MOOCs HELTASA presentation

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Presentation at HELTASA 2015 conference on MOOCs, openness, and changing educator practices by Michael Glover

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  • "The University of Cape Town (UCT) will be launching its first MOOCs in early 2015. While the overarching objectives include showcasing more widely the teaching and research of the university, each of the individual MOOCs has its own targeted aims. These include the provision of open educational opportunities in disciplinary contexts that are not currently being addressed or for which a local or regional need has been ascertained. The MOOCs are being created by UCT academics in conjunction with UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) mostly in partnership with the British-based MOOC platform FutureLearn to host the MOOCs. Some UCT academics are also producing MOOCs and open courses on EdX and other platforms under their own or other organisational banners (eg OEC).”

    From Networked Learning C submission:] "Global South institutions are low producers of open education resources (OERs) and participate minimally in open education learning. Global South institutions, moreover, have had limited capacity to develop online courses, support more flexible forms of learning, and create OERs. In response to this problem we wish to investigate whether OER adoption in African-developed MOOCs contributes to educators’ open educational practices or not.”
    From ICDE proposal: "The UCT MOOCs project is a three year programme to design and deliver 12 MOOCs. The MOOCs are being created by UCT academics in conjunction with UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT). In addition to the design and delivery of MOOCs, the MOOC Implementation Team based at CILT is a recipient of a research grant from the Research in Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project to explore whether adopting OER in and for MOOCs leads to a transformation of educators’ teaching and learning practices. The sites of research comprise a number of UCT MOOCs, but for this proposal, we will look at the first MOOC which has already been run.
    A culture enabling openness is emerging at UCT. Some UCT staff, students and department groups across the disciplines have been making their teaching and learning resources, as well as research available freely online for many years. In addition, over the last seven years there have been several projects at UCT supporting the open agenda, starting with Open Scholarship (with its broad view of scholars at the centre of a network with others scholars, students and the community), then OERUCT and OpenUCT and most recently – the OER research project ROER4D . The university’s open content directory has provided a home for open education resources since 2010.
    During this time the university’s senior echelons have made important symbolic commitments to the open agenda with the signing of the Cape Town Open Declaration in 2008 and the Berlin Declaration in 2011.
    The UCT MOOCs project exists within this ecosystem of increasing awareness and symbolic institutional commitment to openness. While not a requirement, the UCT MOOC programme has also committed to releasing MOOC materials as OER, where possible, as part of its commitment to openness and aligned with UCT’s open agenda (The UCT Open Access Policy, adopted March 2014 ) which matches the UCT MOOCs project’s strategic goals of sharing UCT’s knowledge and scholarship. However, globally it is not a given that materials in MOOC formats are released as OER or open content, with most MOOCs on major international platforms allowing free access but materials are licenced with all rights reserved (Atenas, 2015)."
  • First major MOOC programme in Africa
    Committed to 12 MOOCs + over 3 years
    Multi –platform approach
    Academic leads are committed in principle to producing their MOOCs as Open Educational Resources (OER), with the intention for most content to be released as a form of OER
    Opportunity to test impact of this open education initiative on educators’ practices

  • Part of a broader study

    This is a case study of an educator’s practices and perceptions during and after the creation of a MOOC (massive open online course) at a prominent African university. We examine whether/how the lead educators’ practices changed with particular focus on ‘openness’ (Beetham et al 2012). We are interested in how educators engage with open education resources (OERs) and openness as part of the MOOC’s development, and how this relates to their practices and attitudes during its creation, while it is running and after it has been completed. Our research question is broadly: How do educators’ practices change or not change when using (or not using) OERs in and as a MOOC. We are interested in whether and why educators adopt OERs in their MOOCs. ”

    [Interested in whether and why educators adopt OERs in their MOOC. ]

    Explain question
    Beetham six catalysts or signs of openness
    Opening up content to students not formally enrolled
    Sharing and collaborating on content
    Re-using content in teaching contexts
    Using or encouraging others to use content
    Making knowledge publicly accessible
    Teaching/learning in open networks
  • Although separated analytically, in activity theory the external (rules, community, tools, division of labour) and the internal (the subject’s mind and motivation) are merged together. There is no sharp discontinuity between the subject’s practices (which are object-motivated) and the mediating artefacts – these elements of an activity system are ineluctably entwined. When subjects act towards and consider an object, their acts and motivations are always mediated (dynamically influenced) by artefacts. To examine educators’ practices, therefore, these practices are situated in activity systems. "
  • Bellamy (1996, 125) has noted that new mediating artefacts (like tools) in an activity affect the kinds of social and individual processes which develop, but also that existing social processes in a community and the mental processes of an individual in an activity affects how a new artefact/tool is used. In our view the MOOC design is a mediating artefact in the activity system.
    ‘MOOC design’ signifies both the production and learning design aspect, and the MOOC platform features.

