Open Ed 13: What Teach a MOOC? Are you crazy?

 Maria Andersen talks about her experiences with MOOCs.
Twitter: @busynessgirl

“If you’ve ever actually taught an online course, the thought of teaching a MOOC sounds like an absolutely crazy idea. It’s hard to get past the idea that you might be multiplying all your ?online student? headaches by a factor of 100 or 1000. Well, those were my first thoughts about it too. However, what I learned was that teaching a MOOC has been the purest and most fun form of teaching and learning that I?ve ever done. Teaching a MOOC is a complete paradigm shift from traditional education in terms of the design, the assessment requirements, and the diversity of students. As the manager of courses for Canvas Network, we?ve learned a lot about how to design a good online course for students who struggle with English, span all the time zones in the world, and have very different learning goals. In this talk I will share my own teaching experiences and surprises and some of these design tips from our MOOC courses.”

Designing a MOOC was a good exercise in gathering and curating OERs.

Got into teaching and started working for Canvas. She taught a Social Media class. She did this while designing courses for Canvas. Post MOOC thinking: don’t make me go back to a regular class.

It is hard work.

Myth: “I’ve already got an online course for this. i can make it a MOOC easily.”

Teaching a SPOC (small private online course) is like being the head of a neighborhood community; a MOOC is like managing a city.

There is a difference in the students: level of education – MOOC students tend to already have a college degree. The deadlines have to follow the global timelines

Motivations: typical college students are hostages; MOOC students are self-motivated experienced learners.

Time commitments are different.

Students often do not have access to scholarly journals. Use open access journals

MOOC – not for credit, large course, all open resources; resources must be provided in the class.
The teachers role is a curator to the millions of resources on the internet.

Assessments – low-stakes and another opportunity to learn. It no longer matters – the assessment should be there to drive the learning.

The activities should provide a way to engage the real world.
One assignment was to get 50 followers on Twitter. Get them to think about who they want to follow and why and then lead them to get followers. This assignment had no assessment attached to it other than the outcome of 50 followers.

Discussions are the most powerful learning tools in MOOCs.

Types of Discussions
Help Forums
Showcase Forums – Ask students to show something to the class
Conversation Forum – not all students use forums in MOOCs. Pick topics to engage people
IRL Sharing: Lessons learned

MOOC students want to spend fewer hours per week and commt to less weeks. This doesn’t mean you teach a less rigorous version of the same course. It means you teach a different course. It may mean you teach three couirses.

She would go after the alumni with money – don’t charge the students. “Going after remedial students is not the way to go.”

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