Exam board OCR and adaptive learning experts Cogbooks confirmed today they are working together to add personalised adaptive learning to the pioneering Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC. The partnership brings free of charge to UK secondary schools an exciting learning technology that is making headlines in US Higher Education.
Last year’s exuberance about the impact of massive open online courses has fizzled. MOOCs have been widely eulogized as “overpromised,” “off course,” and just plain “enough already!” This much ballyhooed and belittled phenomenon is clearly neither the cure for all that ails higher education, nor the end of colleges and universities as we know them. …
“MOOCs have advanced the conversation and sharpened our focus on helping students learn. And that’s the ultimate return on investment.
Not too surprisingly, Boston has become one of the epicenters of the next would-be education revolution: Online learning. Spearheaded by EdX, which gained backing from Harvard and MIT, the city that hosts some hundred institutions of higher education is also trying to reform it. Harman Singh, the founder and chief executive of WizIQ, shares where he sees the field stumbling.
As technology advances, we have more access to information. One technology, Massive Open Online Courses (better known as MOOCs) is beginning to change the way we look at education. These online courses are free and filled with information on just about anything you want to learn — from project management skills to learning a new language. And because MOOCs are free, access is open to anyone with a computer.
Just as learners have open access to MOOCs, instructors from schools and universities to a variety of education providers, and practically anyone with a skill to share, can host a MOOC. The emergence of MOOCs has the potential to inevitably change the way we receive our education.
Just how prevalent are MOOCs? There are hundreds of MOOCs globally, some from even established universities such as Harvard and Stanford. MOOCs fill a void for learners who lack the time — and/or dollars — to physically attend a course featuring high-quality content. Needless to say, MOOCs are regarded as a game-changer in online education.
But are they really changing the game in learning?
Why MOOCs Aren’t Working Right Now
In the future, MOOCs have the potential to completely transform education. However, as of right now, don’t expect to see universities shutting down as a result, as some experts have begun projecting. Despite the recent rapid rise in MOOCs, this format continues to be an evolving model, and one that isn’t quite established yet.
Despite the seemingly unlimited access to free information through MOOCs, a 2012-2013 study conducted by MIT and Harvard revealed an overwhelming 95 percent of students dropped their online courses before completion, a rate substantially higher than traditional education’s dropout rates. While some students have expressed satisfaction taking MOOCs, others give various reasons for dropping them. Among the most common reason cited behind this dropout rate: there is no live teacher engagement.
Currently, just 10 percent of MOOC registrants complete their courses. Why — if all the materials are free and available with the click of a mouse? MOOCs are structured using a series of pre-recorded video-based, self-paced classes offered to students for free. There are no live instructors to help facilitate the classes, lectures, or content. There is also no straight-and-narrow path from beginning-to-end and the format does not encourage the exchange of different thoughts and ideas among learners. The lack of live instructor involvement also means no follow-up with the student, or any assurance along the way that the student’s learning trajectory is heading in the right direction. At the course’s conclusion, only the learner can determine if he or she was successful.
The modern MOOC — without live and interactive teacher engagement — is essentially an Internet version of a book. That said, there is tremendous potential for the MOOC to evolve in a major way. To reduce dropout rates, the MOOC must be structured around live teacher engagement.
Some online learning platforms are now taking notice of this need for student-teacher engagement. At WizIQ, for example, our platform is an open marketplace where anyone can offer a MOOC, but we are integrating actual teacher engagement into the MOOC, filling a need within the online education sector.
Still Plenty of Room – and Time – For Growth
With the potential evolution for more online courses to include live instructor interaction, MOOCs can have a significant impact in higher education. Economics alone provides a huge advantage for MOOCs. According to a Deloitte study:
As MOOC mania approached its peak in 2012, Anant Agarwal, the president of the Massive Open Online Course platform edX, claimed: Online education for students around the world will be the next big thing…
Everything you need to know about climate change in a nutshell
UN-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called climate change the “defining challenge of our time” and in many countries the impacts of it are already felt. At the same time, it is still very difficult for many people not working directly on the subject to understand the basics of climate change. For example, which gases are actually contributing to the greenhouse gas effect? What temperature change is projected for this century? How does the international climate change negotiation process work? What adaptation and mitigation options are available and how to select the most adequate ones? Where does the financing come from?
This free-of charge e-course will provide “everything you need to know” about the basics of climate change. It is structured around 6 Modules:
1. Climate Change Science 2. International Legal and Policy Framework for Climate Change 3. Climate Change Adaptation 4. Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Development 5. Climate Change Finance 6. Planning for Climate Change
Each Module takes an average of 2 hours to complete. Each has four learning objectives. A short quiz at the end of each Module allows you to verify if you have achieved the learning objectives. Once all 6 Modules are completed, you will receive a certificate. You can decide to take all Modules, or decide to select those that most interest you. However you need to do all 6 to get a certificate.