    Activity systems always carry contradictions/tensions/disruptions within and between. They are characterized by historically accumulated contradictions, these contradictions are opportunities for

  • This research is a phenomenological investigation into the perspectives and experiences of educators in the MOOC; it examines whether and how they adopt and grapple with OERs in their MOOC. Our data collection consists of open-ended individual semi-structured interviews and a post-course reflective discussion with the lead educators in the MOOC. Since activity theory is about individual activities embroiled in their contexts, interviews enable us to insert educators’ subjectivity into our descriptive investigation and get at their motivations for the object and their perceptions of and relations to mediating artefacts. The object of an activity system is the motivation for its existence, and since the subject’s motivation “drives” the activity, interviews are a suitable tool for “unpacking motives” (Hardman, 2005). In order to locate change or opportunities for change in educators’ practices, we look for manifestations of contradictions and affordances which emerge in the activity systems. We examine what contradictions or tensions emanate in incorporating (or not incorporating) OERs in the MOOC and what effect this has on their beliefs, attitudes, assumptions and practices. The activity theory lens allows us to illustrate activity systems at two time intervals.

    The activity system model enables rich descriptions of educators’ practices while engaging with the MOOC and OERs as tools entering into their activity systems. Bellamy (1996, 125) has noted that new artefacts (like tools) in an activity affect the kinds of social and individual processes which develop, but also that existing social processes in a community and the mental processes of an individual in an activity affects how a new artefact/tool is used. Our view is of the MOOC platform as a mediating tool in the activity system, following others who have used the “relatively open and anonymous” term “computer artefact” in activity theory analysis to capture a range of computer-associated tools like programs, printers, multimedia extensions etc. (Christiansen, 1996). In addition, we understand CC licenses to be tools which signal to users how property right rules structure relationships with an educational resource, through enabling permissions (thus transforming a learning resource into an OER). A MOOC, despite its name, is thus not necessarily ‘open’ in the sense of consisting of OERs, but can be if its contents are openly licensed and hosted so that they are retrievable.

    The activity theory lens thus acts as a powerful explanatory device for describing and understanding \the effects of new tools (CC licenses and the MOOC conceived broadly) entering the lead educators’ activity systems and as well as their conceptions of the tools. Activity theory also provides a way of describing how practices are dynamically influenced and mediated over time (before and after the MOOC). Evidence of contradictions emerging in particular show how practices may change or how innovation may come about."
  • Methodology from NL final submission: "This study constructs two activity systems, one before the MOOC is running and one after the MOOC has run its six week duration.
  • This is the activity system of the MOOC before the MOOC ran but during the production process.
    In the first Activity System, the subject’s acting upon and consideration of the object is mediated by a multiplicity of factors, which activity theory categorises into nodes. The nodes of the system dynamically mediate the subject acting towards the object. For instance the subject’s creation of the MOOC (in order to promote her/his interdisciplinary field) is inter alia a function of the rules (e.g., supportive open environment, the university’s MOOC strategy) and the division of labour (e.g., MOOC design team, MOOC advisory committee, assistants). Importantly, both the ‘MOOC design’ and its OER components – which are mediating artefacts – were inoperative at this point in time, and the MOOC course would only go live the following week. In the first activity system the lead educator did not have experience of the MOOC and its OER component’s capabilities.

