Massive Open Online Courses: the Future of Learning?


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A panel shares information on MOOCs and librarianship at ALA 2013 in Chicago.

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  • According to an interview with NPR, the course was decided on an impulse. The professors sent out an e-mail to a professional group and within hours had 5,000 students signed up. They hadn’t really informed Stanford prior to the announcement, so when they got back to work on Monday they had several meetings about the MOOC. All students received grades and class ranking, but did not receive credit for the course.
  • Just a few months ago Coursera was offering 222 courses from 33 universities
  • A few months ago edX was partnered with only 6 different universities including the University of Texas University System, Wellesley, Georgetown, Berkley, as well as MIT and Harvard and offered 24 courses for registrationOther providers to note are Google which began by hosting a “power searching” MOOC and Course Sites by Blackboard.
  • If you’re like me, you may have been wondering how MOOCs work logistically when there are so many students. The majority of MOOCs can be broken down into two types proposed by George Siemens.
  • As we all know, money makes the work go ‘round, and money will ultimately be the reason that MOOCs fail or succeed.
  • A lot of people spend a lot of time converting their classes MOOcs. First you have to rework your lessons, since people tend to consume online content differently. Most instructors break their lectures into 10 to 15 minutes chunks. You also have to create mini-quizzes on content and may need to adapt assignments to the MOOC platform. FREE CONTENT. The whole draw of MOOCs is that they are free, and so students may be unwilling to even unable to pay for a textbook, or journal article access. If you can’t find something available for free, then you will need to contact publishers and copyright holders for permission to use their content. Plus, there’s the video-taping. You may do it yourself in a low-tech way, or do it in a studio. You also have to edit your videos, too.
  • The amount of time, and man hours involved in producing a single MOOC equals a pile of money. So what exactly are some numbers involved?
  • I surveyed several different reports about professors creating their MOOCs, and they find they can spend between 100 and 300 hours in prep time to get the class converted to MOOC form. This includes re-writing lectures, quizzes, assignments and lesson plans, videotaping lectures, and mounting everything on the MOOC platform. It might be a single person, but more often than not, it’s a team of people who contribute to the MOOC effort. Karen Head, Georgie Tech. had 19 people for Freshman Comp Class.While the MOOC is running, most people find they spend 8-10 hours a week interacting with the course. This might include participating in the forums, recording new mini-lectures to clear up a problem or issue, or answering personal emails from MOOC students.Depending on how you are filming the lecture portions of your MOOC and how polished they are, some universities are estimating that MOOCs can cost upwards of $50,000 to film and edit. Obviously the more you spend, the more quality the product you are going to have. And a single professor in her basement recording lectures on a flip camera that don’t have a lot of editing is going to cost a lot less than renting studio time, using nicer cameras, and having professionals edit the videos.These costs rest solely on the university who is providing the content of the MOOC. However, the MOOC providers (which we learned about in the first segment) also need money to run servers, provide support to both professors and students, advertise the MOOC, and keep polishing the product.
  • Udacity and Coursera are both for profit companies. They are currently funded with venture capital money. 15 mill for udacity, and 16 mill for Coursera. edX id you remember was founded by Harvard and MIT, who both put in 30 mill to fund it in the beginning. They have also received a couple of grants. However this money will eventually run out. Udacity and Coursera must start to turn a profit. And although edX has been set up as a non-profit, they want to become self-sustaining and not be a burden on its university partners.
  • This springUdacity piloted a program with San Jose University to offer remedial courses for credit to students who are not adequately prepared for college work. The students are charged around $300 per class. Nothing has been released about the pilot yet, and there’s no word about whether it will be continued.On May 15, Udacity announced a partnership with Georgia Tech and AT&T about an online computer science master’s degree. The classes themselves would be available to any MOOC student. However the students wanting to earn the degree would be subject to additional testing measures, and of course pay tuition in return for the credential. Below $7000
  • Coursera is using some of the same techniques. They are licensing course content to universities who wish to use the course content in in-person classrooms for a blended learning approach.Coursera is also offering “Verified Certificates” for a fee for certain courses. Although these certificates carry no credit at the university offering them, you could list them on CVs or resumes as professional development. In order to earn the Verified Certificate, the student must prove their identity and take proctored exams, and pass the course. $30-$100On May 8, Coursera announced a partnership with Chegg, and online textbook provider to provide textbooks from Cengage, Macmillan, Sage, Oxford U Press, and Wiley for free to students enrolled in the MOOCs using these textbooks. The text, or portions of the text, would be free for the student while the MOOC was being offered, however access would cease at the completion of the MOOC. The student would have the option to then purchase access to the textbook. Coursera of course would get a cut of these textbook sales.
