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Open Online Courses: Responding to Design Challenges


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Presentation at the NBE 2011 conference (The Social Media in the Middle of Nowhere), 21 June 2011, Salla, Finland.

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Open Online Courses: Responding to Design Challenges

  1. 1. Open Online Courses: Responding to Design Challenges Terje Väljataga, Hans Põldoja, Mart Laanpere Tallinn University, Estonia
  2. 2. cbaThis work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copyof this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 CastroStreet, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
  3. 3. What are open online courses?
  4. 4. MOOCMassive Open Online Course
  5. 5. Pedagogical design challenges
  6. 6. Creating and sustaining community gravity• How to design sustainable community gravity?• What are the mechanisms for bringing and keeping together distributed groups?• What are the tools and techniques that facilitate and support the emergence of strong community gravity?
  7. 7. Monitoring participation and content flows• What are the possible technological solutions for both students and facilitators to monitor participation, observe content flows and comprehend the overall course progress?• How a course design can contribute to support monitoring heterogeneous landscapes of tools and services, student created content and their flows?
  8. 8. Designing materials and activities• To what extent the material and activities are pre- defined before the course starts?• To what extent students’ created and recommended activities should be included into this emergent course design?
  9. 9. Providing feedback• What type of feedback is realistic and required in open courses?• Who should provide feedback and how often?• How to increase the quality of feedback given by facilitators and participants?
  10. 10. Multiple case study
  11. 11. Research design• Multiple cases study method (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007)• 3 open online courses• Focus on 4 design challenges
  12. 12. Three cases
  13. 13. Composing free andopen online educational resources
  14. 14.
  15. 15. Course design• Wikiversity for planning and running the course• Course blog and personal blogs for all participants• Weekly blog posts and summaries• Personal introductions• Blogroll and OPML file for monitoring• Video conference at the end of the course
  16. 16. Learning environmentsand learning networks
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Course design• Course blog and personal blogs for all participants• Weekly blog posts and summaries• Personal learning contracts• Four contact days in addition to online activities• EduFeedr for managing and following the course (Põldoja, 2010)• Group assignment in addition to blogging• Good feedback from the facilitators
  19. 19. Social network
  20. 20. Learning & knowledge analytics
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Course design• The participants were free to decide on their level of participation• No required assignments• Moodle forum and Twitter as main communication tools• Daily summary posts by the facilitators• Weekly video conferences with external experts
  23. 23. Conclusions
  24. 24. Conclusions• Open online courses require redesigning the traditional patterns of learning and teaching• Online tools must be carefully selected to support planned learning activities• Participants see openness as an opportunity, not as a threat
  25. 25. References• Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. New York: T & F Books UK.• Põldoja, H. (2010). EduFeedr: following and supporting learners in open blog- based courses. In Open ED 2010 Proceedings. Barcelona: UOC, OU, BYU.
  26. 26. Thank You!Terje Väljataga Hans Põldoja Mart mart.laanpere@tlu.ee @hanspoldoja @martlaa