This presentation is intended to inform members of the UCI community about UCI’s efforts and purposes in developing and offering open educational resources including MOOCs.
MOOCs brought together two forces. The first was the huge store of open education that has become available over the last ten years. The second was the intense public pressure to bring down the cost of higher education. When two Stanford professors offered the first publicly recognized MOOC in July 2011, it caught the public’s attention. This first significant MOOC joined these two forces and added the element of quality, both in the course itself and the fact that a major university of high reputation was the originator of the idea.
Over the last 13 years the supply of open educational materials has expanded to such a mass audience that it had to be taken into account by higher education.
Another growing and powerful force on higher education is the increased cost of higher education and its consequences--high student debt.
The importance of this issue was underlined by a front page article in the NY Times two days before this presentation.
The huge amount of attention focused on MOOCs is both surprising and a natural outgrowth of the OER movement.
In just 18 months, MOOCs not only amassed a huge following but brought into focus from a new angle many of the problems facing higher education today.
The addition of quality into the equation found by the large mass of OER and the pressure for lower cost education focused attention on MOOCs. The perception of quality came from two sources. First, the educational and production quality of the first MOOCs were quite high. Second, the earliest providers of MOOCs were top ranked universities.
MOOCs and the discussion around MOOCs have certain dynamics. Theearly involvement in MOOCs symbolized a university’s willingness to adopt new technology. This symbolism resonated particularly with governing boards, usually composed of business people, who generally view faculty and all university administrators as resistant to change.The huge discussion around MOOCs proceeded through the usual initial hype and now seems to be going through the trough of disillusionment. But whatever the direction of the discussionand however strong the anti-MOOC forces are, MOOCs and MOOC providers continue to proliferate. MOOCs are generally criticized for being what they are not and the metrics used to value them are inappropriate (completion rates).
The big step ahead in making the connection between OER and low cost higher education is making the connection between open content and academic credit. Many of the parts of this puzzle are on the table. There are many open “channels” for open course and curricula. These channels include YouTube, iTunesU, Coursera, Udacity, edX, and individual institutional OCW sites. There are the beginnings of ways in which these open educational resources can be used by students to gain credit. The first step is to create learning assessments that can be administered to students in order to verify that they have mastered the subject. Allied with the assessment issue is the student authentication issue—how can institutions verify that there is no cheating on the assessments. The first connections were made between individual institutions and particular sets of open material. For instance, Excelsior University is willing to provide assessments and authentication processes for open courses offered by the Saylor Foundation. Similar arrangements were made between Coursera and Antioch College and Coursera and the University of Washington. In November 2013 ACE and Coursera announced a joint experiment whereby ACE would give academic credit for five Coursera courses (2 of which are UCI courses). Thus for the first time a national “credit bank” is available for students seeking credit.
The average size of MOOCs will naturally decrease as this proliferates. MOOCs are open only to individual viewing and use. Unlike other OER,MOOCs generally cannot be downloaded, used, reused, or adopted for uses in university settings. By definition they are not full instructor-led online courses. Although this look into online courses and, as people seek credit for them, began to take on aspects of online courses. MOOCs properly are teaching tools not substitutes for teaching.
MOOCs do threaten some aspects of the status quo, but ultimately will not supplant traditional instruction. They can be very high quality learning pathways lacking only instructor input and attention. They are an important form of open education and MOOC “channels” should be added to OER sources. They symbolize, still, the kind of adaptability required of institutions which wish to keeppace with the learning revolution. And, as we will see soon, they do offer opportunities for massive research.
MOOCs will shift from degree-based courses to curricula (groups of courses) designed for non-degree seeking audiences. They will form the basis for learning communities organized in a way to popular informal book clubs.
UCI has a long history with open education beginning in 2001 with a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to convene a national seminar on open learning repositories.