  • edX, as a non-profit, is not focused on making money, but as I mentioned earlier, they would like self-sustaining. Currently they are developing university partnerships. Universities pay edX for hosting the course, and in return edX offers some support and a share in any profits the course generates. There are a couple of different pricing models and profit sharing models that you can read about in the Chronicle for Higher Education if you’re interested.EdX is also licensing its course content like the other two providers to provide a blended learning experience for on-campus courses. However, university departments are starting to push back. Early in May, the Department of Philosophy at San Jose State University voted to not adopt the edX course “Justice” taught by Harvard professor Michael Sandel. The college dean had requested the department integrate the course into their curriculum. The department stated in the letter “we believe that having a scholar teach and engage with his or her own students is far superior to having those students watch a video of another scholar engaging his or her students.” And that “that two classes of universities will be created: one, well-funded colleges and universities in which privileged students get their own real professor; the other, financially stressed private and public universities in which students watch a bunch of videotaped lectures and interact, if indeed any interaction is available on their home campuses, with a professor that this model of education has turned into a glorified teaching assistant.”Other revenue sources are also being investigated. On March 3 and 4, 2013, Harvard and MIT hosted the “Online learning and the future of residential education summit” where other revenue models for MOOCs were discussed. They included charging for special services like in-person professor contact, certification programs, or even executive education.
  • It’s all About Volume.Lecture by University of Michigan Professor Scott E Page. Gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin titled “A Tale of Two Videos: a 100,000 student MOOC and the Hidden Factor”. Quote from there.
  • In our standard academic environment, we have our places to upload material for only certain users. Resources are NOT open to all.
  • Does open include open to students with disabilities? Are the materials device agnostic – including mobile devices? Is “I can’t read it on my iPad” a reason not to include some resources? Does open include open to anyone from any country? Start working with OER and you’ll start to realize how privileged we are to be connected to academic institutions with decent budgets. What compromises do we have to make?
  • The video lectures were interrupted by surveys and quizzes. This doesn’t work well for those who have to (or choose to) work with the videos offline.
  • University of Edinburgh - The course was offered simultaneously with the for-credit on-campus graduate course with the open version taking up a few weeks of the term. I have an acquaintance who said this is the best MOOC she ever took.
  • Show livebinder or the google hangout
  • Massive Open Online Courses: the Future of Learning?

    1. 1. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Massive Open Online Courses Michelle Keba, Heather Rayl, Ilene Frank, Valerie Hill, PhD The future of learning?
    2. 2. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Massive Open Online Courses The future of learning?
    3. 3. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Overview Michelle Keba Distance & Instructional Services Librarian Nova Southeastern University Heather Rayl Emerging Technology Librarian Indiana State University Ilene Frank Director of Library Services University of the People Valerie Hill, PhD LISD School Librarian, Adjunct Instructor TWU School of Library and Info Studies Introduction Monetization Copyright Immersive Learning
    4. 4. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture INTRODUCTION What are these MOOCs anyway?
    5. 5. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOCs in the beginning • First MOOC Offered in 2008 – “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” – Created by George Siemens and Stephen Downes at the University of Manitoba • At this time Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander coined the phrase “Massive Open Online Course”
    6. 6. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What made this course a MOOC? • Massive – Over 2,000 students signed up for the course – Had a steady enrollment of 1,870 persistent students • Open • Online • Course
    7. 7. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What made this course a MOOC? • Massive • Open – 24 tuition paying students from the University of Manitoba – 2,200 non-paying participants from around the world • Online • Course
    8. 8. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What made this course a MOOC? • Massive • Open • Online – Information was conveyed by the instructors via a wiki, a blog, Moodle, Elluminate, and a newsletter – Students created Second Life communities, blogs, concept maps, Wordle summaries, and a Google group • Course
    9. 9. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What made this course a MOOC? • Massive • Open • Online • Course – Offered over the span of 12 weeks
    10. 10. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture A New Level of Massive • In 2011 over 160,000 students enrolled in an Artificial Intelligence course • The course was co-taught by a Stanford professor, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google
    11. 11. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture The Launch of MOOC Providers • In 2012 three major providers of MOOCs, Udacity, Coursera, and edX are launched
    12. 12. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Udacity • Founded by Stanford professors Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky • Includes 25 courses focused on business, mathematics, computer science and physics
    13. 13. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera • Founded by computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University • Offers 378 courses from 81 partners in 25 different categories
    14. 14. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture edX • MOOC platform founded in 2012 by MIT and Harvard • Partners with 27 colleges and universities • As of June 4th, 55 courses are available for registration
    15. 15. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How can I search more than one MOOC provider at once? • MOOC Aggregators – –