    Figure 1 shows how the mediating artefact node interacts with the subject striving towards the object (which he explained as the bringing into conversation two discrete but related fields in the promotion of a new interdisciplinary field) (NT2). The MOOC design and its openly licensed components (OER) mediating the educator’s striving towards her/his object provides the possibility to perceive the role of openness, the affordances these artefacts provide. These artefacts also mediate the educator’ thoughts and create occasion for the educator to reflect on their educational practices.
  • Cultural Historical background, object has been in play for a number of years
    Get the link to book and insert pic of footnote 1 on WIAM
  • There are two significant differences between the first and second activity systems. In Figure 2 the MOOC design and its OER components have been operationalised, that is the MOOC course has been taken by a cohort of learners and has run its six week duration. This implies, secondly, that thousands of new participants (MOOC learners) from a global arena have entered the community node of the activity system.
  • So the question is: How do these change in the activity system affect the educator’s perceptions and practices?
    How do the mediating artefacts influence the educator?
  • The activity system before the MOOC went live is represented below (Figure 1). The artefact node mediates the subjects’ (lead educators) striving towards the object (developing a new interdisciplinary field) and in doing so provides the possibility to perceive the role of openness, the affordances the artefacts provide, and also mediates educators thoughts and creates occasion for them to reflect on their educational practices. MENTION that you present findings BY THEME to capture shifts in perceptions/practices
  • When interviewed shortly before the launch of the MOOC (that is, towards the end of the creation and production of the MOOC) the lead educator was impressed by a number of anticipated affordances of the MOOC.
  • The lead educator appeared to initially perceive the MOOC as a kind of flipped classroom combined with a multi-modal textbook and inferred that the MOOC could be used as “supplemental” to a lot of conventional teaching (NT1).
  • “At this juncture the lead educator appears to conceive of the MOOC in terms of an instructivist transmission pedagogy and does not refer to the interactive or engagement aspect of the MOOC. “
  • Context: this is before the MOOC ran but during the production of it

    These are capabilities of the MOOC, which relate to the design and structure of the MOOC
  • There are two significant differences between the first and second activity systems. Firstly, the MOOC and its OER components are operationalised, i.e., the course has gone live and has run its six week duration, this implies, secondly, that new participants (MOOC learners) have entered the community node of the activity system.
  • After the MOOC course had run its six week duration, and thousands of participants had engaged with the course and its various components, the lead educator’s perceptions of and attitudes toward the MOOC shifted somewhat.
  • Whereas before the MOOC went live the educator considered the MOOC to be a kind of supplementary-multimodal-textbook-cum-flipped-classroom, after the MOOC had run its six week duration the educator indicated surprise at the extent of engagement and interaction on the course.
  • The lead mentor thought that MOOCs “go further than a normal lecture” because a lecturer cannot refer to too many different theories, different aspects, critiques etc. when speaking to an audience (BE2). By contrast, adding in different theories or critiques can be done both by inserting links into the MOOC steps or this occurs spontaeously when participants post their own links or articles.
  • This relates to reflection on practices
    Interestingly, the lead educator had not initially realised that the MOOC involved a “different format of lecturing” with an “interactive aspect” but argued that even if the MOOC were simply a flipped classroom (“you film the lecturer and it’s available on the internet”) – that is, stripping away the multimodal and interactive affordances – “that is better than the first year teaching I do now” (NT2). The lead educator was intent on using the MOOC format for conventional teaching.
    …………………………………………………..
    The lead educator reasoned the first years and Honours students are each taught “more or less the same thing” as a group each year and that if one “consider[s] all the add-ons” (the multi-modal aspect described above) which cannot be used “with a large sea of faces sitting there” then it makes sense to craft the lectures into a MOOC and “run it for five years” (until the field has progressed sufficiently) (NT2). MOOCs would then be a way of making conventional teaching more efficient, both for the educators (less repeat lecturing to large classes) and to learners (who could view the lectures at their convenience and profit from the added links, case studies, articles and so forth which the MOOC format permits). The lead educator also noted that educators who did not have experience of “distance learning platforms or more efficient ways of teaching” were not positive about these new forms of educating, while those who did were positive about the MOOC (NT2).

