Blogging about OER, OCW, Blackboard, Mobile, Social Media and other interesting stuff
It seems clear that we are on the way to the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, but how far up the mountain does David Sterns’ “5 to 10 percent of the way” get us?
There are two major challenges with this framing. First, Gartner’s model may have useful “explanatory” power- i.e. it works well in hindsight- but a host of missed predictions demonstrate the lack of anything more than a vague “predictive” capacity. A striking failing is the complete omission of MOOCs from the Gartner’s 2012 graph (right). This absence, despite the report being drafted in July last year, well after “the technological trigger” had been well established and pioneers embedded.
The second challenge is that it is easy to conflate the hype cycle with an investment cycle. It may be a dangerous to assume that MOOCs will be driven by similar forces because no MOOCs has yet come close to demonstrating an effective business model, even in any rigorous theoretical way.
I personally think that a hype cycle doesn't work for such a global development as MOOCs. I see big difference between the US and some other parts of the globe. Some countries are just discovering MOOCs other already a national policy. Due to these differences and the global access to that information, you see that universities that are just starting with MOOCs can skip use the first experiences that other institutions have had and can further improve the concept.
If you would like to use a curve, I would go for Roger's S curves, as descripted in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations. This meeans that MOOCs will eventually reach a kind of saturation, and there will come a new technology of service that will continue and will further change education.
The Flipped Classroom Field Guide is a compilation of best-practices and community resources centered around the flipped classroom and blended learning initiatives of the Coursera-partner community.
The guide is interesting to read for teacher that want to flip their class. It has many good examples and best practices that are useful.
From the launch of edX the founding universities have emphasized that research into learning will be one of the initiative’s core missions. As numerous articles in both the academic and popular press have pointed out, the ability of MOOCs to generate a tremendous amount of data opens up considerable opportunities for educational research. edX and Coursera have developed platforms that track students’ every click as they use instructional resources, complete assessments, and engage in social interactions. These data have the potential to help researchers identify, at a finer resolution than ever before, what contributes to students’ learning and what hampers their success.
This paper describes an initial study of the data generated by MIT’s first MOOC:
“Circuits and Electronics” (6.002x), which began in March 2012, was the first MOOC developed by edX, the consortium led by MIT and Harvard. Over 155,000 students initially registered for 6.002x, which was composed of video lectures, interactive problems, online laboratories, and a discussion forum. As the course ended in June 2012, researchers began to analyze the rich sources of data it generated. This article describes both the first stage of this research, which examined the students’ use of resources by time spent on each, and a second stage that is producing an in-depth picture of who the 6.002x students were, how their own background and capabilities related to their achievement and persistence, and how their interactions with 6.002x’s curricular and pedagogical components contributed to their level of success in the course.
The author of this paper are:
Lori Breslow is Director of the MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL). David Pritchard is a Professor of Physics at MIT and Principal Investigator of the Research in Learning, Assessing and Tutoring Effectively (RELATE) group at MIT. Jennifer DeBoer is a Postdoctoral Associate in Education Research at TLL. Glenda Stump is an Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation at TLL. Andrew Ho is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. At the time of this research, Daniel Seaton was a Postdoctoral Fellow in RELATE; he is now a Postdoctoral Associate in MIT’s Office of Digital Learning (ODL).
You can download the paper here (PDF).
After the OCWC Global Conference I enjoyed my holliday and I'm still catching up on all the MOOC activities in the past month. So here is a list of interesting items:
- Georgia Tech to Offer a MOOC-Like Online Master's Degree, at Low Cost
Georgia Tech announced a partnership with Udacity and AT&T to offer a scalable computer science master’s program using MOOC technologies.
- A Bangladeshi Teen Reviews His First Udacity MOOC
"the course was a great experience: awesome lessons, awesome teachers, awesome learning and, most of all, really enjoyable."
- What do FutureLearn’s Terms and Conditions say about open content?
FutureLearn content will not be open educational resources in any real sense.
- Harvard Faculty Request Faculty Oversight of HarvardX (Their Usage of edX)
58 faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard wrote an open letter to the dean requesting faculty oversight of HarvardX.
