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Considering MOOCs: Pros, Cons, Questions


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Issues for universities when considering whether to offer MOOCs and/or accept credit for MOOCs

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Considering MOOCs: Pros, Cons, Questions

  1. 1. Considering MOOCs:Pros, Cons, QuestionsDoug Holton, Associate DirectorCenter for Teaching and Learning ExcellenceEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityThese slides are at:
  2. 2. What are MOOCs Massive Open Online Courses
  3. 3. What are MOOCsMOOCs are online courses that areopen for anyone in the world to take,usually for free and not for credit.*These courses have had anywherefrom a few thousand to over 180,000people enroll.*Exceptions include California State University: also MOOC2Degree and OERu in later slides
  4. 4. MOOC Timelinevia
  5. 5. History of MOOCsA timeline of MOOC articles: on the rise of MOOCs:
  6. 6. MOOCs Today Udacity, Coursera, and Edx are now offering hundreds of MOOCs to millions of people.Via
  7. 7. Try Out a MOOC YourselfSee for a list ofcourses available from Coursera, Udacity & edX.Major LMS vendors Blackboard and InstructureCanvas have started hosting MOOCs:●● independent MOOCs:●●
  8. 8. Blackboard CourseSitesCourseSites MOOC Platform FAQ (PDF)Partnerships:● FIU● SUNY● Blackboard Sponsored https://open.● UIS of these courses have only had dozens orhundreds of students.
  9. 9. Pros and Cons of MOOCsLets look at pros and cons from a fewdifferent points of view:1. students (ours and others)2. faculty3. the university4. teaching and learning (pedagogy)
  10. 10. Perspective from OurStudents: MOOCsSee this article from the perspective of a Stanford student.Pros● Higher profile, exposure to prospective employers, help from and to outsiders, learn from world expertsCons● Less one on one contact with instructor, less interactive, high dropout rate● Some students need expert support: “sharing of erroneous information and other shortcomings of peer- to-peer coaching”Other pros and cons?
  11. 11. Outside Students in MOOCsMOOC demographics: most students are non-traditional,international, already have degrees. 39% “just curious aboutthe topic”, 30% wanting to "sharpen their skills"Pros● Learn for free about college topics for which they may not have access, like engineering, computer science● Prospective students can learn about a university● Former students can refresh knowledgeCons - same as cons for our own students
  12. 12. Faculty Perspective: MOOCsPros● Greater exposure of your work and teaching and the university.● MOOC-wrapping - using a MOOC as a textbook● Example motivations from MIT OpenCourseWare: reputation, networking, improved course content and student feedbackCons● Example concerns from a U. Wisconsin faculty member● Quality of learning, extremely high dropout rate (>90%)● Demands on time: both planning and teaching● Intellectual Property Rights, Risk, Cost, Reimbursement
  13. 13. University Perspective: MOOCsBenefits● Outreach, service to the community and public● Marketing the university and its courses and faculty● Fosters sense of community across campuses● Spur innovations in teaching and learning - see next slideChallenges● Won’t directly generate revenue (unless you charge for certificates)● Requires investment - faculty time, resources● Other questions to consider in following slides, such as accreditation, competition, and evaluationProvosts and presidents are split down the middle on MOOCs
  14. 14. Teaching & Learning Perspective: MOOCsPros● Encourages sharing of teaching practices, research and data on teaching (SOTL), highlight & showcase faculty teaching.● “Placing their MOOCs in the public domain for a worldwide audience will oblige institutions to do more than pay lip service to importance of teaching and put it at the core their missions. This is the real revolution of MOOCs.”Cons● Videos+quizzes not enough. MOOCs need better learning design.● MOOCs: The Dark Side (infographic)
  15. 15. Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do MOOCs make money? See How EdX Plans to Earn Money and Emergingbusiness models for MOOCs.Are accrediting agencies paying attention toMOOCs? Yes. ACE recently accredited 5 MOOCs.Are employers paying attention to MOOCs? Yes. Employers are recruiting top students fromMOOCs. MOOCs are charging for access to student data.The last two in particular suggest universities shouldnt ignore MOOCs.
  16. 16. Frequently Asked QuestionsWhats involved in designing and implementing aMOOC? See for a behind the sceneslook, and also a later slide: "Differences When Teaching aMOOC." MOOCs should not be taught like regular courses.Can students get a degree or credit takingMOOCs? Various solutions for credit such as digital badges,certificates, e-portfolios. Universities are starting to givecredit for MOOCs with MOOC2Degree & OERu (next slide)See also