UCI followed in MIT’s footsteps in creating an OpenCourseWare web site to host all of UCI’s open courses, which now number 82 courses and receive over 500,000 visits per year. UCI was the first west coast university to join the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) and is a charter member of that organization. Gary Matkin was one of the co-founders of the consortium and served as its founding treasurer for 5 years. Larry Cooperman, UCI’s director of open learning, is an elected board member of the OCWC board and serves as its current president. With the advent of high quality and inexpensive video capture technology, UCI invested in the video capturing of the entire undergraduate chemistry major—over 700 hours of video lectures shot with two cameras resulting in edited, high definition video lectures. Since its inception in 2012, Open Chem (available on YouTube) has logged nearly 5 million minutes of attention from students around the world who are studying chemistry. UCI is also a leader in MOOCs and was one of the first 33 institutions to join the MOOC leader, Coursera, in September 2012. UCI has logged over 500,000 enrollments in its 13 MOOCs. The latest innovation is a UCI MOOC based on the popular television series, The Walking Dead (TWD) which has given 4 UCI faculty members the opportunity to illustrate their disciplines by using an artifact of popular culture to attract viewers who otherwise would not be aware of how a university-levelsubject can relate to their daily lives.
This slide lists the MOOCs UCI has offered and is current as of the first of November 2013.
A most frequently asked question of institutions which offer MOOCs is “Why are you doing this?” In UCI’s case there are several important reasons we have invested in MOOCs. As the previous slides indicate, UCI has received huge and very positive publicity for its MOOC efforts. The public relations value of providing the world with free educational materials is very hard to calculate but is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But even more importantly, UCI’s MOOCs and open education are serving UCI students who can view the courses (such as Open Chem) as they take the course. We have also found that our MOOCs and OCW attract students to our campus, students who already understand the educational quality of the courses they will encounter when they matriculate on our campus. Of course, this kind of public service is entirely consistent with the land grant and public university traditions of the University of California and UCI.
The favorable publicity is especially important to UCI, which is often in the shadow of its sister campuses. UCI’s innovation in learning is symbolized by the very visible attention derived from our open educational initiatives. Our reputation is especially important as we strive to be known as an international university. The examples already provided of the volumes of enrollments and visits to our MOOCs and OER is solid proof of the value add of our efforts.
This is an example, pulled from The LA Times, of the kind of PR we received as a result of our Walking Dead project.
Our leadership in the OER world is recognized frequently in the awards we receive for our efforts.
This is a screen shot of newly designed and enhanced OCW web site (http://ocw.uci.edu).
A recent survey of entering undergraduate and graduate students indicated that 12% of each category of user had viewed UCI’s open courses or video lectures before deciding to come to UCI.
We have already indicated some of the benefits of our involvement in open education, but there are more. Our involvement in open courses and MOOCs is both consistent with and symbolic of our goals for leading the learning revolution rather than retreating from it. We also see huge opportunities for the kind of learning research that will inform our faculty and the world about what is involved in improving learning in every way. Just as our involvement in the open course world readied us for the advent of MOOCs, our experience with MOOCs and with other forms of innovative learning will prepare us for the next response to innovation.
The massive nature of MOOCs will allow us to study learning on a massive scale, without the barriers of the small numbers that are often characteristic of learning research. The sharing of data can be made easier and more universal, with results of innovation traveling quickly around the world. For instance, we are now able to study how different nationalities react to the same learning treatment and we can alter learning treatments across very large groups in the A/B testing process.
However, this positive vision of valid research done on large numbers of learners, accompanied by the rapid sharing of information is challenged by some barriers. Those barriers include the fact that often data is owned by third parties, often for-profit organizations who have issues in sharing data. The misuse of learning data, particularly Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can cause threats to business models. There are legally mandated constraints on sharing data that must be addressed.
There are several structures emerging in MOOC related research. The first deals with the PII issue. Coursera has identified three “tiers’ of information. The first is PII, information which can be traced to an individual learner. There is another class of such information in which the information may inadvertently include information that could be traced back to an individual. And then there is data that the individual himself/herself has placed PII in the public domain, allowing its use. Another structure is the difference between “classroom research” which is research that can be used in real time to include what is going on in the learning process as it is being carried out and program research, research that can be used after the course is completed to improve the program orcourse for its next offering.
The final research structure applies to the ownership and the ability to share data. The data may be generated and owned by a third party to the research (Coursera, for instance), or it may be owned by the institution that is actually doing the research (for instance survey data from surveys Coursera allows the institution to conduct and own). The sharing structure can be institution to institution or it can be one institution to many.
The path that MOOC related learning research will take is in the “work out” stage. We must be alert to both the potential of such research and to the barriers that will inhibit us from realizing the full and perhaps greatest benefit of MOOCs.