  • The educator appears to perceive the use of Creative Commons licensed materials (which render an educational resource an OER) as something which educators should do in their practices anyway, but that intellectual property right rules are not always operative in lecturers’ practices. There is a sense therefore that many educational resources are already functioning practically as open resources in the lecture halls, but that these are not appropriately licenced because the rule does not practically come into play.
  • The lead educator here hints at a more nuanced view of the OER components of the MOOC. The MOOC consists of CC licenced learning materials, which means that the MOOC itself is a kind of OER. However, because the MOOC is only accessible during the six week periods when it runs, the OER aspect of the MOOC-in-its-entirety is a time-contingent OER. That is why the lead educator notes that the MOOC contents need to be “permanently available and propagateable”.

    …………………………………………….
    The educator appears to perceive well-crafted open access educational resources as so valuable that they could effectively replace the need for her/him to physically deliver lectures and talks and thus reduce travel obligations.

  • As described above, before the launch of the MOOC the lead educator considered the MOOC to be a kind of flipped classroom without interaction or the capacity to monitor students but contended that the larger number of learners/participants would not be a disadvantage because monitoring of students “can't be done in a big lecture theatre anyway” (NT1). The educator noted that before the MOOC s/he did not consider it possible to “convey really complicated material in seven As described above, before the launch of the MOOC the lead educator considered the MOOC to be a kind of flipped classroom without interaction or the capacity to monitor students but contended that the larger number of learners/participants would not be a disadvantage because monitoring of students “can't be done in a big lecture theatre anyway” (NT1). The educator noted that before the MOOC s/he did not consider it possible to “convey really complicated material in seven minutes” but that since the MOOC design (i.e. the mediating artefact which comes into play in the second activity system) compelled her/him to do so, the lead educator learned how to do it and was convinced that “it can be done” (NT1).
  • After the MOOC had completed its six week duration, the lead educator continued to use the concept of a flipped classroom to understand how a MOOC could be used in future.
    The educator conceived of the MOOC as a means to replace large (300 student) repeat lectures. The MOOC was in part considered a stand-in for conventional lectures.
  • The configuration of the MOOC – its steps which consist of short video lectures for example – meant that the lead educator reflected on what it means to express ideas in short bursts and have them received widely (NT2).
    ………………………………………………………………………………

    The lead educator argued that because the MOOC videos are short and widely accessible it means that educators have to be “succinct” possess “clarity of thought” and convincingly “know your field”. The MOOC in a sense therefore compels educators to harness greater clarity and control in delivering lectures or material to students. The lead educator here seems to suggest that MOOC-style crafted lectures may imply better quality than conventional lectures.
  • A primary contradiction emerges in the first activity system between the MOOC design (mediating artefact) and the object. The MOOC design means that the course allows open enrolment to non-registered students. However, the university’s rules stipulate that copyrighted material cannot be made available to non-registered (i.e., MOOC) students. The lead educator was thus unable to use her/his own (copyright) work in the MOOC in a context where the object is to promote and advance his/her field. In this way, the MOOC design, which incorporates open enrolment, bumps up against the object and leads to a disturbance. The lead educator expressed frustration at this disturbance.

    ……………………………………………..
    This contradiction was partly resolved by the other mediating artefact (CC licences) in that a pre-print version of a copyrighted article was able to be re-licensed with an ‘open’ CC license and so could be included in the course (WS2). In a similar case the tension was resolved because permission to use an article was granted by the publisher. The publisher was in this instance willing to permit use of the text because the course was free and open (WS2). In this way the MOOC design can be seen to constrain the object (the field can only be promoted using open licensed content) but also enable the object, because the publisher allows copyright material to be used in light of the MOOC being free and open to anyone.
  • MOOCs HELTASA presentation

