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“The best part was the contact”:
Understanding postgraduate students’
experiences of wrapped MOOCs in a South
African univ...
M
C
0
0
assive
pen
nline
ourse
• Large course sign-ups (Mustafaraj, 2014)
• No prerequisites or admission requirements (Sa...
3
Blended learning
Blended learning landscape
4
Online
Face-to-
Face
Formal
Eg:
Accreditation
Non-
Formal
EG:
Summer
school
Semi -
Formal
EG:...
Blended learning - MOOCs and face-to-face
contexts5
Online
Face-to-
Face
Formal
Eg:
Accreditatio
n
Non-
Formal
Eg:
Summer
...
Wrapped MOOCs
6
Questions?
◻ Is an institution or organization hosting and supporting the
face-to-face element of the learning experience?...
Types of Wrapped MOOCs
◻ Type 1: Peer Wrapped
◻ Type 2: Collegial Wrap
◻ Type 3: Co-curricula Wrap
◻ Type 4: Formal, Curri...
Background of UCT
● Research-intensive ● PGs drawn from
beyond UCT
9
The Office of Postgraduate Studies
◻ OPS supports PGs in completing their studies. Identified a problem: PGS
are
⬜ Diverse...
Method
◻ Qualitative, case study approach
◻ Data collection: A range of primary and secondary data, sample of 406
students...
The framework
12
◻ Data analysis: Analytical framework:
Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2000)
Community of Inquiry (CoI) ...
13
14
Finding #1
Having an authority
figure is important
Findings - Teaching Presence
◻ Replaced the MOOC instructor
⬜ MOOC became unimportant - students only came to sessions
⬜ “...
Findings - Teaching Presence
◻ Flattened classroom
⬜ Students came expecting traditional authority - they were “quite at s...
17
Finding #2
People like real people
Findings - Social Presence
◻ Preference for face-to-face interaction
⬜ “I was able to ask questions and interact with othe...
19
Finding #3
People learned stuff
Findings - Cognitive Presence
◻ Adapted MOOC assignments to the class for e.g writing and public
speaking MOOC
◻ Students ...
21
Finding #4
Independent learning
is hard
Findings - Learner Presence
◻ Voluntary programme
⬜ Student intrinsically motivated
⬜ Wrapped MOOC experience requires mor...
23
Finding #4
Logistics matter
Findings - Structural factors
◻ Structure and format
⬜ Period between MOOC content being released & facilitated sessions
w...
Conclusion
25
◻ Facilitated sessions provided a meaningful experience to students
- addressed their cognitive need
◻ Stude...
26
Questions?
Authors
Tasneem
Jaffer
Cheryl
Brown
Shanali
Govender
27
◻ Corresponding author:
tasneem.jaffer@uct.ac.za
@Noobprincess
◻ Find us at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and
Lear...
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“I don’t always wrap MOOCs, but when I do…”: Improving postgraduates students’ experiences of MOOCs as OERs through facilitation and face-to-face contact

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Shanali Govender, Tasneem Jaffer
University of Cape Town

Published in: Education
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“I don’t always wrap MOOCs, but when I do…”: Improving postgraduates students’ experiences of MOOCs as OERs through facilitation and face-to-face contact