- Review MOOC Gamification (in Dutch)
videoreview van de MOOC van Penn University of Pennsylvania in de omgeving Coursera.
- Disaggregating the Aggregators: MOOCs as Course Supplements
MOOCs will inevitably pass through a period in which their incorporation is resisted, whether because they are being imposed on universities by legislators or because every new kind of course supplement, from textbooks to computers to online materials, always faces an initially slow uptake.
Last week EdX announced the addition of 15 new members:
CAMBRIDGE, MA – May 21, 2013 – EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative composed of the leading global institutions of the xConsortium, today announced another doubling of its university membership with the addition of its first Asian institutions and further expansion in the Ivy League. The xConsortium is gaining 15 prestigious higher education institutions, bringing its total to 27, including Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in Hong Kong, Kyoto University in Japan, and Seoul National University in South Korea, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The expansion reflects edX’s rapidly growing global student body and supports its vision of transforming education by bringing the power of learning to all regardless of location or social status.
EdX also welcomes nine universities from North America, Europe and Australia. In the United States, in addition to Cornell, the Consortium has added Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Davidson College, and University of Washington. From Europe, edX welcomes Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Belgium’s Université catholique de Louvain, and Germany’s Technical University of Munich. The University of Queensland in Australia becomes the second Australian university to join the xConsortium.
“As we continue to grow the xConsortium and offer courses from institutions as diverse as our global community of students, we are moving forward with our mission to reimagine education,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “These schools, with their unique faculties and student bodies, will help us conduct collaborative research on best practices which improve education online and on campus.”
While MOOCs, or massive open online courses, have typically focused on offering free online courses, edX's vision is much larger. EdX is building an open source educational platform and a network of the world's top universities to improve education both online and on campus while conducting research on how students learn. To date, edX has more than 900,000 individuals on its platform. The addition of these new higher education institutions will add a rich variety of new courses to edX’s offerings:
- The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (HKUx), the territory's oldest institute of higher learning and an internationally renowned research-led comprehensive university, will provide a series of HKUx courses including Vernacular Heritage in Asia, Chinese and Western Philosophy, Infectious Disease and Public Health, and Law, Economy and Society.
- Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (HKUSTx) is a world-class international research university excelling in science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. The University is committed to providing an interdisciplinary, forward-looking education nurturing well-rounded graduates with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
- Kyoto University, Japan (KyotoUx) is a world-class research university founded in 1897 as the second oldest national university in Japan. Kyoto University has advanced education and research of the highest standards, cultivating its tradition of open-minded dialogue and a philosophy of academic freedom. It currently consists of 18 graduate schools, 10 undergraduate faculties, and more than 30 research institutes and centers.
- Peking University, Beijing, China (PekingX), founded in 1898, is the first national comprehensive university in China. With a full spectrum of disciplines and over 3,000 faculty members, Peking University is devoted to excellence in teaching and research, and is determined to make education openly accessible to everyone in China and the world.
- Seoul National University, South Korea (SNUx), Korea’s first national university and the indisputable leader of higher education in Korea, wants to share creative knowledge and experiences. SNU has produced fruitful achievements in various fields, ranging from business, politics, natural science, technology, and the arts. SNU will provide a series of SNUx courses on diverse topics.
- Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (TsinghuaX), one of most prestigious higher learning institutions in Asia, is dedicated to excellent education in science, engineering, humanities, social sciences, architecture, management, law, medicine, arts and design. Tsinghua will provide TsinghuaX courses in a variety of areas of study.
- The University of Queensland in Australia (UQx) is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions with more than 45,000 students and 7,500 staff. UQ’s teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight research institutes. UQ will provide a series of UQx courses including Tropical Coastal Ecosystems by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and The Science of Everyday Thinking by Dr. Jason Tangen.
- Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (KIx) is one of the world´s leading medical universities with a mission to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education. Since 1901, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.
- Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (LouvainX) one of Europe’s oldest universities, located in the heart of Europe, will provide LouvainX courses in both French and English, including a course on political science (in French) led by Nathalie Schiffino, and a course on international human rights by Olivier De Schutter, the special rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to food.
