Next week is Open Education Week. As part of a discussion to start things off, Mitchell Levy, the Executive Director of Open Doors Group, and Melissa Loble, the Instructure Sr. Director of Canvas Network, held a chat about all things MOOC. The full video is embedded below, but here are some main points from the discussion.
State of MOOCs today
– MOOCs are evolving rapidly. How they are being used is changing, as is the impact they are having on education.
– Loble believes that MOOCs are still very much an experiment. We’ve learned that just putting up free courses doesn’t mean they will automatically reach everyone in the world. We’ve also learned that success isn’t about completion rates, but rather about individual learners getting what they need.
What MOOCs are and where they can be used
– A MOOC is essentially a place where learners have access to expert-curated content and can engage in learning activities. The focus is on getting content and applying it.
– MOOCs can definitely fill the need for lifelong learning. They can also fill the need for professional growth. Loble suggests that the main focus should be on creating learning; once real learning is demonstrated, employers will start to place value on the courses.
MOOC best and worst practices
– According to Loble, best practices include helping students learn a skill and then giving them the opportunity to practice it, and taking an experiential approach to assessment (i.e., rather than quizzes or tests, having students build something using the knowledge they have gained).
– A worst practice is to take an existing online course and just put it into a MOOC. The audiences for the two types of courses are different, and their needs are different as well.
Future of MOOCs
– Loble suggests MOOC providers need to stop focusing on metrics like how much time students spend watching videos, and instead assess the quality of students’ engagement.
– Badges are showing promise as ways to chunk learning experiences in a course, which may prove to be more important than certificates.
– MOOCs may not be the change in education, but they will inspire change. Loble believes this is where MOOCs will make the most impact.
For more of this great discussion, watch the video. Happy Open Education Week!