the rise of moocs

Greig Krull, Brenda Mallinson and Sheila Drew 29 August 2013 Online and eLearning Conference RISE OF THE MOOCs

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Presentation given at the Online and eLearining Conference organised by Knowledge Resources at the Forum, Bryanston, Johannesburg 28-29 August 2013. Created by Greig Krull, Sheila Drew and Brenda Mallinson.


Page 1: The Rise of MOOCs

Greig Krull, Brenda Mallinson and Sheila Drew

29 August 2013Online and eLearning Conference



Page 2: The Rise of MOOCs


1. What is your reaction when you hear the word MOOC?

2. If you have participated in a MOOC - What was your purpose to do so? What was your experience?

Page 3: The Rise of MOOCs


• What is a MOOC?• The rise of Open Learning• Brief History of MOOCs• Types of MOOCs• Hot Issues in MOOCs• Participating in or building MOOCs• Discussion

Page 4: The Rise of MOOCs

What is a MOOC?

Cormier, D (2010) What is a MOOC? [CC-BY]

Page 5: The Rise of MOOCs

Why all the fuss?

Widespread reporting in the international press

Adoption by elite universities in the USAFear of being left behindDisruptive technologyStrategy of using elearning to improve and change traditional campus teaching

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Really, its the rise of Openness…

“The real revolution is that universities, with scarcity at the heart of their business models, are embracing openness”

Sir John Daniel (2012)

Page 7: The Rise of MOOCs


• Free of charge • Scale of numbers – no participation limit• No formal entry requirement• Virtual Learning Environment is not the centre of the course• Use a variety of (new) social media and online tools• Learner-centred

– Increased student participation and self-direction– Facilitators create the environment not way of learning

• Scattered chaos– High drop out rate

• Can be Community of Practice

Page 8: The Rise of MOOCs

Brief History of MOOCs

• Open Education Movement – Open content, open knowledge, open content

• Connectivism – learning is successful if we connect and build relevant networks

• CCK08 – Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Course run in 2008

• Standford MOOCs (2012)– Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Databases

• Platforms– Coursera– Udacity

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Academics, Non profits, Individuals Major Universities

Constructivist, Connectivist approach

Behaviourist, Cognitvist approach

Many-to-many (Dialogue, Peer2Peer interactions)

One-to-many (Student/Content, Teacher/Student interactions)

Informal learning More formal learning

Collaborative, peer assessment Coordinated assessments and quizzes (often automated)

Rich social media Social media used

Drive towards openness Open to join, but not all content

Network building, collaboration Organised group work

Ad hoc learner space Fixed Platform

De Waard, I (2013)

Page 11: The Rise of MOOCs

Benefits and DownsidesBenefits Downsides• Able to organise a MOOC in

any setting with connectivity• Use any online tools that are

relevant • Use your own devices• Work across timezones and

boundaries• Connect across disciplines and

institutions• Do not need a degree to enter• Improve lifelong learning skills

• Feeling of chaos• Demands digital literacy• Demands self-directed learning

capacity• Requires time and effort (often more

than expected)• Possible steep learning curve• Technology can distract from

learning purpose and content

Page 12: The Rise of MOOCs

Hot Issues in MOOCs

Openness Business Models Quality


Certification Privacy

Pedagogy Impact

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Principles for Open Learning

• Provide opportunities and capacity for lifelong learning• Learner-centred processes and encourage active engagement

leading to independent and critical thinking• Flexible provision, allowing learners to increasingly determine

where, when, what and how they learn, as well as the pace• Prior learning and experience is recognised• Conditions created for a fair chance of learner success

through learner support, contextually appropriate resources and sound pedagogical practices

Saide (2012)

Page 14: The Rise of MOOCs

Business Models

• Certification – pay for badge or certificate• Secure assessments – pay for proctored exams• Recruitment – employers pay for access to records [Privacy]• Marking – students pay for markers or tutoring• Platform sales – sell platform to institutions• Third party Sponsorships • Tuition fees • Publishers – reach new readers and sell more books

Daniel, J (2012: 6)

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Quality and Completion• University brand does not equal teaching and learning quality

– Elite institutions gained reputations in research

• Importance of Quality Assurance criteria– Improving rate of course and degree completion– Require not just access but access to success

• Example: MIT’s Circuits and Electronics Course– 155 000 registrations, 23 000 did the first problem set, 7157 passed

• MOOC <10% completion is disastrous• But includes the curious and the tourists

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• Mostly, success in a MOOC does not lead to credit but to a certificate

• Elite institutions define quality by numbers of applicants that they exclude, not after admission

• Certificates can be traded for credit but very expensive

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• Linked to a learning strategy (costs, resources)• Interactive content design and feedback• Safe learning environment with guidelines• Clear learning pathways• Roles of facilitators and tutors• Extent of learner support, assessment and feedback• Match to technical infrastructure (technology should

not be a distractor)

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Local Impact

• MOOCs may encourage development of elearning and use of OER

• BUT• MOOCs will not address the challenge of expanding

higher education in the developing world– Access to technology– Independent learning and study skills

Page 19: The Rise of MOOCs

Considering a MOOC….

• •

Page 20: The Rise of MOOCs

Being Successful in a MOOC


• Tools• Materials• Times• Links


• Thoughts• Blog


• Connect• Comment• Discuss

4. Cluster

• Community• Small


5. Focus

• Motivation• Goals

Cormier, D (2010) Success in a MOOC [CC-BY]

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Considerations before rolling out a MOOC

1. Build upon what you know and have2. Make sure there is a need (purpose)3. Estimate online tools and audience devices/connectivity4. Overall design and selection of core resources5. Choose media carefully6. Option of accreditation7. Copyright and intellectual property8. Create room for emergence (added content, shared expertise)9. Create strong learning environment (including technology)10. Get your course known to people

De Waard, I (2013)

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Content Curation

Discussion Groups

Blog and Microblog

Social Networks

Multi-media Sharing

Virtual Meeting Rooms

Available (Free) Tools

Cavazza, F. Social Media Landscape [CC-BY-NC-SA]

Page 23: The Rise of MOOCs

Reflections on MOOCs• Impact on the high costs of higher education• Extent of the “presence of the teacher”• In experimentation phase, changes lie ahead• Keeps continuous focus on teaching and pedagogy• Reassessment of the intellectual quality and rigour of

institutions• Emergence of institutions and commercial partners

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Suggestions for using MOOCs

Blended Approach

• Use MOOC with local tutorials / groups as supplementary• May be physical groups offline

Core Approach

• Use as central focus• Plan other activities / assessment / etc• Use as a collection of OER – extract what you need for your purpose and context

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1. Has your perception of MOOCs been reinforced or has it changed?

2. How do you intend to take any learnings around MOOCs forward?

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Thank You

Unless otherwise specified, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Greig Krull [email protected] @greigk_zaBrenda Mallinson [email protected]

Sheila Drew [email protected]

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References• Bates, T (2012) What's right and what's wrong about Coursera-style MOOCs? http://• Cavazza, F. Social Media Landscape [CC-BY-NC-SA] • Clark, D (2013) MOOCs: taxonomy of 8 types of MOOCs • Cormier, D (2010) Success in a MOOC [CC-BY] http:// • Cormier, D (2010) What is a MOOC? [CC-BY] • Daniel, J (2012). Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and

Possibility. Journal of Interactive Media in Education. [CC-BY]• De Waard, I (2013) MOOC YourSelf : Set up your own MOOC ebook. [CC-BY-SA]• Popenici, S (2013). MOOCs and The Change of Higher Education.! • Saide (2012). Empowering Learners through Open Learning. [CC-BY] http://