- Technische Universität München, Germany (TUMx) is one of Europe's leading universities committed to finding solutions to the major challenges facing society: health and nutrition, energy and natural resources, environment and climate, information and communication, mobility and infrastructure.
United States -
- Berklee College of Music, Boston (BerkleeX), for over 65 years Berklee has evolved to support its belief that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through contemporary music education. With a diverse student body representing over 130 countries and a music industry "who’s who" of alumni and faculty that have received 229 Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today – and tomorrow.
- Boston University, Boston (BUx) is the fourth largest private university in the United States, with a global footprint and a leading study abroad program, offering 250 programs of study in science and engineering, social science and humanities, health science, the arts, and other professional disciplines.
- Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. (CornellX), a world renowned and diverse Ivy League institution dedicated to a mission of teaching, research and public engagement, will provide a series of CornellX courses in areas ranging from engineering and the sciences to the humanities.
- Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. (DavidsonX) has a renowned faculty and innovative transdisciplinary programs that have earned the college distinction as one of the most research-active liberal arts institutions in the country, as well as consistent national recognition for overall quality and faculty-student research collaboration. Over the next few years, Davidson will offer several original DavidsonX courses in a range of topic areas.
- University of Washington, Seattle (UWashingtonX) is ranked number one among public universities nationally that receive federal research and training funds, and since 1975 has been in the top five for public and private universities. The UW is a leader in online learning with 15 online degrees and 40 online certificates, and recently won a prestigious Educause grant for a new undergraduate online degree completion program in Early Childhood and Family Studies.
In addition to adding these institutions, edX recently launched more than 20 new courses ranging from HarvardX’s Science & Cooking to UTAustinX’s The Ideas of the 20th Century to DelftX’s Solar Energy to GeorgetownX’s Introduction to Bioethics to BerkeleyX’s Introduction to Statistics: Inference to MITx’s Mechanics ReView to WellesleyX’s Introduction to Human Evolution. These and other online and blended courses offered by xConsortium institutions are designed to take advantage of the unique features and benefits of online learning environments, including active learning, game-like experiences, instant feedback and cutting-edge virtual laboratories.
The new member institutions will join founding universities MIT and Harvard, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas System, Wellesley College, Georgetown University, McGill University, Australian National University, University of Toronto, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Delft University of Technology and Rice University in the xConsortium. The new X University Consortium members will offer courses on edX beginning in late 2013 or 2014. All of the courses will be hosted on edX’s open source platform at www.edx.org.
Two weeks ago the University of Edinburgh released their first report on their experiences gained after having organized 6 MOOC courses via Coursera. In this 34 page report they provide insights on organizing a Coursera MOOC, the success rates, their lessons learned, and how they went about in setting up the courses.
The summary gives a good overview of the report:
In January 2013, the University of Edinburgh launched six MOOCs on the Coursera virtual learning environment (VLE) platform [www.coursera.org]. These were short fully-online courses, each lasting either 5 or 7 weeks, and they had a total initial enrolment of just over 309,000 learners.
Six different subject areas were chosen, reflecting the University’s diverse spread of disciplines, with two MOOCs offered by each of the three academic Collegesin the University: Humanities and Social Sciences (Introduction to Philosophy; E-learning and Digital Cultures); Science and Engineering (Artificial Intelligence Planning; Astrobiology and the Search for Life on Other Planets); Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (Equine Nutrition; Critical Thinking in Global Challenges). AI Planning was developed at Master level, the rest were at undergraduate (Bachelor) level.
Each MOOC team chose a course structure best suited for the delivery of their subject matter; as a result, six different course structures were produced, with several teams experimenting with content delivery and collaboration methods outwith the Coursera VLE. Of the 309,628 people who registered on the Edinburgh MOOCs, 123,816 learners accessed the course sites(‘active learners’) during the first week of launch – an average of 40% of those enrolled - of whom 90,120 engaged with content in Week One. In total 165,158 individuals actively engaged with course content during the life span of the courses, and 36,266 learners engaged with week 5 assessments(29% average of initial active learners, with a range of 7-59% across the six courses). The MOOCs had no barriers to entry and exit, and the option existed to study without active engagement with quizzes or social media; this permits behaviour patterns distinct from those of on-campus degree courses.
