MOOCs behind the scenes

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MOOCs Behind the ScenesBrenda Cecilia Padilla Rodrguez*Alejandro Armellini**Viviana Carolina Cceres Villalba*

* Universidad Autnoma de Nuevo Len (Mexico)** University of Northamtpon (United Kingdom)

Massive Open Online CoursesMOOC

The MOOC Process (I)Global Learn, 28-29 April 20163(Allen & Seaman, 2014; Arnold et al., 2014; Hollands & Tirthali, 2014; Ross et al., 2014; Sharples et al., 2014)


The MOOC Process (II)Global Learn, 28-29 April 20164(Bayne & Ross, 2014; Jordan, 2015; Milligan & Littlejohn, 2014; Padilla Rodriguez et al., 2015)


MOOC BenefitsGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 20165(Dalipi et al., in press; Padilla Rodriguez et al., 2015)


ParticipantsGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 20166

ProcedureInitial contact via email

One hour semi-structured interviewsConceptualisation: reasons for offering MOOCsDesign, creation and deliveryCourse evaluationChallenges and recommendations for the future

Interviews audio recorded

Inductive thematic analysisGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 20167

Reasons for offering MOOCsPressure to join other institutions on the MOOC stage We felt we had to do it; others were doing it [P7])

Using MOOCs as a marketing strategy (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Hollands & Tirthali, 2014)

Taking advantage of existing learning materials by repurposing them Example: converting a book or a face-to-face module into a MOOC

Reaching an international audienceGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 20168

Reasons for offering MOOCsThe overarching strategy is Global Learn, 28-29 April 20169There is no strategy. [P9]

Design and CreationTeam-based approach for MOOC design

Heavy reliance on videosPowerPoint presentations with audioAnimationsFilmed discussions between content experts

Limited use of open educational resources (OERs)Time required to find and repurpose suitable resources might exceed the time needed to create them

Global Learn, 28-29 April 201610

At University 2, all participants were part of a two-day workshop focused on the development of a suitable learning design for their MOOCs.10

Design and CreationOnly three participants mentioned conducting a pilot before launching MOOCs

Promotion through the Marketing Department of participants universitiesGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 201611Main reasons to fail to conduct a pilot of the MOOC: Not enough time Not enough funding

P2: Students on campus, navigated on the MOOC and helped identify problems of clarity and other potential issues during three face-to-face sessions.P3: The first launch of the MOOC was used as a pilot to gain experience on MOOC delivery. P4: Former students of the module on which the MOOC was based, contributed to and tested the design and the learning materials.

Emails to potential studentsSocial mediaInformative flyers and postersWord of mouthRecommendation to new first-year students


DeliveryCommunication mostly in unstructured discussions

Conversations on social mediaFor example: Twitter hashtags, Google Hangouts, Flickr

The assumption that knowledge is within the community of learners might be flawed.

MOOC learners sometimes offer incorrect advice.

Global Learn, 28-29 April 201612

DeliveryRelevant role of the teacherKeeping conversations on trackClarifying confusionsStudent ambassadors

Making MOOCs self-sustainable by automating processes and requiring little support from teachersGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 201613Challenge: Not enough time Not enough funding

EvaluationSome MOOCs offered non-credit bearing completion certificates.

Only one interviewee [P4] was involved in a MOOC which offered academic credits (for a fee) after a formal assessment. Global Learn, 28-29 April 201614

EvaluationInformation on learners sociodemographic profile, engagement indicators (eg, clicks or page views) and perceptions of improvement

Lots of data available but not enough time to analyse it

MOOC considered a success for being innovative, before it was even launched. --- No interest to check later! Global Learn, 28-29 April 201615Was your MOOC effective?We are not sure.

EvaluationGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 201616Clear goals help us know if we are successful.

MOOC was aimed at increasing students perceptions of self-efficacy and used self-assessment surveys as evaluation instruments. While the interviewee [P2] had not finished analysing the data, preliminary results were encouraging.


ChallengesGlobal Learn, 28-29 April 201617

Academics take long to create a MOOC because they know materials are public and permanent.


Benefits for AcademicsAcademics develop a learning design skill set. We've learned a lot about e-learning-type teaching [P9]

Academics feel empowered.If they had told us years ago that we would be able to do something like this [developing and delivering a MOOC], we wouldnt have believed it [P2]Global Learn, 28-29 April 201618

RecommendationsPlan well in advance before implementation [P1]

Design the MOOC to be platform-independent [P7]

Consider how the MOOC works for learners from different nationalities [P7, P10]

Focus on the students perspective, on how the MOOC benefits them [P1, P10]Global Learn, 28-29 April 201619

What have we learned?The emergence of MOOCs is sometimes driven by a desire to follow the trend.

MOOCs often fail to benefit from existing OERs.

MOOC facilitators can prevent conversations from going off track and intervene if learners share incorrect ideas.

Claims of MOOC effectiveness usually lack agreed indicators of success, critical analysis or are based on a very limited evidence base.

Global Learn, 28-29 April 201620

Thank you.