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MOOCs – overview & issues

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1 MOOCs – overview & issues

2 The early MOOCers  David Wiley  George Siemens & Stephen Downes  Alec Couros  Dave Cormier  Jim Groom

3 MOOCs tended to be..  Short – 8-10 weeks  Open to all  Use mixture of free technology  Run by individuals  Often not accredited  Combine synchronous & asynchronous  Bring in range of experts  Experimental in nature

4 How did they fare?  High drop-out rate  Often confusing for learners  Better suited to experienced learners Popular Inspirational Platform for open research Successful for many learners

5 Enter the big players  Thrun – Stanford AI course  Becomes Udacity  EdX  Coursera

6 New wave of MOOCs  Free, but not entirely open  Commercial basis  Institutional  Conventional in pedagogy & technology  Linked to accreditation (Pearson & EdX, badging)

7  Better chance of employee recognition  Provide model for economic viability  Provide platform for easy deployment  Offer free (or cheap) education to many

8 Concerns  Undermines university model  Conservative approach  Reinvent the OU!  US-centric view?  Only viable if M = Massive  Not so open  All disciplines?  Commercialisation of HE?

9 Bridge to Success Experience Gates Funded helping US community colleges use OER Targeting at risk students

10 Content

11 Who piloted the content?  9 college and 2 non-college institutions. (2 more colleges since pilots)  26 completed pilots (17 cohorts of low-income students).  16 pilots in progress (42 pilots total).  Bridge to Success exceeded participation targets: 1822 current/completed pilot participants and, by September 2012, over 6,000 unique users of open materials. From theory to practice… Piloting the content

12 Piloting the Content: Colleges and data collection challenges  Nine colleges piloted Bridge to Success materials during the project’s pilot phase (October 2011 – August 2012). As at August 2012  Of the completed pilots that have submitted 100% of their data, and as reported by instructors, 88% of students who completed B2S materials persisted to next semester.  98% of these students mastered the subject matter and 96% mastered deeper learning.

13 Diverse audiences International Workforce Development Agency: supporting people across Maryland for over 90 years. This pilot used selected units of the SWiM maths course until end of August 2012 to enable students to complete a new requirement math pre-test for a Weatherization program. Students who originally failed the math entrance exam, 80% passed after working with the resources for a 1-3 week period.

14 H817 experience  Masters Level course  7 week block on Open Education  March 2013  Blog aggregator  OpenLearn  MOOCs no longer ‘under the radar’  Reputational risk  Unknowns!

15 FutureLearn  OU response to the MOOC question  Number of different unis signed up  Will provide a platform, guidance, business model  Set up as private company

16 MOOC reactions  The end of education as we know it  Hype and nonsense  Complementary to existing practice

17 MOOCs are your friend (?)  Open up first 6 weeks of all courses  Increase retention  Widen participation  Open boundary courses  Shop window  Gives students access to broader group eg Phonar  Collaborate on MOOCs  Higher quality  Free up to teach what your best at  Credit for MOOCs  Shorter courses  Higher retention  Lower costs = more students?  Experiment with curriculum  Lower risk  Fewer constraints

18 Issues  Can you spare the time for MOOCs?  What platform will you use?  What’s in it for people?  What is the reputational risk?  What are the benefits?


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