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MOOCs:
Reexamining our Assumptions
Larry Cooperman
Past President, Open Education Consortium
Associate Dean for Open Education,
University of California, Irvine
Prepared for
EMMA Summer School
Ischia, Italy
July 6, 2015
“The need to respond to the demands of massification has
caused the average qualification for academics in many
countries to decline.”
“Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic
Revolution,” UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education
Altbach, Reisberg and Rumbley
…about those lecture halls
Trow’s Conceptions of Elite, Mass and Universal Higher Education
Elite (0-15%) Mass (16-50%) Universal (over 50%)
i) Attitudes to access A privilege of birth or
talent or both
A right for those with certain
qualifications
An obligation for the
middle and upper
classes
ii) Functions of
higher education
Shaping mind and
character of ruling
class; preparation for
elite roles
Transmission of skills;
preparation for broader
range of technical and
economic elite roles
Adaptation of ‘whole
population’ to rapid
social and technological
change
iii) Curriculum and
forms of instruction
Highly structured in
terms of academic or
professional
conceptions of
knowledge
Modular, flexible and
semi-structured sequence
of courses
Boundaries and
sequences break down;
distinctions between
learning and life break
down
vii) Academic standards Broadly shared and
relatively high (in
meritocratic phase)
Variable; system/institution
‘become holding
companies for quite different
kinds of academic enterprises’
Criterion shifts from
‘standards’ to ‘value
added’
Source: Trow, Martin, “Reflections on the Transition from Elite to Mass to Universal Access: Forms and Phases of Higher Education in Modern Societies since WWII.
International Handbook of Higher Education: Part One: Global Themes and Contemporary Challenges. 2007. Springer. Dordrecht, Netherlands.
0.0%
5.0%
10.0%
15.0%
20.0%
25.0%
30.0%
35.0%
40.0%
45.0%
50.0%
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Gross Enrollment Ratio
Colombia 2005-2013
Enrollment, Graduation, and Attainment
A New Iron Triangle?
Access
SuccessCost
Content Experience Certification
Noodlepie
http://www.flickr.com/photos/noodlepie/2680175828/
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
trey.menefee
http://www.flickr.com/photos/trey333/2185461746/
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Gadgetdude
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadgetdude/804190044/
CC BY 3.0
Joe Hatfield
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhat/80371024/
CC BY-NC 3.0
University + The Internet = What?
?
Roy Whiddon - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhiddon/1338564499/
2015
What is (are) the right question(s) to ask?
What should we do now that the delivery
of higher education is so highly digital (and
we have the Internet)?
MOOCs have forced a new conversation
MOOC
SCALE DATA
PEDAGOGY LEARNING
MOOCs
MOOCs took a step back from the open
licensing critical to reusability
MOC
MOOC
Scale
Communities of
experts
Learning
communities
Curriculum
Scale
ScaleScale
Communities
of Learners
Communities
of Experts
Pedagogy
Hansch, Anna and Hillers, Lisa and McConachie, Katherine and Newman, Christopher and Schildhauer, Thomas and Schmidt, Philipp, Video and Online
Learning: Critical Reflections and Findings from the Field (March 13, 2015). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2015-02. Available at SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2577882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2577882
Active Learning: Construction of Knowledge
Recommendation 1. Catalyze widespread adoption
of empirically validated teaching practices.
“Learning theory, empirical evidence about how people learn, and assessment of outcomes in STEM class
rooms all point to a need to improve teaching methods to enhance learning and student persistence.
Classroom approaches that engage students in “active learning” improve retention of information and
critical thinking skills, compared with a sole reliance on lecturing, and increase persistence of students
in STEM majors. STEM faculty need to adopt teaching methods supported by evidence derived from
experimental learning research as well as from learning assessment in STEM courses. Evidence
based teaching methods have proven effective with a wide range of class sizes and increase learning
outcomes even as enhancements of traditional lectures.”
Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics. Report to the President of the United States. President’s Council of Advisors on
Science and Technology. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-
engage-to-excel-final_feb.pdf on June 25, 2015.
Peer Learning
Preszler, R. W. (2009). Replacing Lecture with Peer-led Workshops Improves Student Learning. CBE Life Sciences
Education, 8(3), 182-192. Retrieved February 20, 2015
What is the best
predictor of
4th year grades?
Data
First Semester
Grades
Final Semester
Grades
Data
The Research Problem
"It's messy, and it's always going to be messy, and those
sort of clean lines are not even something we should
strive for.“
-Dave Cormier, http://chronicle.com/article/George-Siemens-Gets-
Connected/143959/
When Harvard University and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology last week released student data
collected by edX, some higher education consultants
remarked that the data provided "no insight into
learner patterns of behavior over time.”
