Archive for November, 2013

 Study: MOOC students are highly educated, job-oriented

A new study, published last week by Penn researchers in the journal Nature, shows that students who have taken MOOCs on Coursera are highly educated and career-oriented… Researchers, led by Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel, conducted an online survey in July of nearly 35,000 students enrolled in at least one of the University’s 32 courses on Coursera.

A long post by Tony Bates about a recent conference held at Washington DC, promoted by institutions of USA, Canada and Norway.

MOOCs, Norway and the ecology of digital learning

«So here are my main take-aways from the conference.

  • Houston, we have a problem – ‘we’ being universities and colleges. Publicly funded post-secondary institutions are perceived by important policy-makers as being unnecessarily expensive and perhaps even more importantly, not adapting fast enough to meet the demands of the 21st century
  • as a result, politicians and policy-makers are only too willing to grasp at anything that might disrupt the perceived complacency within the system. MOOCs fit this requirement to perfection
  • there is a growing tendency to conflate MOOCs with online learning in general. This suits of course the elite universities who have come 20 years late to the party – they are re-defining online learning according to their own interests
  • even re-designing a large class in a highly selective institution is now considered to be a MOOC, so as well as the conflation with online learning, MOOCs are now being equated with any large class delivered online. The concept of open-ness runs the risk of being lost, with the focus switching to free or cheap
  • if they can get past the hubris, Ivy League universities have a lot to offer online learning. There were several examples in the conference of innovative approaches to online learning from some of the top universities in the USA, but they weren’t MOOCs as most of us would understand the term. We need to bridge the gap between the Ivy League newcomers and those who have been working in online learning elsewhere. We will all benefit from this
  • as a profession we have failed miserably to disseminate best practices in online learning to busy practitioners/instructors. This is not entirely our fault. If there is no requirement for pre-service training to teach in a university, there is no opportunity to bring these best practices to the attention of all faculty. Training new faculty in modern teaching methods, including online learning, based on good pedagogy and cognitive science, is the best way to address the perception that universities and colleges are failing to adapt to the 21st century.»


6 steps to organize a MOOC

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Moodle MOOC posts

An article by Dr. Nellie Deutsch on How to organize a MOOC –



MOOCs:How did we get there?

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Moodle MOOC posts

A presentation by George Siemens focusing on his early experiences with MOOCs, their current state, and future directions (as well as some angst and hope).

An article by Ted Curran about the traditional role of Universities and recent developments of MOOCs – Saving Universities in the era of MOOCs

«Traditional universities provide four main functions that have historically made them worth the high price of admission for students:

  1. Access to High Quality Educational Content
  2. Guidance Towards Content Mastery
  3. Certification of Mastery (“Your Diploma”)
  4. Institutional Relationships & Career Placement

The dirty little secret is that too many bricks-and-mortar schools are offering course experiences that could be reproduced by a machine. Too many courses at top universities consist of teachers lecturing, students reading and taking multiple-choice exams. The last way schools can offer greater value than MOOCs is to develop faculty proficiency in recognizing and promoting higher order thinking skills around course content.»

A new pedagogy is emerging

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Moodle MOOC posts

An interesting article from Ontario Portal on how technology and online learning is impacting and changing pedagogy

A new Pedagogy is Emerging…And Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor