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Making MOOCs on a Budget
Newsletter #3

We are now in week 5 of this 6-week course – Making MOOCs on a Budget. However, in a way, rather than coming to an end, we are approaching a new beginning!

Up to now, we have presented materials which we consider useful for anyone who wants to make a MOOC (on a budget). We have used quizzes with multiple attempts possible as a tool to help you know if you have retained the information or if you need to go over it again.  The discussions aimed to encourage you to reflect a little on some of the big challenges you may face as you move forward with your project.

From the end of week 6, all the materials will still be available until 28 February, during which time the MOOC will also continue as a self-paced option. However, in the next phase, which starts on 29 November, for those of you who have gone through some/all of the materials, the ‘C’ in MOOC, will be more about ‘Community’ than ‘Course’.  (read more...)

How to start building your own professional learning community

It’s probably fair to say that the majority of people who sign up for MOOCs go straight into doing a course without spending too much time on the guidance provided on how to make the most of the course experience and the orientation guide. There are some pretty cool things you can do on the Canvas platform that may make the learning experience more enjoyable.

Did you know, for example, that you can send a message to one or more learners on the course? This might suit people who don’t want to, or don’t feel so confident (yet) about participating in open discussion forums, but may wish to connect with others. Or if you identify a group you would like to collaborate with, you can create your own group for discussions.  On Making MOOCs on a Budget, you can already do this – take a look at this link to find out how -https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2670

New features enabled

From next week, we will enable some features on the platform to allow the community to flourish. As learners, you will be able to start your own discussions (see how to do this here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4121#jive_content_id_Discussions).

If you decide to collaborate with others, you might wish to have a space where you can easily share your work for your group to review. This can be done by creating your e-Portfolio – learn more here https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3243

You will also be able to organize a conference with any group of learners on this course to discuss your projects. Find out more here https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-8075

 

Ask us anything!
November 28 - 5PM Dublin, Ireland

In the past week, we have contacted a number of people by email to get their views on the MOOC so far, and also asked for suggestions on how to improve its usefulness for the remainder of the course. Feedback overall was very positive, though there were also a number of very useful and constructive criticisms that we have been discussing over the past week. On 28 November at 5PM Dublin time, we would like as many of you as possible to join us in a conversation on issues that have arisen as a result of this outreach as well as others that have emerged during the delivery of the MOOC. It will also be an opportunity to discuss how to translate what you have learnt to an actual MOOC of your own.

 

This will be a two-handed webinar by Brian Mulligan and Linda Hegarty from Institute of Technology Sligo and available at this link https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1412/pages/final-discussion-webinar-live-emerging-issues. The webinar is also an experiment on re-using webinars for MOOCs -   we will publish it afterwards in an un-edited format and also edit it down to a distilled version covering the key points -  all opinions will be welcome!

 

Feel free to submit your questions beforehand through the discussion forum or in the comments area in Youtube.

Survey

One of our team, Linda, is currently doing a dissertation for her MSc on the potential of using MOOCs for continuous professional development (CPD). She hopes that her study will result in the creation of a set of recommendations, aimed specifically at public sector CPD providers in least developing countries who are expected to have access to the required technology for MOOCs in the next decade (United Nations, 2015). She would be very grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete the survey located here to help with this research.

What we have done so far:

In week 1 we looked at the nature of the course you would like to build – what and how you want to teach. Brian introduced the learning objects that can be included in MOOCs – videos, discussion forums, quizzes etc. which people generally enjoyed and found useful. Janine introduced the section of planning your MOOC in terms of developing coherent learning objectives and designing meaningful learning activities to suit.

Week 2 looked at the area of selecting tools for video production and Brian hosted a live webinar which explored some of the possibilities available for creating content in MOOCs through this medium. Joern shared a number of videos showing how to go about selecting hardware.

In week 3, Joern took us through the process of creating content, with useful videos on styles, graphics design, preparation, recording and editing videos. Week 3 also looked at Open educational resources (OERs), and the possibilities of using these in your MOOC.

Week 4 looked at how you might consider planning your MOOC project. Miquel and Silvia introduce a simple planning tool aimed at helping you get organized so that you can develop your MOOC on time and within budget. Linda talks about how you might go about promoting your MOOC and shares some ideas for retaining your learners once they have signed up. The discussion this week further explored the issue of retention and completion of MOOCs, and led to some very interesting contributions. You are very welcome to share any thoughts and ideas on this here.
We are now in Week 5, at the end of which you
should know how to evaluate strategies for engaging learners on MOOCs and discuss a range of assessment techniques that can be used for MOOCs.

 

Anyone who has not yet signed up for the MOOC (it's free!) can still do so -  it will only take a couple of hours to catch up! Free registration here.
Please share this with anyone you think might benefit from the MOOC.
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