-http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/10/after-grappling-data-
mooc-research-initiative-participants-release-
results#sthash.56Dy3gyD.Y5Lq2gJS.dpbs
Research
70.3%
13.2%
16.5%
Tertiary
Degree
Holder
Currently
Enrolled in
College
Other
Primary 0.3%
Secondary 2.8%
Completed Secondary 9.7%
Some additional training 3.8%
Undergraduate 30.1%
Graduate 40.2%
“It surprised us that so many of our
learners appeared to be very well
educated despite the undergraduate
entry-level of five of the MOOCs.”
Source: OCs at Edinburgh 2013 – Report #1.
May 10, 2013. Retrieved at
http://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handl
e/1842/6683/Edinburgh_MOOCs_Report201
3_no1.pdf?sequence=1 on June 25, 2015.
“What Do We Know About MOOC Students So
Far?: A Look at Recent User Data” Retrieved
from http://moocnewsandreviews.com/what-
do-we-know-about-mooc-students-so-far/
Jordan, K. (2015). Massive open online course completion rates
revisited: Assessment, length and attrition. The International
Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 16(3).
Retrieved from
http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2112
Learning
“Not only has it become evident recently that students require
socialization in MOOCs through different forms (of self-
organization) such as local meet-ups (Coughlan, 2014) and that
social factors contribute to attribution [sic] in MOOCs (Rose et
al., 2014), but educational research is also very clear about
numerous educational benefits of socialization. The Vygotskian
approach…”
- Siemens, G., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the digital university: a review
of the history and current state of distance, blended, and online learning. Retrieved from
http://linkresearchlab.org/PreparingDigitalUniversity.pdf
Learning in
Peer-led Study Groups
• Higher mean final course grades
• Higher course completion rates
• Better reenrollment and graduation rates.
• Greater effectiveness for underrepresented minorities and women.
-Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., and Cowley, K. (2014). On the Effectiveness of Supplemental
Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions Literature
Between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research. December 2014, Vol. 84, No.4, pp. 609-639. doi:
10.3102/003465431450007.
REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH December 2014 vol. 84 no. 4 609-639
REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH December 2014 vol. 84 no. 4 609-639
Learning Creative Learning MOOC
Emergent concepts
• Community over course
• Projects
• Peers
• Passion
• PlayBy Julie Donders. Retrieved from
http://reports.p2pu.org/learning-
creative-learning/. More information at
http://learn.media.mit.edu/lcl/
Enrollment, Graduation, and Attainment
Universal Post-Secondary Education
Lifelong, flexible, adaptable learners
Thank You
Larry.Cooperman@unx.uci.edu
Larry.Cooperman@openedconsortium.org
@openeducator
http://ocw.uci.edu
http://www.oeconsortium.org
http://www.avu.org
Larry Cooperman
Past President, Open Education Consortium
Board of Directors, African Virtual University
Associate Dean for Open Education,
University of California, Irvine

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EMMA Summer School - Larry Cooperman - MOOCs: reexamining our assumptions

  • 1. MOOCs: Reexamining our Assumptions Larry Cooperman Past President, Open Education Consortium Associate Dean for Open Education, University of California, Irvine Prepared for EMMA Summer School Ischia, Italy July 6, 2015
  • 2. “The need to respond to the demands of massification has caused the average qualification for academics in many countries to decline.” “Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution,” UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education Altbach, Reisberg and Rumbley
  • 4. Trow’s Conceptions of Elite, Mass and Universal Higher Education Elite (0-15%) Mass (16-50%) Universal (over 50%) i) Attitudes to access A privilege of birth or talent or both A right for those with certain qualifications An obligation for the middle and upper classes ii) Functions of higher education Shaping mind and character of ruling class; preparation for elite roles Transmission of skills; preparation for broader range of technical and economic elite roles Adaptation of ‘whole population’ to rapid social and technological change iii) Curriculum and forms of instruction Highly structured in terms of academic or professional conceptions of knowledge Modular, flexible and semi-structured sequence of courses Boundaries and sequences break down; distinctions between learning and life break down vii) Academic standards Broadly shared and relatively high (in meritocratic phase) Variable; system/institution ‘become holding companies for quite different kinds of academic enterprises’ Criterion shifts from ‘standards’ to ‘value added’ Source: Trow, Martin, “Reflections on the Transition from Elite to Mass to Universal Access: Forms and Phases of Higher Education in Modern Societies since WWII. International Handbook of Higher Education: Part One: Global Themes and Contemporary Challenges. 2007. Springer. Dordrecht, Netherlands.
  • 5. 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% 40.0% 45.0% 50.0% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Gross Enrollment Ratio Colombia 2005-2013
  • 7. A New Iron Triangle? Access SuccessCost
  • 8. Content Experience Certification Noodlepie http://www.flickr.com/photos/noodlepie/2680175828/ CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 trey.menefee http://www.flickr.com/photos/trey333/2185461746/ CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Gadgetdude http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadgetdude/804190044/ CC BY 3.0
  • 9. Joe Hatfield http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhat/80371024/ CC BY-NC 3.0 University + The Internet = What? ? Roy Whiddon - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhiddon/1338564499/
  • 10. 2015 What is (are) the right question(s) to ask? What should we do now that the delivery of higher education is so highly digital (and we have the Internet)?
