Yesterday there was an interesting session on MOOCs. Hannes Klöpper, co-founder of iversity, made a good observation about the 4 distinct factors for the succes of MOOCs:
- New ways of using video
- Social community build around the course
- Formative assessment: quizzes with instant feedback
- Event characteristics: starts at a certain time and every week assignments
New ways of using video
Video is around for some time, but for the first time we are not just recording a 45 minute lecture, but really taking advantage of the possibility of video. The main iniator if this was the Kahn Academy.
This development of shorter video of maximum 20 minutes has been very succesful. In Udacity they are also combining the video with short quizzes.
Social community build around the course
If you look at the MOOC that although it is fully online, a lot of students need the social component. This is not provided in the MOOCs, but students created their own. Students meet up in certain places or create virtual meeting places to work on the homework.
Formative assessment: quizzes with instant feedback
Formative assessment is an import part of a MOOC, they even integrate it with video's. Students very much appreciate the instant feedback they get. So they know if they are on the right track.
This also gives the teacher great insight on the progress of their students, but it also gives information on what they should improve in their course.
The marketing of a MOOC is an important part and it is similar to the marketing around an event, such as a TEDx-event. So a couple of months before the event, it is announced and you can start signing up, closer and closer to the start of the course you get e-mails to get you involved and enthousiastic. During the course you get regurarly e-mail about the homework and the activities in the course. Afterwords you get the announcements of how great the course was.
Certainly, I reconize these characteristics and I personally think that we could apply these factors to a lot of our regular courses.
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