    16. 16. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Types of MOOCs xMOOCs vs. cMOOCs
    17. 17. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture xMOOCs • Traditional course/lecture format • Focus on knowledge duplication • Emphasis on video presentations • Follow a linear, instructor lead path • Objective feedback from online quiz results
    18. 18. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture cMOOCs • Based on the principles of Connectivism • Focus on knowledge creation • Emphasis on social networked learning • Course path evolves from student input • Crowd sourced learning through peer interaction
    19. 19. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MONETIZATION How are these things going to sustain themselves anyway? Image: DavidDMuir
    20. 20. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How much does it cost to produce a MOOC? Image: jsawkins Image: Ben Ellis Image: John Ott Image: Nomadic Lass Image: {mostly absent}
    21. 21. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How much does it cost to produce a MOOC? Image: Nick Ares
    22. 22. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How much does it cost to produce a MOOC? $15,000 - $50,000 in production costs 100 – 300 hours preparation 8-10 hours a week during the class
    23. 23. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How are MOOC providers funded? venture capital non-profit $15 million $16 million $60 million from Harvard and MIT grants
    24. 24. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What are the revenue streams? Remedial courses for credit for students not prepared for college. Complete CS master’s degree. Courses still free, but if you want degree, you pay tuition.
    25. 25. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What are the revenue streams? Licensing courses for blended learning
    26. 26. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What are the revenue streams? Wants to become self- sustaining Certification Course licensing/ blended learning
    27. 27. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture It’s all about volume. “There's going to be a lot of information about these people taking tests…Just like Facebook makes money…The Silicon Valley view of things in this sort of space is, first, get the volume. Once you get the volume, then you've got the data. Once you've got the data, you sell the data.” Photo credit: Narissa Escanlar
    28. 28. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOCS AND COPYRIGHT Open Courses and Access to Resources
    29. 29. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Resources for registered students • We license material from vendors • We link to open educational resources • We invoke rights to fair use, the provisions of the TEACH Act • We know who to ask for help if copyright questions arise
    30. 30. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What about open courses? A variety of “students”! MOOC students • may have no academic affiliation with our institution – or any other • may not be near a public library • may be from anywhere on the planet • may have different demographics than students we usually serve • may not have the best technology - or different technology (older computers, mobile tech, limited Internet access)
    31. 31. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOCs - Operative Term “Open” So what kinds of materials can we use in online open courses? • Open educational resources • Proprietary resources – Licensed ? For 140,000 students who are not registered at our institution? – Fee-based ? For 140,000 students?? – Fair use ? – Permission ?
    32. 32. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture What resources are used? Two Examples • A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Economic Behavior (Duke) • E-Learning and Digital Media (University of Edinburgh)
    33. 33. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Dan Ariely’s Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior (Duke) • A bundle of Professor Dan’s popular books via Amazon. Geo-blocked! • Video lectures and Google Hangouts • Many readings from academic journals and some non-scholarly sources such as the New York Times. Over 400 pages of required reading.
    34. 34. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture E-Learning and Digital Media • Video clips – trailers, animated shorts, etc. from YouTube, Vimeo • Readings from open access scholarly journals • Some secondary reading suggestions were not available for free online • Students shared their digital artifacts on the course site – and via links. • Students were reminded about copyright and the use of digital images , etc. in their projects
    35. 35. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Make Some Deals, Get Permission • Kevin Smith tells how contacting the media dept of a textbook publisher was effective • Coursera has made deals with some textbook publishers to allow use in MOOCs
    36. 36. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Who owns the course? Who owns student work? • For stand-alone open courses it’s up to each institution to set policies • For MOOCs using other platforms (Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc.), check the Terms of Service.
    37. 37. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera Terms of Use Take the course – but don’t take anything (?)
    38. 38. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera: Students Permission to Use Material • • Permission to Use Materials • All content or other materials available on the Sites, including but not limited to code, images, text, layouts, arrangements, displays, illustrations, audio and video clips, HTML files and other content are the property of Coursera and/or its affiliates or licensors and are protected by copyright, patent and/or other proprietary intellectual property rights under the United States and foreign laws. In consideration for your agreement to the terms and conditions contained here, Coursera grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and use the Sites. You may download material from the Sites only for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not otherwise copy, reproduce, retransmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any material, nor may you modify or create derivatives works of the material. The burden of determining that your use of any information, software or any other content on the Site is permissible rests with you.