MOOCs: What are
they and what is
UCI doing about
Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D., Dean
Continuing Education, Distance
Learning and Summer Session
UC Irvine School of Education
Monday, October 21, 2013
Objectives & format
• Establish the overall context for MOOCs – history,
current state, and future
• Describe UCI’s involvement in open education and
• Explain the role open education and MOOCs have
in UCI’s evolving strategy
• Describe the role MOOCs could play in learning
• Excite conversation and investigation
The lecture method is not dead. Ask questions as we go.
MOOCS Brought together 2
THE SUPPLY OF OER IS
HUGE AND GROWING
• 280 Members
• Over 30,000
• Over 700,000
• Over 500,000
MOOCS Brought together 2
PUBLIC DEMAND FOR LOWER COST
EDUCATION IS INCREASING
Average tuition in higher
27% over the last 5
Graduates leave college
with an average debt of
U.S. student debt is
approaching $1 trillion,
exceeding credit card
MOOCS Brought together 2
Brief history of moocs
• July 2011: Stanford, 2 courses on Artificial
Intelligence, 160K enrollments
• January 2012: Coursera, edX, Udacity
• January 2013: 4+ million enrollments in
Quality, Open & Low Cost
• Quality as expressed in course design and
• Quality as expressed by top universities
• Involvement in MOOCs became a symbol of
being ―in the game‖
• Jump on the train
• Initial hype, concern, vs. trough of
disillusionment, but steady proliferation of
organizations and MOOCs
• Inappropriate metrics, criticizing MOOCs for
what they are not or what they might be
BETWEEN OER AND CREDIT
• UCI OCW
• Full Open
• Full Open
• Get Job
What MOOCS are NOT
• Not so massive in future
• Not so open
• Not online courses
• Not threats to teaching
WHAT MOOCS ARE
• Threats to status quo
• High quality learning pathways
• An important form of open education
• Symbols of the learning revolution
• Opportunities for massive research
WHAT MOOCS WILL BE
• A standard part of higher and continuing
• The basis for low cost sharing of content
• Focused on non-degree seeking, targeted
• ―Hubs‖ for learning communities
How we got started
• Hewlett funding beginnings
• Followed MIT footsteps in creating an OCW site
(40,000 visits per month, 82 courses, new site up
• Involved in starting OCWC (Matkin & Cooperman
• Developed video capacity—filmed OpenChem
500,000 minutes per month
• Joined Coursera September 2012, January 2013
had 250,000 including 112K in personal financial
UC Irvine is
the world of
MOOCs with six
new ones this
earlier this year
Why is UCI Involved?
• Adds to positive institutional exposure,
• Serves UCI students
• Attracts students
• Consistent with goals and role as leader in
• Why is it important to UCI
• Unknown in shadow of UCB, UCLA
• International competition
• MOOC enrollments
• TWD Coverage
September 2013: NUTN 2013 Distance Education Innovation Awards in Open
October 2012: Internet Marketing Association Impact Award
April 2012: OCWC OpenCourseWare Leadership Excellence (ACE) Award
December 2011: OPAL Awards for Institutions
October 2011: Internet Marketing Association Best Website Overall Content
September 2011: The NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award
August 2011: Education-Portal.com OCW People’s Choice Award for Michael
Dennin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Science to Superheroes Course
June 2011: OCW Consortium Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence
recognizing John Crooks, lecturer, Introduction to Pitch Systems course
Serving uCI students
In the last 30 days, Open Chem on YouTube has received
73,000 views with 611,000 minutes watched. This year we
expect a million views with an average of 8.5 minutes
Why is UCI Involved?
• Consistent with our overall goal of
maintaining and increasing our lead in
learning revolution, strategic plan
• Opportunities for research
• Being ready for the learning revolution
Moocs and learning
Large ―n’s‖, thus validation
A/B testing across national boundaries
Rapid sharing of innovation
MOOCS and Learning
• Third party ownership of data
• PII and public relations issues
• Constraints on sharing
MOOCs and Learning Research
Structures of MOOC Research
• Dealing with student privacy (3 levels)
• Personally identifiable information (PII)
• Unanonymizable data
• Public forum and general course data
• Classroom and program research
• Classroom – to improve teaching
• Program – to evaluate and extract knowledge
from the whole program
MOOCs and Learning Research
Structures of MOOC Research
• Data Ownership
Third party owned and generated
Institutional owned and generated
Sharing institutional data with institutions
Sharing among institutions
Gary W. Matkin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Download presentation at slideshare.net/garymatkin/moocs