  17. 17. MOOC2Degree & OERu● Multi-university partnership to offer MOOCs for college credit.● "Through this new initiative, the initial course in select online degree programs will be converted into a MOOC."● OER = Open Educational Resources● "The OER university aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognised education institutions."
  18. 18. Frequently Asked QuestionsAre MOOCs a fad?Probably not● Millions of dollars invested in MOOCs● Millions of students signing up for MOOCs around globe● Developing & using new and innovative tools to support MOOCs - cheat detection, better discussion forums, sophisticated learner analytics, new MOOC platforms, Google Apps, etc.Are MOOCs hyped?Probably yes● MOOC hype cycle (next slide)
  19. 19. Open Questions● How do we evaluate Quality, ROI of MOOCs?● How are MOOCs to be accredited?● What about alternative models, such as: ○ Self-Paced Learning (like Khan Academy or Udemy)? ○ Blended/Hybrid Models (like the Open Learning Initiative? ○ Games? Gamification? ○ MOOC-Wrapping? ○ Online Professional Development Communities? (continuous, like tappedin)
  20. 20. What Should We Do?● Talk to Faculty ○ Is there faculty interest & enthusiasm for MOOCs? ○ Do their courses use copyrighted materials? Would they scale to MOOCs?● Talk to Students ○ Current, Former, Prospective● Try Out MOOCs Yourself: ○● If Need Be: Implement a Pilot Test
  21. 21. 3 Levels of MOOCImplementation● Individual ○ Individual faculty can use free MOOC hosting services like CourseSites,, Wikis, Blogs, Google Apps...● Standard ○ University adopts a standard platform for hosting MOOCs (coursesites, coursera, etc.) with several courses● Showcase ○ University invests in developing custom showcase courses targeting prospective students (flight simulation, aviation, etc.)
  22. 22. For More Information aboutMOOCsSee these papers on MOOCs:● European University Assocation: MOOCs (Jan. 2013)● John Daniel: Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility (2012)● EDUCAUSE: What Campus Leaders Need to Know About MOOCs (2012)MOOC News:● InsideHigherEd: MOOC articles● Chronicle of Higher Education: MOOC articles
  23. 23. Thank YouContact me if you have any questions:douglas.holton@erau.eduBonus slides appear after this one.
  24. 24. Bonus Slides
  25. 25. Differences When Teachinga MOOC vs. Reg. Course● takes more time, less room for error● copyright issues - no more fair use● many tools you use may not scale to thousands of students - different set of tools needed for MOOCs● things that cause a few to grumble in a regular online class may cause a revolt in a MOOC - expensive textbook, too much reading, boring lectures, powerpoint● some issues are amplified in a MOOC: dropout rate, cheating, off-topic noise in forums, time zone issues, accessibility● most MOOCs are shorter - 5-8 weeks instead of 15
  26. 26. Create Your Own MOOC:MOOC PlatformsOpen Source● CourseBuilder, by Google● Class2Go, by Stanford● OpenMOOC● MechanicalMOOC, by P2PU● Edx platform by MIT, to be releasedFree● Google Apps - Google+, Google Sites, Google Groups● CourseSites by Blackboard● by Instructure (based on open source)● Wordpress, Wikis, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook
  27. 27. MOOCs for CorporateLearningFrom a Feb. 27 webinar: think of MOOCs as courses and how they mightreplace traditional training/instruction, but you can also lookat MOOCs as: ● Marketing – advertising your services, recruiting new employees, students, customers ● Supplementing Instruction - like a textbook: MOOC- wrapping ● Networking – providing a space for employees and others to network with one another
  28. 28. Benefits in Taking MOOCsThere are various things an organization might gain byallowing employees or students to take MOOCs, and byoffering MOOCs to your own employees or students, or toyour customers and the public.When employees (or students) take public MOOCs,benefits include:● Learning from world-class experts● Saving money – most MOOCs are free, partly because they serve as advertising, marketing● Networking with one another, and possibly finding talented folks to recruit● Supplementing local instruction and training – MOOC- wrapping
  29. 29. Benefits in Creating MOOCsBy creating MOOCs for your own organization, you might:● Have job applicants complete a MOOC to assess their skills● Create an organization-wide course to foster a larger sense of community, breaking down silos● Standardize basic training – less duplicationBy creating MOOCs for other companies and people, youmight● Create standard introductory courses for your products or services● Train customers on your product or services, perhaps to accompany a demo or trial● Help the public better understand what it is your organization does or provides, what makes it special