    39. 39. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera: User material submission • By submitting the Feedback, you hereby grant Coursera and the Participating Institutions an irrevocable license to use, disclose, reproduce, distribute, sublicense, prepare derivative works of, publicly perform and publicly display any such submission.
    40. 40. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Course ownership: Coursera and U of Illinois example • Does the University retain ownership of the content in a Coursera course? • The content in our MOOCs is governed by the same rules of ownership as apply to our on-campus or traditional online courses, i.e., unless otherwise agreed to by the instructor, intellectual property rights to any course content created by the instructor independently and at the instructor’s initiative, rest with the instructor. Where the course support provided by the University is over and above the University resources usually and customarily provided, as will likely be the case with most MOOCs, course content created by the instructor shall be owned by the instructor and licensed to the University. See “The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure,” Article III, particularly Section 4(b) at
    41. 41. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Contrast: OERu – OER only OER university • A collaboration of universities to provide courses for self-directed learners using open content (with no cost to students) • Collaborating universities will assess the work and offering credits (with some cost to students)
    42. 42. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOCS, IMMERSIVE LEARNING, AND THE FUTURE
    43. 43. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How we collaborated • We met on twitter #moocmooc • We contacted by email • We talked on google hangouts • We presented in Second Life • We did a run-through on Blackboard Collaborate
    44. 44. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture How we learned • We collected a literature review • We used content curation • We explored MOOCs
    45. 45. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Mighty Bell: Collaboration Space
    46. 46. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture
    47. 47. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOCs & Librarians ACRL Virtual World Interest Group Feb. 17th, 2013 Panelists: Valerie Hill, PhD Michelle Keba Ilene Frank George Djorgovski
    48. 48. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture My research topic: Virtual World Librarianship Hill, Valerie (2012). Factors contributing to the adoption of virtual worlds by librarians. PhD Dissertation, Texas Woman's University.
    49. 49. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera: Top Universities offer MOOCs MOOCs on Library and Information Topics
    50. 50. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Coursera MOOC
    51. 51. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Can a MOOC take place in a virtual world? • Massive (virtual worlds can hold only so many avatars) • Open (virtual worlds are open on a global scale) • Online (virtual worlds are online) • Courses (Courses can take place- both synchronous and asychronous)
    52. 52. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture MOOC Classmates
    53. 53. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture
    54. 54. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Anne Frank MOOC Fall 2012 Educators met weekly for MOOC office hours on Wed. evenings. Assignments presented in a 3D virtual world. Students “enter” the cramped annex where Anne Frank lived in hiding.
    55. 55. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Mixed Reality & Media Formats
    56. 56. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Experience History in 3D
    57. 57. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Collaboration Across Distance Meeting for “class in the park in Amsterdam”
    58. 58. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture
    59. 59. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture
    60. 60. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Exploration of new media is like “entering the book”.
    61. 61. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Personal Reflection Immersion in the experience can help students understand history on a deep, personal level.
    62. 62. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Advantages of MOOCs • No cost (or low cost) • Personal interest • Convenient (no travel) • Access to experts and global participants
    63. 63. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Disadvantages of MOOCs • Lack of assessment • Accreditation & quality assurance • Future of academic careers • Potential for isolation
    64. 64. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Can MOOCs provide high quality resources and opportunities to promote information literacy? The future is ripe with possibilities.
    65. 65. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Role of Information Literacy Librarian •Taking the library to new spaces •Embedded librarians •Redesigning our physical spaces •Balancing tradition & innovation
    66. 66. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Information Literacy in the Digital Age • Intellectual freedom • Intellectual property • Critical inquiry • Evaluation of content • Navigation of the “flood”
    67. 67. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Role of Personal Responsibility (We live in a global, participatory, digital culture.)
    68. 68. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture The library and the librarian are not synonymous. Take a risk and go where no librarian has gone before! “It may be that the great age of libraries is waning, but I am here to tell you that the great age of librarians is just beginning. It’s up to you to decide if you want to be a part of it.” ~T. Scott Plutchak
    69. 69. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture Contact Us Michelle Keba Distance & Instructional Services Librarian Nova Southeastern University Heather Rayl Ilene Frank Valerie Hill, PhD Introduction @operopis @ifrank @valibrarian
    70. 70. ALA Annual 2013, Chicago #ala2013 and/or #moocFuture