The Rise of MOOCs


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Presentation given at the Online and eLearining Conference organised by Knowledge Resources at the Forum, Bryanston, Johannesburg 28-29 August 2013. Created by Greig Krull, Sheila Drew and Brenda Mallinson.

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  • The Educational Technology buzzword of 2012 and 2013
  • To keepin mind: What is your purpose? Whois your learner group?
  • MOOC = Massive amounts of people register for a course situated in an open and online environment
  • What are the underlying drivers? Access to education, high cost of education and the relevance of the educationSalmon (2013) - deployment of OER, potential of large scale learning, global reach, accessibility, Purpose:To make knowledge the common property of humankind vs generate a business model
  • Salmon (2013) - learners demanding their own choices and pathways, following their own motivations not those of providers
  • Connectivism – network itself is important, success is result of creation and cultivation of learning networkCCK08 – Term coined by Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander in a course led by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, consisted of 25 fee-paying students at University of Manitoba and 2300 non fee-paying public participants (Daniel, 2012). Content available through RSS feeds, threaded discussions, blogs, online meetings. Stanford AI – 2012 – 58000 participants – facilitator Sebastian Thrun later founded Udacity.
  • Smith “in an xMOOC you watch videos, in a cMOOC you make videos”Reality is many more types of MOOCs Others (Donald Clark): transfer Moocs (take existing course and moocify it where focus is transferring knowledge from teacher to students); synchMOOCs with defined timeframes/deadlines, where asynchMOOCs are looser in terms of deadlines; adaptiveMOOCs – aim to personalise epxeriences driven by analytics; groupMOOCs or projectMOOCs: add small collaborative (sometimes physical) groups
  • Is it still open if you have to pay for it? Even a nominal fee would reduce interest dramaticallyHow do MOOCs stack up against these principles? Who owns the data?
  • Is it still open if you have to pay for it? Even a nominal fee would reduce interest dramaticallyBusiness models still in the development stage
  • People already had the content knowledge = successfulLearner support is required for success - remain on the courseLearner expectations matching what is promised in the course
  • Is the issue of certification important now and will it be in the future?
  • Link to opennessDo MOOCs help us to answer the large scale question? What examples of success? What does success mean? e.g. certificateNeed to define prior learning and experience to succeedOne of the biggest issues with *some* MOOCs is their use of traditional face-to-face transmission of knowledge and not using what we have learnt about elearning over the past 20+ years
  • Bates (2012) Formal education should be “developing and fostering such abilities so that learners can participate meaningfully in MOOCs and other forms of self-learning.”Sink or swim / flexible offering may suit the 1st world, and a small proportion of people in Africa, but not the average developing country learner for whom access to education is very precious
  • Link to Salmon model, particularly to Stage 1: guidance on use of tools
  • Purpose – include purpose and who you are addedWho is the audience of the course? And what is their context? This will inform your choice of course mode – one option that may emerge is a MOOC – but what is the motivation for wanting to deploy the course via a MOOC
  • Not only learner expectations – but what is the intention of the provider – other than the learning intention3 presences: Social, Teacher, Cognitivisit – evident in MOOCs? 3 presences – is that part of an old paradigm? – is it still relevant? – has the balance between the 3 presences changed(if so, how)?
  • Rather look at MOOCs as learning opportunities for learners at a particular level (possibly post-graduate), providing the necessary requirements
  • To always bear in mind for learning: What is your purpose? Whois your learner group?
  • Other readings: Salmon (2013) MOOOCs, Butcher (2013) OERs and MOOCs: Old Wine in New Skins?Anything by Stephen Downes and George Siemens
  • The Rise of MOOCs