    1. 1. MOOCs, openness and changing educator practices: an Activity Theory case study Laura Czerniewicz, Sukaina Walji Andrew Deacon, Michael Glover 18 – 20 Nov, HELTASA, North-West University, Michael.glover@uct.ac.za / @mjgresearch
    2. 2. MOOC = Massive Open Online Course • 6 week course • Each week segmented • Consists of (7-12min) videos, quizzes, articles, case studies, interviews, peer reviews, discussions • No entry requirements • Free • Thousands of participants
    3. 3. Context • Global South low producers of OER • Participate less in open learning and teaching • Emerging culture of enabling openness at UCT, open agenda • Cape Town Open Declaration 2008; Berlin Declaration 2011; Open Scholarship; OERUCT; OpenUCT • UCT MOOCs project (3 years, 12 MOOCs) • Grantee of ROER4D Impact Study (Sub-project 10.3) Links UCT MOOCs: http://www.cilt.uct.ac.za/cilt/moocs-project-uct ROER4D Sub-project 10.3: http://roer4d.org/sp10-3-impact-of-oer-in-and-as-moocs-in-south-africa
    4. 4. One of first major MOOC initiatives in Africa Partnership with FutureLearn and Coursera 12 MOOCS+ over 3 years Intention for OER outputs of MOOC materials First 2 MOOCs on FutureLearn platform launched and currently re-running. Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare What is a Mind? UCT MOOCs project
    5. 5. Question How do educators’ practices change when using (or not using) OER in and as a MOOC?
    6. 6. Conceptual framework • Locate educators’ practices and perceptions in context of mediating artefacts • Activity Theory (Engëström 1987) • ‘Subjects’ (lead educators) strive towards ‘object’ (developing new interdisciplinary field) in an activity system • tools, rules, community, division of labour, object • Activity systems are object-directed (activity is unit of analysis) • Context is not just ‘out there’ (Nardi 1996) • Mental processes and acts inextricably entwined with context
    7. 7. Conceptual framework • Activity Theory as heuristic to thickly describe changes in educators’ practices and perceptions • Explanatory device to capture change and ‘contradictions’ as sites of change/adaption/innovation • Captures system in which educators strive for/consider their object • Examine effect of adding two new mediating artefacts: • Creative Commons (CC) licenses • ‘MOOC design’
    8. 8. Methodology • Case study analysis • Insert educator ‘subjectivity’ into analysis, via: • open-ended semi-structured interviews • post-MOOC reflection focus groups • Theory framed analysis • Code according to Activity Theory nodes, openness, emerging themes
    9. 9. Methodology • Interviews before MOOC, immediately after, 6 months later • Interviewees: MOOC lead educator, assistant and lead mentor, MOOC design team • Longitudinal (change over time) • For this analysis we examine one MOOC at two time intervals (before and immediately after)
    10. 10. Activity System 1
    11. 11. Object Lead educator’s object “my pedagogical goal always is how do I speak to two different audiences at the same time. How do I make [field y] accessible to the [practitioners of field z], and how do I make [field z] accessible to [practitioners of field y]. I think that this MOOC is trying to do the same thing” (NT1).
    12. 12. Activity System 2
    13. 13. Activity Systems 1 & 2 Two significant differences between the first and second activity systems 1) MOOC and its OER components are operationalised, i.e., the course has gone live and has run its six week duration 2) Thousands of new participants (MOOC learners) have entered the community node of the activity system This is what has changed at the system level
    14. 14. Findings Mediating artefact node dynamically influences subject (lead educator)’s striving toward object; we found that the educator: 1) Engaged with the role of OER and openness in MOOCs 2) Perceived affordances of the MOOC design 3) Reflected on educational practices in different contexts 4) Contradiction, MOOC design and object
    15. 15. Affordances of the MOOC 1 Reduces barriers, access, reach • “reduces geographic and economic impediments to access” (NT1) • University access for those who cannot study (NT1) • Accommodate those who wish to study-part and work (BE1) • “in general, that you can learn a lot of different subjects. You can increase your knowledge about something without having to commit three years to a degree to learn about it” (BE1)
    16. 16. Affordances of the MOOC 1 MOOC as flipped-classroom-and-multimodal-textbook • MOOC as “supplemental” (NT1) • “readings and additional materials” can be “immediately accessible” for the interested learner: “you can build all that sort of stuff in [i.e. links to articles, videos, case studies, interviews, learning objects]”(NT1) • “You can see little case studies…read selected publications”, the lead educator reasoned, “and you could never do that as a mere human being” (NT1)
    17. 17. Affordances of the MOOC 1 Teaching efficiencies • “The things that can be done en masse in a lecture theatre can be better done en masse online, and then the sort of thing that can't be done en masse or online... can be done person to person. It frees up for that sort of tutorial teaching where you really can monitor the individual” (NT1) • “I've got to repeat the same lecture to 300 more students because we can't fit 600 into one lecture theatre. There's no reason why that whole lecture couldn't be done as a MOOC, for example” (NT1) Instructivist transmission pedagogy , flipped classroom aspect No reference to interactive, engagement aspect
