Friday, July 12, 2013

MOOCs at Edinburgh #mooclib

MOOCs at Edinburgh: challenges and successes was the next talk from Sian Bayne, Edinburgh University, at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib which I am liveblogging.
She explained that Edinburgh already had a culture of digital education, including off campus Masters programme. Reasons included reputational gain, new partnerships, exploration of a new pedagogical space and - fun (nice to see that mentioned)!
They joined up with Cousera and offered 6 MOOCs over a wide range of subjects.
There was a big sign up - even "Equine nutrician" had 23,00 sign up. 309,00 signed up over the 6 MOOCs, 123,000 accessed the courses, 36,000 took final assessments. There was variation in course completion(between courses), also variation in pedagogic approach. They did follow up surveys. They found that 28% were from the USA, 25-34 was the dominant age group. 95% had found the course at least "good". The results can be looked at in detail at
Then Sian talked about E-learning and digital cultures MOOC in more detail: she was part of the core team. They drew on open access videos and readings, because they didn't want to take a talking-heads approach. She talked about how they emailed people in advance to encourage people to blog, tweet etc. about the MOOC, and during the MOOC they aggregated the blog feeds of learners, so there was a learner blog around the MOOC. They used Google hangouts and Cousera discussion, but Sian emphasised that it was what the learners created in and around teh MOOC was important. As someone who signed up to this MOOC specifically to lurk and learn about running MOOCs (I was definitely a non completer) I would say that this didn't come out of nothing - the course was designed to suport and encourage people to use different in-the-cloud tools and interact.
Sian showed a slideshow video from one learner who identified all the different ways (lots of them!) in which members of one group used their skills and web-based applications to document, create and learn.
Sian identified that whilst some learners were stimulated by this model of learning, others felt overwhelmed by the social media information flood (some people create more of a road map is a future plan) and some asked "where are the professors" - wanting a more evidently teacher-led experience and more visible teacher presence.
Sian showed some of the digital learning objects (videos etc.) that were created as the final assignment (I will add some links later!) The course had good feedback.
Fuinally, the are now doing MOOC evaluation, making recommendations for the future, and they have also joined the Futurelearn consortium.

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