Last month my colleagues and I completed a pilot of what well may be the most interesting project of my life. It was the pilot of a new type of MOOC that pushes the MOOC design envelope by blending a globally transformative platform with an eco-system of deep personal, locally grounded learning communities.
Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are Web-based classes that are freely available to an unlimited number of students.
In 2013, the University of California, Irvine launched a MOOC drawing inspiration from the popular television series “The Walking Dead.” The course delved into the zombie phenomenon as a backdrop to exploring scientific concept , mathematics and health .
This year, the university has rolled out “Fight or Die: The Science Behind FX’s ‘The Strain”. Irvine has teamed up with cable television channel FX and tech company Instructure to produce a MOOC based on the popular vampire TV show. It’s a 4-week course running on the Instructure Canvas Network platform.
The MOOC takes place in an environment where a devastating attack by cyber-terrorists and a fast-spreading disease epidemic set the stage for exploring the theoretical and practical aspects of cyber-crime, parasitology, and disease dynamics. The course is driven by video excerpts from “The Strain”, and students are required to compare the science in the television drama to analogous situations in real life. Students are also expected to generate original content of their own to share, based on the course concepts.
The first module of the course is this summer, and the premiere for Season 2 of “The Strain” airs three weeks after that. Enrolment is currently underway at the Canvas Network website – and it’s free.
MOOCs often suffer from high drop-out and low completion rates. At the beginning of the course, the audience is indeed “massive”; thousands of people wait for the course to begin, but in the end only a low number of participants stay active and complete the course.
John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, says the university’s success is down to its focus on students’ needs. “We’re a modern university, but not just in the sense that we haven’t been around for as long - we’re very modern in our approach. We’re challenging the system. We’re bringing in new forms of pedagogy and listening to students.”
The university has three objectives: “teaching students well, making sure that students are listened to, and making sure they get good jobs at the end of their course,” says Ian Dunn, deputy vice-chancellor for student experience at Coventry.
"It’s not always easy to tell these two types apart. When an executive urges his team to “break shit” or “move fast and break things” he sounds more destructive than disruptive. So the question is not whether disruption itself is good or bad, but disruption in the service of what?
And that’s the difference between Lepore’s hyenas and the likes of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Successful disruptors might break old models, but they build better ones that benefit us all, which is why we embrace, rather than fear them."
An interview with Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera and former president of Yale University
"We are still at the stage where it is expanding the market rather than substituting for educational offerings. The biggest effect is in bringing new learners in. Three-quarters of our learners are over the age of 22. They are beyond secondary and college years. Most of them are working and they are using it primarily for career advancement or personal enrichment in equal proportions. That is not a hugely disruptive thing at this point. That is additive, an enhancement to what we provide."
“If people could earn credit for MOOCs, many would earn at least a year or two of credit and stop paying tuition to attend schools for four years,” he said. “If instead of taking APs and paying hundreds of dollars to sit the exam, students could take MOOCs instead, then the College Board would lose millions of dollars.”
A large and growing number of companies are taking aim at the very heart of higher education by uprooting and reshaping the single unifying principle that holds this industry together: curriculum. Quite simply, they are reimagining what is taught, how it is taught, and why it is taught.
Any federal attempts to open even a limited amount of aid dollars to noninstitutional providers almost certainly would face a major challenge from established colleges and, probably, faculty groups. Yet many well-placed observers predict the feds will try something sooner than later. The rare bipartisan support for new ways of delivering higher education is too strong to be ignored
“What jumped out for me was that ... as many as 39 percent of our learners [in MOOCs overall] are teachers,” said Isaac Chuang, one of the study’s lead researchers. In some of Harvard’s MOOCs, half the students were teachers.
Universities increasingly record lectures and make them available online for students. Though the technology to record these lectures is now solidly implemented and embedded in many institutions, the impact of the usage of recorded lectures on exam performance is not clear. The purpose of the current study is to address the use of recorded lectures in an authentic setting by focusing on the actual time spent on the usage of recorded lectures and the impact on lecture attendance and exam performance.
"Results revealed that a large amount of students used the recorded lectures as a substitute for lecture attendance. The group who uses recorded lectures as a supplement when developing a knowledge base score significantly higher on the assessment. When assessing higher order thinking skills, no significant differences were found between using recording lectures and attending lectures. This can be partly explained by relatively low predictive value either form of lectures have on exam performance."
A digital tool created by the University of Edinburgh uses Twitter to engage with Mooc learners
"Siân Bayne, Edinburgh’s professor of digital education, who said that the experiment had deliberately not set out to solve any productivity deficits in teachers.
Instead, it had demonstrated how teachers and students could use technology in a way that was pedagogically productive while still being based on simple programming. “It puts automated teaching back in the hands of teachers,” Professor Bayne told Times Higher Education."
Student drop out in universities is a universal problem [..]. Even though researchers found several critical aspects that affect student success and that could reduce student drop out, implementation of research results have rarely led to any major improvements in graduation rates.
One way of understanding this, is by thinking of student success as something originating from a complex system.
By Rusty Hartley, Principal Analyst The Beloved Honor Code The honor code at my alma-mater in Virginia remains one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the school. Undergraduates typically schedule their own exams and take them in unsupervised locations. Most students take the honor code pretty seriously and I even reported someone for cheating …
Via deze Battle zijn we op zoek naar nieuwe ICT-toepassingen of creatieve toepassingen van bestaande tools die bijdragen aan het personaliseren van het hoger onderwijs. Hoe kun je die ICT-toepassingen slim(mer) inzetten, zodat een individuele student zijn talenten kan ontplooien en het beste uit zichzelf haalt? Download de hele briefing
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