A pre-launch (Entry) survey was sent to 217,512 unique email accounts one week before the courses began [22.01.13]; 45,182 individuals replied, giving a 21% response rate. (Note that enrolment continued after this survey was sent out.) 15,351 responses were gathered in the end-of-course evaluation (Exit)surveys.
Of those who responded to the Entry survey, 75% indicated this was their first experience of a MOOC, and 53% were enrolled on only one MOOC offering. 203 countries were represented, with the highest proportion of respondents living in the USA (28%) and UK (11%). 33% were between 25-34 years of age, with ‘Teaching and education’ (17%) and ‘Student (college/university)’ (15%) as the highest represented areas of current employment. Over 70% of respondents indicated completion of degree-level academic achievement; a total of 40% respondents had achieved a postgraduate degree. These demographics were very similar to those of respondents in the combined Exit survey.
98% of Exit survey respondents indicated that “they felt they got out of the course(s) what they wanted”, with the great majority reporting that the length, pacing and level had been about right. The most common time spent on study per week on the MOOCs was in the range 2-4hrs.
Both Entry and Exit surveys asked respondents for their reasons for enrolling, of which the main options chosen were to learn new subject matter and find out about MOOCs/online learning. Gaining a certificate or career enhancement were less significant but more localised to specific MOOCs.
34,850 Statements of Accomplishment (SoAs) have been distributed to learners across the six courses – 21% of active learners or 12% of total enrolment, with ranges of 4-44% and 2-36%, respectively, across the individual courses.The whole process from initial partnership discussions with Coursera to completion of all six courses and distribution of SoAs took approximately 10 months. This document provides a summary of the 10-month process, including some comparisons between the six courses and our initial reflections on the data and our experiences in offering the MOOCs.
For our OpenCourseWare Europe we are organising an workshop on OpenCourseWare and Student Mobility. The main goal of this two-day event is to showcase and discuss scenarios and guidelines with regard to how OpenCourseWare (OCW) can facilitate student virtual mobility in the European Higher Education context.
Removal of barriers to mobility in Higher Education has been identified, by the European Union, as one of its strategic priorities. This two-day event is organized within the context of a project entitled OpenCourseWare in the European Higher Education Context: How to make use of its full potential for virtual mobility, which is supported through the Life Long Learning Programme of the European Union. The main aim of this project is to showcase practices, develop scenarios and recommendations for successful implementation of OCW with an aim to improve student virtual mobility.
Join us for this interactive two-day event to learn how OCW can benefit Higher Education Institutions, teachers and students in order to facilitate student virtual mobility.
The workshop is on 11 and 12 June at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The workshop is free to attend, but you have to register via our website.
For our DelftX MOOC Solar Energy we have created an introduction video to promote the course. In this animation the importance of Solar Energy as a sustainable and renewable energy source is explained. This free online education course (start September 2013) will teach you to design a complete photovoltaic system. You will learn how solar energy is converted into electricity, heat and solar fuels and will understand the working principle of a solar cell. You will learn about the advantages, limitations and challenges of different solar cell technologies, such as crystalline silicon solar cell technology, thin film solar cell technologies and the latest novel solar cell concepts as studied on lab-scale. Register now at Edx.org.
My collegau Martijn Ouwehand did a presentation at the OCWC Global Conference about bringing OER into the classroom. This presentation is based on the project STUMBLE which is focused on adding OER materials to basic courses that have a low pass rate. The idea is that with the additional materials students have more options to understand the concepts and will do better in the course.
In our powerpoint you can see the results:
Inside Higher Ed has released a free compilation of articles about massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The articles aren't today's breaking news, but reflect long-term trends and some of the forward-looking thinking of experts on how MOOCs may change higher education. The idea is to provide these materials (both news articles and opinion essays) in one easy-to-read place.
You can download the compilation here