The University of Southampton is currently working with the British Council to produce a free, open online course on the topic of language teaching.
Understanding Language: learning and teaching will be offered through FutureLearn from November 17th – December 15th, and will consist of four weeks offering a taster of topics related to language learning and teaching: what it means to learn language; consideration of how language classrooms impact on learning; the use of technology for language learning, and a case study of the most learnt language in the world -English. These are topics which feature in the British Council/University of Southampton online MA in English Language Teaching.
The creation of the course is the result of a huge team effort which is drawing on a range of people within the university and the British Council including the university’s media production team, the FutureLearn course team at Southampton, legal and marketing teams, researchers within Modern Languages and teachers across the British Council’s network.
I am the Learning Designer who is shepherding this course into existence and it is proving to be a fascinating and challenging task. My role involves a range of activities including liaising with the various course contributors, planning out the basic structure of the course and refining content, liaising with members of the Modern Languages’ academic team to shape content, taking on the persona of assistant director/producer on filming shoots, scripting parts of the course, assisting in the marketing strategy, coordinating permissions and legal issues…and the list goes on!
One of the enjoyable aspects of creating this free course is that it is demanding new skills from all of us: be that getting used to presenting to camera, understanding how to frame online tasks, consideration of legal issues in open content or online facilitation for such a large potential group of learners (we are currently at over 10,000 sign-ups). We are also learning about the affordances of the FutureLearn platform as well as adapting content/structure in response to live updates from the FutureLearn team from user feedback.
The whole team is getting excited at the prospect of making contact with so many new learners and teachers and I hope that you will join us in November and share your thoughts and experiences too!
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a recent addition to the range of online learning options. Since 2008, MOOCs have been run by a variety of public and elite universities, especially in North America. Many academics have taken interest in MOOCs recognising the potential to deliver education around the globe on an unprecedented scale; some of these academics are taking a research-oriented perspective and academic papers describing their research are starting to appear in the traditional media of peer reviewed publications. This paper presents a systematic review of the published MOOC literature (2008-2012): Forty-five peer reviewed papers are identified through journals, database searches, searching the Web, and chaining from known sources to form the base for this review. We believe this is the first effort to systematically review literature relating to MOOCs, a fairly recent but massively popular phenomenon with a global reach. The review categorises the literature into eight
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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer students free access to course content. Several colleges and universities are experimenting with them as a means to reach more students, and they continue to be a growing phenomenon within higher education. Is this a trend or is it the future of instruction? This webliography includes the following MOOC-related resources that will help provide the reader with a definition of MOOCs, resources for locating MOOCs, pedagogical resources, and additional resources for keeping up with MOOCs. This annotated webliography will also help to examine many interrelated questions concerning MOOCs, including: (1) What is a MOOC?; (2) How can you locate a MOOC?; (3) How are students using them?; (4) What are the factors that affect student participation in a MOOC?; (5) Why are MOOCs being created?; (6) What institutions are creating them?; (7) Can students receive credit for participating in a MOOC?; (8) What type of credential, if any, does a student
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