    18. 18. Affordances of the MOOC 1 Design • “I like the fact that people can just use it however they like” (NT1) • “you can do it at your own pace” (BE1) • “You can sort of guide them through the complexity so that it's not completely overwhelming” (NT1) • “you have a platform from which you can gradually seduce people into learning the technical complexities” (NT1)
    19. 19. Activity Systems 1 & 2 Two significant differences between the first and second activity systems 1) MOOC and its OER components are operationalised, i.e., the course has gone live and has run its six week duration 2) Thousands of new participants (MOOC learners) have entered the community node of the activity system
    20. 20. Affordances of the MOOC 2 Reach, scope, access • “you can teach a much larger number of people…you can teach them remotely” (NT2) • “the geographical spread was remarkable, so that is the obvious advantage. It is the whole reason of MOOCs and that’s just manifestly patently obviously unequivocally a good thing” (NT2) Perceives an ‘open’ aspect of the MOOC as central
    21. 21. Affordances of the MOOC 2 MOOC affordances and pedagogical aim • “the reason you teach, is that you try and actually get information into people’s heads, so the more people that get that information, the better” (NT2) • “The more you have something worthwhile to say, the more people who hear you saying it, the better. So you influence the field more, you get known better. There is no disadvantage” (NT2) Teaching generally, influence the field
    22. 22. Affordances of the MOOC 2 MOOC affordances and pedagogical aim • “By reducing the barriers to accessibility…you have a greater chance of being able to get your point across and get yourself known… in an obscure university and in an obscure country teaching to an obscure little group of students, you got less chance of getting ahead” (NT2) • “UCT as much as we are proud of it, it is really not the centre of the academic world, so if you can have the things you saying over here broadcast democratically on an even sort of playing field with your colleagues at Yale and Cambridge, we have more to gain” (NT2)
    23. 23. Affordances of the MOOC 2 Interaction and engagement • “I hadn’t realised that there was that much inter-action between the institution and the learners….you can interact with them in a kind of a normal to and fro that you expect would be not possible in a remote format dealing with that many students” (NT2) • “[T]here are more things available [in the MOOC] than I had realised…I saw that they really do have a very lively personal interaction with students” (NT2) indicative of shifting from an instructivist view of the MOOC towards seeing it as enabling a more interactive and engaged pedagogy
    24. 24. Affordances of the MOOC 2 • “there would be a lot of discussions, and then people would go research whatever was discussed. They would research what was presented, or go find extra links. Like, a lot of the people shared other links, other articles” (BE2) • “a springboard for further discussion and engagement” (BE2) Co-learning, learners can switch to fellow teacher
    25. 25. Affordances of the MOOC 2 Teaching efficiencies • “Now that I know how much more you can do with that format, I think unequivocally I think that we should be using it. I would love to use it for UCT teaching alone, when it comes to large classes” • MS: “I teach more or less the same thing every year to the first year students, more or less the same thing to the Honours students every year and if you consider all the add-ons, especially with the larger classes, all the things that you can do with the MOOCs that you can’t do with a large sea of faces sitting there, why go through it every year the same old course to the same old mass of people. You know to do it once on a MOOCs and then you can at least run it for five years until the field has moved on sufficiently for you to need to update the lectures”
    26. 26. Perceived role of openness 1 Reach, access • “if people then video what you are saying and then they distribute that or use it, it’s just more bang for your buck” (NT1) • “I think that there’s just been a dawning realisation that…the ownership of this intellectual property is like antithetical to what we are trying to do. We are not trying to own ideas, we are trying to disseminate ideas” (NT1) • “once the material is there, once it's open access, you can multiply that effect. I mean why would one want to hold onto knowledge? The whole thing is to… professors must profess” (NT1)
    27. 27. Perceived role of openness 1 Concerns about ‘openness’ • “[Y]ou give a lecture and you give permission for it to be filmed. It's all over the place. You can't then regulate or control how people are going to use it. So taking little bits and pieces out of context and using it for all sorts of purposes, good and bad, you've got no control over it anyway. So I don't think that the MOOCs change that” (NT1) • “[O]nce it [a piece of writing] is in print, technically you don’t have control over it. Even if in law you do, but from an ethical point of view you don’t” (NT1)