  1. 1. “The best part was the contact”: Understanding postgraduate students’ experiences of wrapped MOOCs in a South African university Tasneem Jaffer, Shanali Govender & Cheryl Brown 1
  2. 2. M C 0 0 assive pen nline ourse • Large course sign-ups (Mustafaraj, 2014) • No prerequisites or admission requirements (Sandeen, 2013) • Relatively low completion rates (Jordan, 2014; Khalil and Ebner, 2014) • Generally no institutional accreditation (Chauhan, 2014) • No cost for enrollment and participation, (McAuley, Stewart, Siemens & Cormier, 2010) • Relatively low cost for certification (Dellarocas & Van Alstyne, 2013)
  3. 3. 3 Blended learning
  4. 4. Blended learning landscape 4 Online Face-to- Face Formal Eg: Accreditation Non- Formal EG: Summer school Semi - Formal EG: Short courses Curriculum landsacpe
  5. 5. Blended learning - MOOCs and face-to-face contexts5 Online Face-to- Face Formal Eg: Accreditatio n Non- Formal Eg: Summer school Semi - Formal Eg: Short courses MOOCs Curriculum landsacpe
  6. 6. Wrapped MOOCs 6
  7. 7. Questions? ◻ Is an institution or organization hosting and supporting the face-to-face element of the learning experience? ◻ What kind of institution is it - a regulated educational institution, or an employer, non-governmental organisation, or a professional body? ◻ If the former, then is the MOOC incorporated into the formal academic curriculum or the co-curricula activities of the institution? 7
  8. 8. Types of Wrapped MOOCs ◻ Type 1: Peer Wrapped ◻ Type 2: Collegial Wrap ◻ Type 3: Co-curricula Wrap ◻ Type 4: Formal, Curricula Wrap 8
  9. 9. Background of UCT ● Research-intensive ● PGs drawn from beyond UCT 9
  10. 10. The Office of Postgraduate Studies ◻ OPS supports PGs in completing their studies. Identified a problem: PGS are ⬜ Diverse in their levels of preparedness for postgraduate study (Essa, 2011; Hanyane, 2015), ⬜ Diverse in their attainment of graduate attributes by the end of a programme (Mouton, 2007; Le Grange & Newmark, 2002) ⬜ Identified MOOCs as a possible site for learning - opted to wrap MOOCs to mitigate high attrition rates ⬜ Local facilitator with class of 15-20 students ⬜ NB facilitators designed to support students not teach 10
  11. 11. Method ◻ Qualitative, case study approach ◻ Data collection: A range of primary and secondary data, sample of 406 students, including: ⬜ 3 semi-structured student & 5 facilitator interviews = 7 hours of data ⬜ 35 online student experience surveys ; and ⬜ 62 open-ended course evaluations (secondary data) 11
  12. 12. The framework 12 ◻ Data analysis: Analytical framework: Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s (2000) Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework ⬜ Content analysis (Stemler, 2001), with the CoI presences providing predetermined codes ⬜ The context and literature provided a guide for additional themes which emerged during the analysis. ⬜ Established ‘learner presence’ and ‘structural factors’ as additions to the framework
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. 14 Finding #1 Having an authority figure is important
  15. 15. Findings - Teaching Presence ◻ Replaced the MOOC instructor ⬜ MOOC became unimportant - students only came to sessions ⬜ “people only came to the facilitated sessions and did little -- if anything -- of the online work” ⬜ “we weren’t watching [the MOOC videos], please tell us what you found important” ◻ Provided context (local and disciplinary) ⬜ Students enjoyed the “practical application in [a] South African context” ⬜ Students were able “to relate the course to our own research and background” 15
  16. 16. Findings - Teaching Presence ◻ Flattened classroom ⬜ Students came expecting traditional authority - they were “quite at sea with all this equalness” ⬜ Facilitators were PG students themselves - established a comfortable environment ⬜ Hierarchy was still necessary - learning activities, answering questions ◻ Clarify MOOC content ⬜ “The facilitator was able to clarify some concepts that I failed to understand online by giving very good examples.” ◻ Facilitator central link to foster social and cognitive presence ⬜ E.g. facilitators creates a practical learning activity which prompts discussion and the cognitive learning process 16
  17. 17. 17 Finding #2 People like real people
  18. 18. Findings - Social Presence ◻ Preference for face-to-face interaction ⬜ “I was able to ask questions and interact with other students having the same queries, which is not possible with a purely online course” ⬜ “The discussions were more real than that of online peers” ◻ Place to share postgraduate student experiences ⬜ “it may sound cheesy but I felt far less alone to know that colleagues in science or whatever were facing similar challenges ⬜ One facilitator referred to sessions as “group therapy” 18
  19. 19. 19 Finding #3 People learned stuff
  20. 20. Findings - Cognitive Presence ◻ Adapted MOOC assignments to the class for e.g writing and public speaking MOOC ◻ Students were able to apply knowledge to their research ⬜ “I won best poster presentation at the School of Public Health's annual research day, so thank you - I could not have done without your help” - Public speaking student ⬜ “The course has had a huge implication for me and has now altered the route of my thesis and where I project myself in the long haul of life” ⬜ “I have a better grasp of how to manage a project for both my discipline and personal life.” 20
  21. 21. 21 Finding #4 Independent learning is hard
  22. 22. Findings - Learner Presence ◻ Voluntary programme ⬜ Student intrinsically motivated ⬜ Wrapped MOOC experience requires more “self-motivation than normal undergraduate lectures” ◻ Dropout remained high despite facilitated sessions ⬜ “heavy workload forced my withdrawal from the course” ⬜ “I stopped attending toward the end because I felt that it was eating into my other course time” 22
  23. 23. 23 Finding #4 Logistics matter
  24. 24. Findings - Structural factors ◻ Structure and format ⬜ Period between MOOC content being released & facilitated sessions was too short. ◻ Venue ⬜ Computer lab was not conducive for discussion, meeting rooms were preferred ◻ Duration of the session ⬜ “Too short to accomplish much.” ⬜ “More time, especially the discussion needs more time allocation.” ◻ Group size ⬜ Some sessions had two people attending - not enough for discussion 24
  25. 25. Conclusion 25 ◻ Facilitated sessions provided a meaningful experience to students - addressed their cognitive need ◻ Students still struggled with independent learning, even with facilitated support ◻ This study foregrounded the social issues of being a PG student
  26. 26. 26 Questions?
  27. 27. Authors Tasneem Jaffer Cheryl Brown Shanali Govender 27
  28. 28. ◻ Corresponding author: tasneem.jaffer@uct.ac.za @Noobprincess ◻ Find us at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Learning - CILT www.cilt.uct.ac.za Contact details 28

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