MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera

MOOC pedagogy: the challenges
of developing for Coursera
Jeremy Knox
The University of Edinburgh
Types of MOOC?
cMOOCs and xMOOCs …?
• Udacity
• Coursera
• edX
What is a MOOC?
Massive - enrolment numbers
Open - no mandatory qualifications
Online - fully
Course - structured, temporal
some learners
are not students
of universities
Tutoring & support is ‘light touch’
•Low study hours per week - modules not degree programmes
•Certificates of completion rather than credit…
For profit, independent of any institution
For profit, partnered with 33 institutions
Non-profit, currently six partnered institutions
• Reputation – early adopter of
educational technology
• Exploration of a new pedagogical
‘space’ to inform practice
• Wish to reach as widely as we can
with our courses
• Sharing experiences with peer
• Not a replacement for on-campus
taught degrees, but also not in conflict
or competition with them.
• A different educational space – open
Developing for Coursera
Choosing courses/professors
Deciding on duration/study hours/degree cycle-stage/
Deciding on the ‘legals’ – agree & sign contract, setting fee levels & share, setting
course lifespans, agreeing certificate text…..
Make sure the University Court approves!
Creating publicity materials for the University website
Dealing with media interest
Designing & testing courses
Providing video/audio recording/editing facilities
Organising Quality Assessment based on normal processes
Providing ‘teaching assistants’
Commitment to delivering the course three times
‘E-learning and Digital Cultures’
• Teaching and the teacher
• The MOOC ‘platform’
• MOOC futures
Teaching and the teacher
‘One big difference between a MOOC and a traditional course is that
a MOOC is completely voluntary. You decide that you want to
participate, you decide how to participate, then you participate. If
you're not motivated, then you're not in the MOOC.’
Downes, S. (2011). What a MOOC Does
Manifesto for Teaching Online
The MOOC platform
Video lecture
Multiple Choice Quiz (MCQ)
Threaded discussion forum
Video group discussion
Peer Assessment
‘Robot’ grading
• Live webcasts or Hangouts
• Twitter
‘E-learning and Digital Cultures’
No video lectures
Public domain content
Distributed, aggregated and social
Interaction and communication
MOOC Futures
• Open education or universal education?
• Two-tier education system?
MOOC Futures
• Learning analytics
o What kind if data is collected?
o How is that data contextualised,
interpreted, and represented back to the
MOOC research
What are the demographics of learners in different MOOCs?
Why are they taking them?
What do they do with the learning?
What helps them stay the course?
Can MOOCs like these be made economically sustainable, esp in the longer term?
Will services spring up around them (tutoring, sales of books, credentialisation etc)?
And will we be ‘happy’ with these?

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