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Designing innovative online learning


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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.

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Designing innovative online learning

  1. 1. Designing Innovative Online Learning An Investigation of Digital Badges Integration with Two MOOC Platforms Michele Forte, Allison Hosier, Trudi Jacobson, Tom Mackey, Amy McQuigge, Kelsey O'Brien, Jenna Pitera, and Kathleen Stone
  2. 2. MOOCs • 3 MOOCs: connectivist, Coursera, and Canvas • 2 IITGs: first to establish metaliteracy learning collaborative and explore badging; second to integrate MOOC and badging • Original “c-MOOC” not part of first grant but developed same time as digital badging system
  3. 3. Empowering Yourself in a Connected World Watch Promo Video
  4. 4. Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners (Mackey and Jacobson, 2014). “Metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills (determine, access, locate, understand, produce, and use information) to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments (collaborate, participate, produce, and share)” (p. 1).
  5. 5. “Metaliteracy is envisioned as a comprehensive model for information literacy to advance critical thinking and reflection in social media, open learning settings, and online communities.” Jacobson and Mackey, Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy, Communications in Information Literacy 7(2), 2013.
  6. 6. 6 Figure developed by Mackey, Jacobson and Roger Lipera Mackey and Jacobson (2014) Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners
  7. 7. What is a digital badge? o Record of an accomplishment o Corresponds to knowledge shown or abilities proven o A component in the competency-based education movement o Methods of gauging accomplishment varies o For metaliteracy badges, reading by humans important, given nature of the learning Image Source: Girl Guides of Canada, CC-BY
  8. 8. Our Vision • Achieve goal of IITG to “integrate” digital badging and MOOCs • Coursera’s Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) was not available as originally promised • Did not want to give up on Coursera environment to explore Canvas • Developing two MOOCs offered innovative teaching and research opportunities
  9. 9. Design Elements • “Well-oiled machine” • Fixed Template • Guidelines and procedures, help center • “Blank canvas” • Apps as building blocks • “Sounding Board,” support forums, DIY
  10. 10. Poll: Have you taken a MOOC? Canvas? Coursera?
  11. 11. Collaboration Design • Content • Assessments • Videos • “OER’d” ourselves Facilitation • Team-based by weeks • Weekly announcements • Discussion forums • Team emails
  12. 12. Coursera Set Up and Design
  13. 13. Coursera Set Up and Design Access to YouTube
  14. 14. Learning Environments • 5,365 enrollments (3,201 on day one) • 10 week course • Broader metaliteracy scope • Discussion forums very rich and active • 288 enrollments (closed after week 1) • 6 week course • Focus on digital citizenship • Discussion boards used mainly for troubleshooting and graded assignments
  15. 15. Gamification Elements Home Page of Canvas MOOC
  16. 16. Gamification Elements Levels of the Digital Citizen Badge
  17. 17. Gamification Elements Weekly Challenges and Achievements
  18. 18. Animated Celebration of Achievements
  19. 19. Records of Achievement Statement of Accomplishment Digital Citizen Badge
  20. 20. Student Achievements • 20 earned Statement of Accomplishment (>70%) • 18 earned SoA “with distinction” (>90%) • 10 earned Digital Citizen badge
  21. 21. Watch "Global Contributor" Participating as a Global Contributor
  22. 22. Global Access Picture a student at your campus/in your classroom.
  23. 23. Global Access Coursera Students – Over 5,000 students from 142 different countries • United States: 29% • India: 6% • China: 5% • United Kingdom: 4% • Russian Federation: 3% • Others represented: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Romania, South Africa, Pakistan, and many more.
  24. 24. Global Access The use of images (Global Contributor video)
  25. 25. Global Access
  26. 26. Global Access Expanding the discussion of copyright.
  27. 27. Global Access Peer review of assignments
  28. 28. Learner Comment “Especially when it comes to spelling and grammar, I think we have to bear in mind that we're dealing with quite a few foreigners. Some of which (like myself) have lived in English speaking countries. But others haven't. And it's not quite fair, to rate someone with -say- zero, just because they haven't learned another language in-depth.”
  29. 29. Learner Comment “Simultaneously to the thematic challenge I had the linguistic one. So I was not only able to learn a lot of new content , but also to improve my english skills.”
  30. 30. Video Designs Principles • Variety of styles • Variety of content • Variety of lengths • Did not replicate content
  31. 31. Ideas We Had • Go Pro camera • Going outside; on location • Having an intro and content for each week • Multiple user-generated videos uploaded to common server (in the spirit of social media) • Most interested in providing alternative to Courersa’s “professor-behind-the-desk”
  32. 32. Course Videos Studio Dialogs Interviews Animated
  33. 33. Metaliteracy YouTube Channel Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative
  34. 34. Lessons • Subtitles in different languages • Comfort • Different tools • Time • Cost • Distance
  35. 35. Watch “Creating and Sharing a Social Identity”
  36. 36. Pedagogy • Responding to student feedback • Teaching impacted by on-going feedback and comments • Teacher as learner/learner as teacher • Collaborative decision-making
  37. 37. Watch "From Learner to Teacher"
  38. 38. Peer Assessments • MOOC-centric feature brings challenges • Peer Assessments are central to metaliteracy • Peer Assessments scale for MOOC environment • Less instructor “control”; expanded learner empowerment
  39. 39. Learner Comment “I am quite unhappy with the results I have been given from my fellow peers who have reviewed my assessments. I'm not unhappy with the overall results, but only that of the which states "Is the response will written, without spelling or grammar errors?"
  40. 40. Learner Comment “One of the things I liked about this MOOC was that we were required to grade and comment upon two students’ assignments. Knowing my peers would be looking at my work made me put a little more thought into it. Also, I was interested to see how other responded to the same questions.”
  41. 41. What We Learned • Exploration of 2 MOOCs • cMOOC expectations • Reach • Understanding of what it means to “integrate” digital badging and MOOCs expanded to include integration of content in both MOOCs (and not just systems)
  42. 42. Learner Comment I want to share with you how happy I am. Today I received my statement of accomplishment. …It was my first MOOC ever, and prior to the start of the course I knew nothing about Metaliteracy. I am thrilled I can apply most of the content to different areas of my life such as work, language learning, and practically most of my everyday activities online. I am a non-native and some weeks were more demanding but thanks to all the hard work and thinking I am certain I learnt a lot. Thanks so much!
  43. 43. Questions or comments?
  44. 44. Learner Comments “I have been preaching this to my friends and family.” “I rarely use social media, but the students I teach are addicted…This class helped me learn some of the protocol I'd like to pass on to the students.”
  45. 45. Learner Comment “I would like to offer my deepest gratitude in you taking the time to teach me and many others what it truly means to be a digital citizen. I would also like to thank you, for you have provided me with education that I would not have had access to if I had not taken this course. You have been an excellent professor.”
  46. 46. Learner Comment I want to share with you how happy I am. Today I received my statement of accomplishment. …It was my first MOOC ever, and prior to the start of the course I knew nothing about Metaliteracy. I am thrilled I can apply most of the content to different areas of my life such as work, language learning, and practically most of my everyday activities online. I am a non-native and some weeks were more demanding but thanks to all the hard work and thinking I am certain I learnt a lot. Thanks so much!