  • 11. MOOCs have forced a new conversation MOOC
  • 13. MOOCs took a step back from the open licensing critical to reusability MOC
  • 17. Pedagogy Hansch, Anna and Hillers, Lisa and McConachie, Katherine and Newman, Christopher and Schildhauer, Thomas and Schmidt, Philipp, Video and Online Learning: Critical Reflections and Findings from the Field (March 13, 2015). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2015-02. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2577882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2577882
  • 19. Recommendation 1. Catalyze widespread adoption of empirically validated teaching practices. “Learning theory, empirical evidence about how people learn, and assessment of outcomes in STEM class rooms all point to a need to improve teaching methods to enhance learning and student persistence. Classroom approaches that engage students in “active learning” improve retention of information and critical thinking skills, compared with a sole reliance on lecturing, and increase persistence of students in STEM majors. STEM faculty need to adopt teaching methods supported by evidence derived from experimental learning research as well as from learning assessment in STEM courses. Evidence based teaching methods have proven effective with a wide range of class sizes and increase learning outcomes even as enhancements of traditional lectures.” Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Report to the President of the United States. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast- engage-to-excel-final_feb.pdf on June 25, 2015.
  • 20. Peer Learning Preszler, R. W. (2009). Replacing Lecture with Peer-led Workshops Improves Student Learning. CBE Life Sciences Education, 8(3), 182-192. Retrieved February 20, 2015
  • 21. What is the best predictor of 4th year grades? Data
  • 23. The Research Problem "It's messy, and it's always going to be messy, and those sort of clean lines are not even something we should strive for.“ -Dave Cormier, http://chronicle.com/article/George-Siemens-Gets- Connected/143959/ When Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last week released student data collected by edX, some higher education consultants remarked that the data provided "no insight into learner patterns of behavior over time.” -http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/10/after-grappling-data- mooc-research-initiative-participants-release- results#sthash.56Dy3gyD.Y5Lq2gJS.dpbs
  • 24. Research 70.3% 13.2% 16.5% Tertiary Degree Holder Currently Enrolled in College Other Primary 0.3% Secondary 2.8% Completed Secondary 9.7% Some additional training 3.8% Undergraduate 30.1% Graduate 40.2% “It surprised us that so many of our learners appeared to be very well educated despite the undergraduate entry-level of five of the MOOCs.” Source: OCs at Edinburgh 2013 – Report #1. May 10, 2013. Retrieved at http://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/handl e/1842/6683/Edinburgh_MOOCs_Report201 3_no1.pdf?sequence=1 on June 25, 2015.
  • 25. “What Do We Know About MOOC Students So Far?: A Look at Recent User Data” Retrieved from http://moocnewsandreviews.com/what- do-we-know-about-mooc-students-so-far/ Jordan, K. (2015). Massive open online course completion rates revisited: Assessment, length and attrition. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 16(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2112
  • 26. Learning “Not only has it become evident recently that students require socialization in MOOCs through different forms (of self- organization) such as local meet-ups (Coughlan, 2014) and that social factors contribute to attribution [sic] in MOOCs (Rose et al., 2014), but educational research is also very clear about numerous educational benefits of socialization. The Vygotskian approach…” - Siemens, G., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the digital university: a review of the history and current state of distance, blended, and online learning. Retrieved from http://linkresearchlab.org/PreparingDigitalUniversity.pdf
  • 27. Learning in Peer-led Study Groups • Higher mean final course grades • Higher course completion rates • Better reenrollment and graduation rates. • Greater effectiveness for underrepresented minorities and women. -Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., and Cowley, K. (2014). On the Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction: A Systematic Review of Supplemental Instruction and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions Literature Between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research. December 2014, Vol. 84, No.4, pp. 609-639. doi: 10.3102/003465431450007. REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH December 2014 vol. 84 no. 4 609-639 REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH December 2014 vol. 84 no. 4 609-639
  • 28. Learning Creative Learning MOOC Emergent concepts • Community over course • Projects • Peers • Passion • PlayBy Julie Donders. Retrieved from http://reports.p2pu.org/learning- creative-learning/. More information at http://learn.media.mit.edu/lcl/
  • 30. Universal Post-Secondary Education Lifelong, flexible, adaptable learners
  • 31. Thank You Larry.Cooperman@unx.uci.edu Larry.Cooperman@openedconsortium.org @openeducator http://ocw.uci.edu http://www.oeconsortium.org http://www.avu.org Larry Cooperman Past President, Open Education Consortium Board of Directors, African Virtual University Associate Dean for Open Education, University of California, Irvine