EAIE2014 (VIII). A MOOC Revolution? Strategic Considerations and Lessons Learned

Notes from the 26th Annual EAIE Conference, held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 16-19 September 2014. More notes on this event: eaie2014.

A MOOC Revolution? Strategic Considerations and Lessons Learned
Chair: Anni Soborg, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Amy Woodgate, University of Edinburgh, UK

6 courses (wave 1) + 8 courses (wave 2) + more (circa 30 a year). Broad subject areas. Fully online, free to take, OER licensed with CC.

MOOCs implicitly aimed at capacity building for the faculty, to know what it’s out there, to exchange knowledge, to see “what is out there”.

Achievements:

  • Small amount of direct income to reinvest into MOOC development.
  • Capacity building on online learning
  • Knowledge exchange
  • development of new online delivery methods
  • Research outputs; strengthened the University’s development areas.
  • Lots of fun.

Goals:

  • Get to new audiences.
  • Respond to an external need.
  • Widen participation.
  • Showcasing Edinburgh’s strengths.
  • Pedagogical innovation.

Usage of the MOOC:

  • Research.
  • Capacity.
  • Materials.

What have we learned

  • MOOCs themselves have no business models: you have to attach one to them, if you want to.
  • Best things are built and grown together.
  • Academic staff need multi-dimensional support.
  • Digital literacies should never be assumed.
  • The power of fun should never be underestimated.

Trine Sand, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Why join a MOOC platform?

  • Better education.
  • Sharing knowledge.
  • International recruitment.
  • Continuing education.
  • Platform to highlight UCPH research.

How to get started? Have a keen ambassador to lead the project.

  • Steering committee: faculty-based decision-making.
  • Coursera unit: platform and production experts, pilot project and assessment of the pilot project.
  • University Education Services: political context and overall UCPH strategies.

A MOOC is a perfect tool for going international.

Profile: 268,868 learners; 40% full time employed; 60% with BA or MA degree; North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

MOOCs have the potential to facilitate changes, to reflect on what we are doing.

Rahul Choudaha, World Education Services, USA

Cautions on predictions and choices. What will happen with MOOCs? Embrace or avoid?

Georgia Tech, Udacity and AT&T issued an Online Master of Science in Computer Science that blended a degree with a MOOC. It was the regular degree, online, and at 10% its cost.

Strategy renders choices about what not to do as important as choices about what to do.

Discussion

Q: evolution or revolution? Woodgate: more an evolution than a revolution [IMHO she’s talking about xMOOCs and definitely not about cMOOCs.

Q: what is the cost of the MOOC? Sand: it has a cost, but it is an investment, not an expenditure. But yes, a good amount of money is involved, especially if you take into account the cost of the lots of time that people put into the course.

Q: how do you manage admissions? Woodgate: we distinguished students from learners. Learners just freely access (and follow) the MOOC for the sake of it. If you want credit, and you will pursue assessment, then you’re a student, and you will have to go through the usual admissions process. Sand: both models, MOOC and regular degrees, are not mixed. They both have their own processes, channels, platforms, etc.

Q: how do you know the person that took the test is the one that they say they are? Woodgate: the certificate at the end is just a statement of a completion of a course, not a “real” certificate. We sacrificed the obtention of a “real” certificate in benefit of other aspects: easing access, promoting engagement and exchange, etc.

26th Annual EAIE Conference (2014)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2014) “EAIE2014 (VIII). A MOOC Revolution? Strategic Considerations and Lessons Learned” In ICTlogy, #132, September 2014. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4258

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