    28. 28. Perceived role of openness 2 • “you don’t want to limit the number of people who are allowed to hear your pearls, so the more available and accessible and permanently available and propagatable…the better. It does not require more effort from me” (NT2) • “There are things that I am actually planning to do now, because of the MOOCs experience I had, which is to replace many of those sorts of things with on my own professional society, I belong to something called the [ xyz ] Society. I want to put stuff on their website of this kind to relieve myself of travel obligations” (NT2)
    29. 29. Reflection on educational practices 1 • “you can't as easily monitor… the student” (NT1) • “[What] I did learn is talking… is trying to convey – this I've never done before – trying to convey really complicated material in seven minute chunks. That's something. And it can be done.” (NT1)
    30. 30. Reflection on educational practices 2 • “I am sure all concerned would rather just watch it on the computer. Why come to campus at 8 am to sit in a class of 300 plus students listening to some dot down there lecturing with not great acoustics and not great technology” (NT2) Three goals at once: 1) teach UCT students more effectively 2) Promote and influence field 3) Even the playing field
    31. 31. Reflection on educational practices 2 MOOC design mediation “[Y]ou cannot waffle and fudge to an audience that big, that diverse…in such a short space of time. You have to be succinct, to the point, which means you have to have clarity of thought, which means you have to know what you are trying to say, which means you have to know your field. There is a lot that you can disguise or camouflage with waffle” (NT2)
    32. 32. Contradictions 1 Primary contradiction Mediating artefact (MOOC design) and object Non-enrolled learners can’t access copyright material “When I want to use my material and I have to get permission from the publisher it irritates me… it was my article, why do I have to get permission to use it?” (NT1) “it would be nice to include more things [in the MOOC] but then we’re constrained by… licensing or copyright issues” (BE1)
    33. 33. Contradictions 2 Object and MOOC design Afterlife reusability “now we looking into editing, seeing what we can edit out. It is possible not to re-do some of those things. I would like to use them and that’s an impediment” (NT2)
    34. 34. Concluding remarks Activity theory useful conceptual framework for tracking educator practices in “authentic contexts” (Porter 2013) AT enabled thick description of educator’s changing perceptions of • Affordances of the MOOC • The role of Openness Allows us to track educators’ reconceptualisation of face-to-face teaching and intent to change practices Locate contradictions as sites of potential change/innovation Changed practice: Lead educator has put in proposal for another MOOC
    35. 35. References Barab, S. A., Barnett, M., Yamagata-Lynch, L., Squire, K., & Keating, T. (2002). Using activity theory to understand the systemic tensions characterizing a technology-rich introductory astronomy course. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 9(2), 76-107. Beetham, H., Falconer, I., McGill, L., & Littlejohn, A. (2012). JISC open practices: Briefing paper. Dippe, G. (2006). The missing teacher: Contradictions and conflicts in the experience of online learners. In Fifth International Conference on Networked Learning 2006 (pp. 8-pages). Engestrom Y 1987. Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretic approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit Oy. Hardman, J. (2005). An exploratory case study of computer use in a primary school mathematics classroom: new technology, new pedagogy?: research: information and communication technologies. Perspectives in Education: Recearch on ICTs and Education in South Africa: Special Issue 4, 23, p-99. Murphy, E., & Manzanares, M. A. R. (2008). Contradictions between the virtual and physical high school classroom: A third‐generation Activity Theory perspective. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 1061-1072. Murphy, E. & Rodriguez-Manzanares, M. (2014). Activity Theory perspectives on technology in higher education. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global. Nardi, B. A. (1996). Studying context: A comparison of activity theory, situated action models, and distributed cognition. Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction, 69-102. Nelson, C. P., & Kim, M. K. (2001). Contradictions, Appropriation, and Transformation: An Activity Theory Approach to L2 Writing and Classroom Practices. Texas papers in foreign language education, 6(1), 37-62 Peruski, L., & Mishra, P. (2004). Webs of Activity in Online Course Design and Teaching. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 12(1), 37-49. Porter, D. A. (2013). Exploring the practices of educators using open educational resources (OER) in the British Columbia higher education system (Doctoral dissertation, Education: Faculty of Education).

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