse it • MOOC considered a success for being innovative, before it was even launched. --- No interest to check later! Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 15 Was your MOOC effective? We are not sure.
  15. 15. Evaluation Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 16 Clear goals help us know if we are successful. Goal: Increase student enrolments Three MOOC participants converted to fee-paying stdents SUCCESS
  16. 16. Challenges Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 17 Obtaining enough funding Managing time Creating and sustaining a large and active community of learners
  17. 17. Benefits for Academics • Academics develop a learning design skill set. o “We've learned a lot about e-learning-type teaching” [P9] • Academics feel empowered. o “If they had told us years ago that we would be able to do something like this [developing and delivering a MOOC], we wouldn’t have believed it” [P2] Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 18
  18. 18. Recommendations • Plan well in advance before implementation [P1] • Design the MOOC to be platform-independent [P7] • Consider how the MOOC works for learners from different nationalities [P7, P10] • Focus on the students’ perspective, on how the MOOC benefits them [P1, P10] Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 19
  19. 19. What have we learned? • The emergence of MOOCs is sometimes driven by a desire to “follow the trend”. • MOOCs often fail to benefit from existing OERs. • MOOC facilitators can prevent conversations from going off track and intervene if learners share incorrect ideas. • Claims of MOOC effectiveness usually lack agreed indicators of success, critical analysis or are based on a very limited evidence base. Global Learn, 28-29 April 2016 20
  20. 20. Thank you.

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