    1. 1. Greig Krull, Brenda Mallinson and Sheila Drew 29 August 2013 Online and eLearning Conference RISE OF THE MOOCs
    2. 2. Context 1. What is your reaction when you hear the word MOOC? 2. If you have participated in a MOOC - What was your purpose to do so? What was your experience?
    3. 3. Contents • What is a MOOC? • The rise of Open Learning • Brief History of MOOCs • Types of MOOCs • Hot Issues in MOOCs • Participating in or building MOOCs • Discussion
    4. 4. What is a MOOC?
    5. 5. Why all the fuss? Widespread reporting in the international press Adoption by elite universities in the USA Fear of being left behind Disruptive technology Strategy of using elearning to improve and change traditional campus teaching
    6. 6. Really, its the rise of Openness… “The real revolution is that universities, with scarcity at the heart of their business models, are embracing openness” Sir John Daniel (2012)
    7. 7. Characteristics • Free of charge • Scale of numbers – no participation limit • No formal entry requirement • Virtual Learning Environment is not the centre of the course • Use a variety of (new) social media and online tools • Learner-centred – Increased student participation and self-direction – Facilitators create the environment not way of learning • Scattered chaos – High drop out rate • Can be Community of Practice
    8. 8. Brief History of MOOCs • Open Education Movement – Open content, open knowledge, open content • Connectivism – learning is successful if we connect and build relevant networks • CCK08 – Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Course run in 2008 • Standford MOOCs (2012) – Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Databases • Platforms – Coursera – Udacity
    9. 9. MOOC Types C X Academics, Non profits, Individuals Major Universities Constructivist, Connectivist approach Behaviourist, Cognitvist approach Many-to-many (Dialogue, Peer2Peer interactions) One-to-many (Student/Content, Teacher/Student interactions) Informal learning More formal learning Collaborative, peer assessment Coordinated assessments and quizzes (often automated) Rich social media Social media used Drive towards openness Open to join, but not all content Network building, collaboration Organised group work Ad hoc learner space Fixed Platform
    10. 10. Platforms Google Course Builder OER University Class2Go
    11. 11. Benefits and Downsides Benefits Downsides • Able to organise a MOOC in any setting with connectivity • Use any online tools that are relevant • Use your own devices • Work across timezones and boundaries • Connect across disciplines and institutions • Do not need a degree to enter • Improve lifelong learning skills • Feeling of chaos • Demands digital literacy • Demands self-directed learning capacity • Requires time and effort (often more than expected) • Possible steep learning curve • Technology can distract from learning purpose and content
    12. 12. Hot Issues in MOOCs Openness Business Models Quality Completion Certification Privacy Pedagogy Impact
    13. 13. Principles for Open Learning • Provide opportunities and capacity for lifelong learning • Learner-centred processes and encourage active engagement leading to independent and critical thinking • Flexible provision, allowing learners to increasingly determine where, when, what and how they learn, as well as the pace • Prior learning and experience is recognised • Conditions created for a fair chance of learner success through learner support, contextually appropriate resources and sound pedagogical practices
    14. 14. Business Models • Certification – pay for badge or certificate • Secure assessments – pay for proctored exams • Recruitment – employers pay for access to records [Privacy] • Marking – students pay for markers or tutoring • Platform sales – sell platform to institutions • Third party Sponsorships • Tuition fees • Publishers – reach new readers and sell more books
    15. 15. Quality and Completion • University brand does not equal teaching and learning quality – Elite institutions gained reputations in research • Importance of Quality Assurance criteria – Improving rate of course and degree completion – Require not just access but access to success • Example: MIT’s Circuits and Electronics Course – 155 000 registrations, 23 000 did the first problem set, 7157 passed • MOOC <10% completion is disastrous • But includes the curious and the tourists
    16. 16. Certification • Mostly, success in a MOOC does not lead to credit but to a certificate • Elite institutions define quality by numbers of applicants that they exclude, not after admission • Certificates can be traded for credit but very expensive
    17. 17. Pedagogy • Linked to a learning strategy (costs, resources) • Interactive content design and feedback • Safe learning environment with guidelines • Clear learning pathways • Roles of facilitators and tutors • Extent of learner support, assessment and feedback • Match to technical infrastructure (technology should not be a distractor)
    18. 18. Local Impact • MOOCs may encourage development of elearning and use of OER • BUT • MOOCs will not address the challenge of expanding higher education in the developing world – Access to technology – Independent learning and study skills
    19. 19. Considering a MOOC…. • •
    20. 20. Being Successful in a MOOC 1. Orient • Tools • Materials • Times • Links 2. Declare • Thoughts • Blog 3. Network • Connect • Comment • Discuss 4. Cluster • Community • Small network 5. Focus • Motivation • Goals
    21. 21. Considerations before rolling out a MOOC 1. Build upon what you know and have 2. Make sure there is a need (purpose) 3. Estimate online tools and audience devices/connectivity 4. Overall design and selection of core resources 5. Choose media carefully 6. Option of accreditation 7. Copyright and intellectual property 8. Create room for emergence (added content, shared expertise) 9. Create strong learning environment (including technology) 10. Get your course known to people
    22. 22. Platforms RSS Content Curation Discussion Groups Blog and Microblog Social Networks Multi- media Sharing Virtual Meeting Rooms Available (Free) Tools
    23. 23. Reflections on MOOCs • Impact on the high costs of higher education • Extent of the “presence of the teacher” • In experimentation phase, changes lie ahead • Keeps continuous focus on teaching and pedagogy • Reassessment of the intellectual quality and rigour of institutions • Emergence of institutions and commercial partners
    24. 24. Suggestions for using MOOCs • Use MOOC with local tutorials / groups as supplementary • May be physical groups offline Blended Approach • Use as central focus • Plan other activities / assessment / etc • Use as a collection of OER – extract what you need for your purpose and context Core Approach
    25. 25. Discussion 1. Has your perception of MOOCs been reinforced or has it changed? 2. How do you intend to take any learnings around MOOCs forward?
    26. 26. Thank You Unless otherwise specified, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Greig Krull @greigk_za Brenda Mallinson Sheila Drew
    27. 27. References • Bates, T (2012) What's right and what's wrong about Coursera-style MOOCs? moocs/ • Cavazza, F. Social Media Landscape [CC-BY-NC-SA] • Clark, D (2013) MOOCs: taxonomy of 8 types of MOOCs • Cormier, D (2010) Success in a MOOC [CC-BY] • Cormier, D (2010) What is a MOOC? [CC-BY] • Daniel, J (2012). Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility. Journal of Interactive Media in Education. [CC-BY] • De Waard, I (2013) MOOC YourSelf : Set up your own MOOC ebook. [CC-BY-SA] • Popenici, S (2013). MOOCs and The Change of Higher Education.! • Saide (2012). Empowering Learners through Open Learning. [CC-BY]