The driving goal for this Tier 3 IITG project was the integration of the Open SUNY Metaliteracy Badging System with Coursera’s MOOC platform. We proposed that merging these two innovative and flexible learning models would provide an exciting prospect to implement metaliteracy competencies across a wide and diverse audience. Coursera’s analytics also provided the opportunity to gather valuable data about the impact of the badging system on the learning experience, especially in regards to student motivation.
As we set out to build our MOOC, however, we encountered both technological and pedagogical barriers to our original course design. The first of these barriers was that full integration of the badging system in the way we had envisioned was not possible with Coursera's current functionalities.
The other barrier we encountered was related to the incompatibility of our original assessments with
the automated nature of MOOCs. The assessments we had designed for the badging system are mostly open-ended, reflective assignments that cannot be automatically graded, but rather must be reviewed by an instructor. While we wanted to maintain the integrity of the original assignments, instructor
grading of massive numbers of submissions was not possible. We decided to adapt the assignments to a peer-review model, which involved careful construction of rubrics and explicit instructions for student reviewers to follow as they graded their peers.
These challenges presented an important turning point in our project. Do we modify our content according to the platform, or do we push the limits of the platform in order to accommodate our content? Our ultimate solutions involved a little bit of both.
We discovered that Canvas, another major player in the MOOC world, provides tools that enable a more robust integration of the badging system. However, we didn’t want to give up the opportunity to host a MOOC on Coursera, due to their high profile in the MOOC arena, and their selection as the platform of
choice for SUNY. We decided to proceed with the creation of two MOOCs, which would be offered in succession on the two different platforms, and would allow us to take advantage of the unique strengths offered by each.
This panel will offer insights about the collaborative development and facilitation of both the Coursera and Canvas MOOCs and the extent to which we were able to integrate the digital badging system. We will discuss the process of deciding how to incorporate the Metaliteracy Badges, how determinations were made about video production and use, and the unanticipated challenges and strengths of this combined model that featured structured modules and competency based learning. We will also discuss
completion rates, and offer student feedback on both MOOCs. The development of MOOCs in both Coursera and Canvas presented the unique opportunity to compare the advantages and drawbacks of both platforms.