Here’s a question I’ve been battling for some time .. how do you measure the ‘success’ of a MOOC? The problem is that I haven’t been able to define what the ‘success’ is supposed to be, so to try and measure it seems, well, a pointless exercise.
So, here’s a few thoughts I’ve had based on my experiences as a learner on MOOCs (yes, plural), and as part of a team developing and delivering 4 FutureLearn MOOCs now (with a few more in the pipeline too!).
Do you look for the headline figures of number of registered learners, or the number of registered learners that became learners (visited the course)?
Do you look for the number at the number of learners who did something, that engaged on the course in some way .. as either a number (e.g. 4,000) or as a percentage of the learners who visited the course (e.g. 40%)?
If you plan your MOOC to link to a paid-for course (degree, training, etc.) do you measure the success by the number of MOOC learners who enquire, or sign-up, to the linked course?
Do you look to the quiz or test responses, to see who’s retained and regurgitated the information based on a ‘score’?
Is it the final number of learners who make it through the length of the course to the end?
Is the number of comments a worthy of a measurement of success? Do courses that have more comments (either in volume or as a percentage of active learners) indicate a greater success than those with fewer?
Can you measure the success based on interactions on social media, through a defined hashtag? In which case do you measure the number of mentions on the hashtag or dig deeper and quantify the different sorts of engagements, ranging from “I’m on #such-and-such course” to enquiries or the detailed thought process involved in critical thinking along the lines of the MOOC subject?
Is a successful course one that takes learners from the MOOC environment into a related course, be it a MOOC or other paid-for course? If so, are you capturing that data?
If the student voice has so much power, as I keep reading that it does (when it comes to module feedback, learning resource development, pricing, etc.) then it stands to reason that the voice of students yet to reach Higher Education also have a voice that should be heard?
This is a great video, students and staff alike, saying what their ‘digital age’ education should be … note the accessible, flexible, personal, social, and collaborative attitudes these students ‘want’ from their learning. Yes, they’re talking about what HE should be in the future, but it’s grounded in their understanding in what is currently available, and possibly what they wish they had already?
“I see technology as the accelerator, the expander, the multiplier.”
As part of a series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this fifth post I talk to Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, National University of Ireland, Galway.
DH – Hi Sharon. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?
SF – Almost everything I do, on a daily basis, is affected by technology. From the radio alarm waking me in the morning, the coffee machine that provides the kick to get me started, the always-on aspect of my mobile phone, the constant expectation of availability by email/phone during (and outwith) office hours, my almost constant presence on twitter, my new slow cooker that allows me plan family meals, through to the glorious availability of anything I want to watch on sky+, my day is mostly ruled by technology. And that’s before I get into the proper work aspects of technology for teaching and learning! Continue reading →
‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ is the title & theme for the 2014 ALT Conference – my first ALT conference – and my second post, this one about the second day.
Well, when I say second day the first day never really stopped – one downside of being connected and part of a massive PLN is that the tweets, emails, DMs, mentions, etc. don’t stop. At one point at the end of day 1 I had to just say enough, put the tablet & phone down (to charge) and then go charge my own batteries. For those who were staying on site and continued the party & chats, you are clearly younger than me!
Day four is upon us (going quickly, isn’t it!) and we’re looking at collaborating.
“We all need to work with other people and this is an opportunity to explore how smart devices can enable you to work with individuals and groups in a number of versatile ways so that you can maximise engagement and effectiveness when collaborating.”
Welcome to a final few thoughts on and about 2013: what did I do, what did I read, what did I achieve, what did I miss, what did I not do … you get the picture. Well …
After thinking, planning, and talking about it for nearly two years I finally got round to planning, writing, and publishing my eBook on QR Codes in Education. (May 2013).
Several years in the making I finally completed my CMALT portfolio and submitted it and gained my CMALT accreditation (November 2013).
In October I re-read my QR Codes in Education eBook and realised it would read better with a different structure to the contents and I took the opportunity to make it available as a printed book too (November 2013). Working with the CreateSpace website I restructured the materials, redesigned the cover and worked on the 2nd edition of the book (also updating the eBook too to match).
Worked closely with colleagues in Leicester on aspects of mobile learning, online marking and feedback, support, course reconfiguration, and roles & responsibilities.
Every so often I’ll have a discussion with an academic around “this facebook thing” or “what’s the point of Twitter”. Each time it’s for a different reason or coming from a different perspective or background. But each time it also comes down to two main areas of interest: time and effort. How long will it take or how much effort will they need to put into it for it to become a worthwhile enterprise.
I always say it will come down to what they want to get from the experience. Do they want to get hits or recognition, do they want to build a social profile and/or ‘digital footprint’? Do they want to manage or improve an existing profile or footprint, or eradicate a negative one? Is it to be able to connect with colleagues and peers through LinkedIn or Google+, or to increase conference speaking requests? Is the reason for signing up to Facebook or Twitter for student engagement or because you can only really understand how the students use it if you use it yourself? Is their need to be ‘there’ one of inclusion or monitoring? Often the reason is just one where they see someone else using it, probably successfully, and therefore “want some of that”.
In most cases it is nearly always ‘some of the above’, and in very few cases ‘all of the above’ (even if it’s not acknowledged to be this). I can’t say “you should start here … ” as each person should start where it is more appropriate: LinkedIn for professional reputation, SlideShare for conference and/or learning resources, Google+ or Twitter for networks and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), etc. Continue reading →
This is the twelfth part in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ I have collected the series to date in a downloadable eBook – an update will be submitted to the online stores very shortly.
CMALT – The beginning
I joined Bournemouth University (BU) in 2007, fresh into the role of a Learning Technologist (LT) from 10 years as a commercial web designer. In all honesty I didn’t really know much of what I’d be expected to do but I knew my experience with online communities and techniques in developing and fostering them was key to my appointment. It just goes to show the faith and vision my interviewers had to see me for my potential and offer me the job! I joined ALT shortly after starting, which is where I first heard about CMALT. Continue reading →
An excellent introduction for Twitter and teachers or educators, from Alec Couros:
“Since then  I’ve seen this huge growth of teachers really adopting Twitter and using it for amazing purposes. For the most part when you see good practice on Twitter you’re seeing, first of all, teachers develop a personal learning network (PLN) over a long period of time, so they find people who are interesting, who are leaders, whether they are admin people, whether they are subject area specialists, whether they are teachers from a broad spectrum. And it’s not just teachers who are located close, it is teachers from all aspects of the world.”
“Through the use of Twitter teachers are able to connect, see better practice, see what other teachers are doing and share lesson plans, and teachers are doing it in a lot of different ways.”
Thanks to Sue Beckingham (again) I now have a natty shortened URL for my Google+ account. Using GPlus.to website you can create a nickname and have a shortened web address for what is, let’s face it, a fairly unfriendly and unmemorable G+ web address.
Which would you rather use / show on a profile page or business card?