Wednesday, 5 October 2016

#edenRW9 Tweaking facilitator focus in MOOCs changes course dynamic dramatically

Martha Cleveland Innes from Athabasca University (yeah!!!) talks about MOOC
MOOCs are part of educational reform.
She looks at the drivers for higher education and change, and looking at those will (hopefully) make. This is a liveblog from EDEN research workshop 9. 

Everything we are doing, online, offline in our universities, MOOCs… are all part of pressure for change and it is greater than any the university has faced in any previous history.
Athabasca is a reformed university working to maintain and fullfil the iron triangle, which also includes pedagogical quality.
Iron triangle: three components of higher ed that is a good for society: access, quality, affordability and cost-effectiveness. (Daniel, Kanwar and Uvalie-trumble, 2009)
Whatever the response we get from higher ed on MOOCs, never before in history have so many learners are following all these courses. But can MOOCs help us with educational reform.
AU MOOC advisory group mandate:
·        Create and provide an expert, evidence-based assessment of and a critical academic and practical voice on MOOC issues to our local, national and international networks
·        Determine direction regarding the assignment of credit for individuals who participate in MOOCs
·        Support those interested in constructing an AU version off a MOOC, where such an endeavor will continue our mandate.
·        Observe, document, measure analyze and disseminate MOOC experience.
MOOC research initiative at AU selecting MOOC research initiatives.
Results from ensuring quality and scale impact for MOOCs.
Learning to learn online ( was the MOOC to focus on. 5 week MOOC, launched 9 March 2015, given on Canvas LMS, designed for both new and experienced learners (community based education). Learner-centered.
Key question: is it possible to maintain the access and affordability offered by MOOCs while completing the education iron triangle which requires pedagogical quality as well.
3 levels o instruction: one flat instruction (video), an inspirer starts and ends the week through inspiring, and supporters (students in DE, to support, guide, offer assistance). The completion rates were similar to other MOOCs, regardless of the pedagogical choices. They ran it a second time, due to the quality experience it gave. The second time there were only 4 facilitators, not 10 and the focus of the facilitators was to connect leaners. This lead to a much higher social interaction between student-to-student interactions. Just by tweaking the facilitator focus, the course dynamic changed dramatically (in this case for the positive).
interviews were done with specific students, these qualitative data showed

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