A review of today’s MOOC workshop

This afternoon we held the MOOC workshop with Blackboard’s Anne Cross and Ashley Wright.

According to Russell et at (2013), MOOCs are changing education.  For example MIT’s computing courses can attract over 100,000 students (Chandler 2014).  MOOCs demonstrate one way of opening up education to a much wider, global audience, many of whom would otherwise have little or no access to education (with all the negative effects this has).  While it is technically possible to provide a wide range of online content, those who use MOOCs are struggling with assessment.  As it is impossible to employ the same proportion of staff for MOOCs as would be needed for a campus-based course, solutions are being sought from technology.  Videos that prompt for input at regular intervals and which do not progress until a correct answer has been submitted provide a partial solution, for example Stanford University’s Coursera programmes (Koller 2012).  It will be interesting to see how MOOCs can be used in BU.

The workshop was divided into two sessions.

The first session contains an introduction to MOOCs.  I suggest viewing this video for the two segments from 10:25 – 18:20 and 35:17 – 41.35.

In the second part of the session, we watched this video about the experience of Charles Darwin University in Northern Territories who implemented its first MOOC in 2013.

The recording from the second session picks up at 12:46 with a review of the 7 key points from the video.

At the same time as the workshop was being recorded in the room, we also hosted three people who joined the session from the desks.  We did have some initial problems with adjusting the sound so that the audio was clear for the virtual attendees.  There were two presenters in the room so placing the microphone proved problematic.   Had the virtual attendees had a microphone themselves, they would have been able to speak during the workshop.  Instead, they used a chat window and typed comments that could be read and responded to during the workshop.

It was a very interesting session, a trial of the Collaborate application and a great introduction to MOOCs.

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