“A hostage to fortune?”
Validating MOOCs for University Credit
Peter Alston
peter.alston@liverpool.ac.uk

Ben Brabon
brabo...
Overview
● The MOOC
● Institutional Context

● Pedagogical Context
● Accreditation

● Recommendations
The MOOC
● First undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC in the UK
o

FHEQ Level 4 20-credit module - MOC1001 Vampire Fictions

...
The MOOC
● Genesis of MOOC a negotiation of ‘openness’ and ‘control’
● Desire to promote a ‘connectivist’ pedagogy
o
o
o

...
Institutional Context
● The Validation/Accreditation Process
● Focus of discussion
o
o
o
o

Scalability of Teaching and As...
Pedagogical Context
● Tension between ‘cMOOC’ and ‘xMOOC’ pedagogies
○

Underpinned by process of validation





Cont...
How does ‘credit’ transform the MOOC experience?
● Traditional pedagogical structures resurface

● Quality assurance proce...
Recommendations for accrediting MOOCs
● Reflect upon student motivations for engaging with MOOCs

● Reconsider issues of ‘...
Thanks for listening …
● Questions
o
o
o
o

The MOOC?
Validation Process?
xMOOC vs. cMOOC?
Impact of credit?
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"A hostage to fortune?" - Validating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for University Credit

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Over the last few years, the intense interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has opened up a range of possibilities and pitfalls for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Many universities have seen the opportunities that MOOCs present and working with education companies, now offer learners the opportunity to earn university credit. Using a case study approach, this paper examines the experience of validating and delivering the UK’s first undergraduate MOOC for credit. Focusing on the validation process, including issues of teaching and assessment, student engagement and the delivery platform, it explores the impact of accreditation and quality assurance on existing MOOC pedagogies. In so doing, the paper reveals the ‘disruptive’ potential of this ‘one of a kind’ module, while highlighting how the regulatory framework that assures quality can transform our understanding of MOOCs.

This is a copy slides used in a presentation by me and Dr Ben Brabon (Edge Hill University) at eMOOCS 2014 (http://emoocs2014.eu), hosted at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland on February 10th, 2014.

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"A hostage to fortune?" - Validating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for University Credit

  1. 1. “A hostage to fortune?” Validating MOOCs for University Credit Peter Alston peter.alston@liverpool.ac.uk Ben Brabon brabonb@edgehill.ac.uk eMOOCs 2014: Lausanne, Switzerland - February 2014
  2. 2. Overview ● The MOOC ● Institutional Context ● Pedagogical Context ● Accreditation ● Recommendations
  3. 3. The MOOC ● First undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC in the UK o FHEQ Level 4 20-credit module - MOC1001 Vampire Fictions ● Development Context o o o Ben’s research interests in Gothic literature UK HEA Grant - e-Gothicist Existing FHEQ Level 5 20-credit module - LIT2035 Vampire Fictions    Defined by a strong blended approach - webinar & critical blog Close link between formative & summative assessment Improved student results - Over 70% of students achieved at least a 2.1
  4. 4. The MOOC ● Genesis of MOOC a negotiation of ‘openness’ and ‘control’ ● Desire to promote a ‘connectivist’ pedagogy o o o Podcast & Blog assignments A ‘disruptive’ model - no direct prerequisites/prior learning ‘Latent’ prerequisites embedded into assessment strategy ● Mindful of … o o o o o UK’s Quality Code Subject benchmark statement Levelness Learning Outcomes Institutional context
  5. 5. Institutional Context ● The Validation/Accreditation Process ● Focus of discussion o o o o Scalability of Teaching and Assessment Student Engagement Delivery Platform Capacity to Approve ● Tensions emerging around ‘pedagogical approach’
  6. 6. Pedagogical Context ● Tension between ‘cMOOC’ and ‘xMOOC’ pedagogies ○ Underpinned by process of validation     Containment Benchmark statements Learning Outcomes The ‘teacher’ persists ● A very cautious approach to quality assurance and delivery can inhibit ‘social constructivism’ and ‘connectivism’ o o The result of being a pioneer To date, MOOCs do not exist within the UK Quality Code for HE
  7. 7. How does ‘credit’ transform the MOOC experience? ● Traditional pedagogical structures resurface ● Quality assurance processes transform the learning dynamic ● Prior knowledge of higher level skills/education needed
  8. 8. Recommendations for accrediting MOOCs ● Reflect upon student motivations for engaging with MOOCs ● Reconsider issues of ‘levelness’ in MOOCs ● Take into account the needs of learners through Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)
  9. 9. Thanks for listening … ● Questions o o o o The MOOC? Validation Process? xMOOC vs. cMOOC? Impact of credit?

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