Monday, 10 February 2014

#emoocs2014 Liveblogging #MOOC research track sessions

Sharing these talks, so if you are interested in more information, link to any of the speakers, I will try to get .
Full papers can be found in the online proceedings from the conference here

Session 1: MOOCrank: for making learning outcomes (LO) of MOOCs visible.
By Derick Leony from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

First step: requirements specified
Identify MOOC learning outcomes and map them with taxonomy (based on the comprehension of the students, not the teachers)
Manage users’ profiles based on intended LO
Support the discover of LO

Architecture of the solution is based on storage (mooc info, LO, LO in MOOCs), Learner profiles, Scripts (MOOC parser, LO parser), Services (manage learner profile, MOOC filter, MOOC annotation with LO).

Asked for information for MOOC recommendations from MOOC platforms.

Discussions on current LO from MOOC platforms:
existing solutions for MOOC aggregation (ClassCentral, CourseTalk)
Other solutions propose learning paths (MyEducationPath, Skillacademy)
Ease of application for other domains
Classification approach is applicable to other resources besides MOOCs
Crowdsourcing approach brings pros and cons

Next steps as MOOCrank is only in its initial project phase
Include social features (rank courses, comment and experience, feedback about professors, contents and learning pace)
Improve usability of the tool
Collecting dependencies between courses
Exploring application for learning at the workplace

Session 2: Signals of Success and Self-directed learning by Paige Cuffe and Helen Crump from the open university, UK
Both looking good and speaking eloquently. Paper on their talk can be found here (

cMOOC learning design was the basis for the OldsMOOC that was the subject of this research.
The projects for the students was group based. The course had different facilitators, that always offered a light version and a thorough learning path.
Places and spaces of the MOOC: cloudworks, google, twitter.

The fact that the MOOC used a lot of new technologies, the participants needed to overcome tech challenges.

The MOOC has a formal evaluation but also individual evaluation from the learners => research question
Collaborative auto ethnography approach (reflecting individually, collectively, and openly (3 stages).
Collaboration location was done on same course tools and social media.

Key themes came from database, which were used to put back into the collective, used some of the remarks as objects to discuss. Four key themes emerged:
defining success
the role of connection in achieving your learning
self-efficacy factors as a function of experience
and learning is personal

So success needed to be defined, as the curriculum was adapted throughout the course as well. For example: application of information can be success, but connecting can be success as well. The role of connecting in order to achieve learning is of importance, as those connections that are felt as ‘interestingly’ has resulted in longest maintaining twitter connections.

Self-direction and adaptation: tech skills are needed to cope in this environment, but also the self-confidence to adapt the curriculum to your learning needs: talk skills, inherent skills.

Learning is personal
Success is a personal construct
Continuing connection supports continuing learning
Self-direction and adaptation is essential

Remark: participants were all post-graduates, this means that the target group had different learning skills.

Scaffolding self-learning in MOOCs, by
Most MOOC participants are bachelor’s and above.
Question: how can MOOCs be useful for training (unemployed) people without HigherEd?

We need MOOCs targeting the needs of people without HigherEd: example: entrepreneurial classes, language courses, learning management…
Lack of study skills and work habits (great heterogeneity regarding study times an schedules) (n =41)
Need for rescheduling the study times several times a week
Lack of social study (with colleagues or course forums)
Lack of support from mentors that helped them plan their study
Most students could not follow online course
Almost anyone finished an online course

An application for supporting the development of study skills and work habits through MOOCs
Requirements obtained from study
Tool must be distributes as a mobile app
Tool must be customizable to different profiles
Tool must include an adaptable daily-planner
Tool must rely on crowd-sourced information
Tool must provide tips and hints to make the most of MOOCs
Tool must serve as a meeting point with mentors

Next steps
Continue implementation following an agile methodology
Provide synchronous communication with mentors
Integration with course recommenders: moocrank

Closer integration with MOOC platforms