All Modules are also available as downloadable power point presentations that can be used for offline study or for training purposes. The modules also contain a wealth of links to other UN resources on climate change and are thus a gateway to more in depth and specific information. The Modules have been developed and peer-reviewed through UN CC:Learn, a partnership of 33 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change.
This course has been developed with support by the Swiss Government.
While college presidents are skeptical about massive open online courses (MOOCs), they see plenty of potential "positive impact" with hybrid courses that blend face-to-face and online learning as well as adaptive learning that uses technology to modify lessons based on the progress shown by students.
According to technologists and digital education evangelists, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, represent the future of education. That may be so, but why is it that Oxford University sees them as the very antithesis of quality education? Antony Funnell reports.
Think how boring life would be if you had to get a bunch of bureaucrats to approve every innovative teaching technique that you wanted to try. It would be like living in a corporate university with a pencil-pusher stationed right there in your classroom.
The technology of austerity is not interactive because interactive costs time and money. This won’t work if you’re only measuring educational “efficiency.”
In summary, the only people who are happy by this kind of result are lifelong learners with no skin in the game and the clerks. Is it really worth disrupting everybody’s higher education to make just these two groups happy?
Kim Flintoff's insight:
A spoonful of sugar and then Mary Poppins kicks you out ... a dystopian view of MOOC developments...
U. of Zurich Says Professor Deleted MOOC to Raise Student Engagement
[Updated (7/8/2014, 2:53 p.m.) with news of a post on the controversy by the MOOC instructor.]
The University of Zurich says it has cleared up the bizarre case of the MOOC that went missing. But the university is offering few clarifying details to the public, which has been left to piece together theories from the university’s statements and from cryptic tweets by the course’s professor about an unspecified experiment he might have been trying to conduct.
On Friday 25 July 2014 the Enhance Your Career and Employability Skills MOOC officially closed on the Coursera platform. This six week course was produced by The Careers Group, University of London and the University of London International Academy. By the final week of the course over 157,000 had registered on the course with nearly 89,000 students engaging with the material. The evaluation survey from the course reveals that the vast majority of the students found the course to be fulfilling and rewarding. Now the course has finished it is also possible to analyse the level of student activity in terms of forum postings, videos watched and quizzes submitted: all make fascinating reading as you can see below:
There is an air of excitement around today, as there was in 1995. At that time it was the appearance of the first web browser and what it portended for the media industries that caused the excitement. Some of us in the media industries could
According to Sandler Research, "Global Massive Open Online Courses Market 2014-2018" was conducted using a combination of primary and secondary information. The company got input from key participants in the industry, including Coursera, edX, Udacity, Udemy, Academic Partnerships, Apple, Codecademy, Crypt4you, FutureLearn, Iversity, Khan Academy, NovoEd, Peer 2 PeerUniversity, PIER International Education Services, StraighterLine and Veduca Edtech.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Apart from the report being stuck behind a $2.5K paywall - it does sound like an interesting look into the future of MOOC business.
Given that millions of people register for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), it is perhaps not surprising that much has been written to date about these still-evolving education platforms.
But what do we know about who is enrolled in MOOCs? Or how these platforms are (or aren’t) supporting learning? In today’s article we take a look at some fresh studies from the field to sketch out early observations about the usage and impacts of MOOCs. http://ow.ly/zrs0H
Universities are not homogenous organisations that take a consistent approach to how they produce students with degrees. Each academic teaches in a largely unique way and students all approach their learning in an equally non-uniform manner. At the end of the day, we haven’t found any consistent way of getting around the fact that in order to learn, students are required to put in a great deal of effort and they can only be guided and supported in this endeavour. The motivations for students, especially young ones, to do this on their own without the incentive of obtaining a degree that means something substantial in economic and social terms, are simply not there.
If universities do eventually experience a revolution, it will not be because of MOOCs.
Phonar, an abbreviation of PHOtography and NARrative, is an in-person course at Coventry University in the UK and an open online course for as many as 35,000 participants around the world who co-create learning communities through a variety of media including blogs and a blog hub, Twitter (using the #phonar hashtag, and a Google+ community.
Case Study compiled by: Howard Rheingold
You don't need a learning management system or virtual learning environment to run an open class. Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress are awesome at being Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, so spend your money on something else.There's a benefit of going where the fish are already swimming online. Become agile, move around from medium to medium because that's what the learners are doing.Don't try to change people's existing behavior. For each thing you do, think about how it could be a barrier to entry, and how to lower it – culturally, academically, geographically, linguistically.Tapping into networks requires opening up to networks -- when you enable other networks to access your work, you enable them to spread the word, answer queries, and respond to calls for participation.