Blackboard Users Conference #durbbu: MOOC Pedagogy

Durham Blackboard Users ConferenceDay two of the Durham Blackboard started with an extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with their product(s), as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”. However, the Conference’s second keynote is from Jeremy Knox from the University of Edinburgh and was on “MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera”.

What challenges, dilemmas, and opportunities do MOOCs offer:

  • cMOOC (connectivist) and xMOOC (Udacity / Coursera / edX – Institutional led): what is the value to the distinction between each?
  • MOOC tutoring & support is ‘light touch’ approach with low study hours per week, with certificates for completion and not credit.
  • Udacity is more corporate association developing MOOCs (for-profit, independent of institutions).
  • Coursera is for-profit, partnered with 33 institutions.
  • edX is non-profit partnered with 6 institutions.
  • Developing for Coursera involves:

Developing for Coursera

  • Edinburgh is an early adopter in educational technology so MOOCs fit with history and ‘exploration’ of new pedagogic spaces that have the ability to inform practice in the (near?) future and Edinburgh has ability to share their experiences with peer institutions.
  • Behind the MOOC: you must consider (“critical responses”) the teaching and the teacher, the platform, and the MOOC futures.
  • Big difference between enrolment numbers and participation numbers: these are often very different in reality based on a large number of issues (participant commitments, interest, boredom threshold, etc.).
  • “One big difference between a MOOC and a traditional course is that a MOOC is completely voluntary. You decide that you want to participate, you decide how to participate, then you participate. If you’re not motivated, then you’re not in the MOOC.” Downes, S. (2011) What a MOOC does.
  • @GraemeBoxwell: Online teaching should not be downgraded to ‘facilitation’.
  • @sharonlflynn: Coursera Announces Details for Selling Certificates and Verifying Identities

Thanks to Jeremy for this insight into designing and preparing a MOOC, and I look forward to the course that starts in the coming weeks. If I have missed anything, or you would like to add to the above, please leave a comment below.