George Veletsianos resent published a blog post about the use of Twitter in MOOCs. The post was based on a republished article on that subject. The study employed data mining to aggregate data from 116 MOOS “with course-dedicated hashtag” on Twitter. His conclusion is thus:
This research used a large-scale data set to investigate participation on course-dedicated hashtags. It examined the participation patterns of hashtag participants, the types of users posting to those hashtags, the types of tweets that were posted, and the variation in types of posted tweets across users. While popular narratives suggest that social media provide a space for enhancing learner participation, this study provides
little evidence to support these claims in the context of Twitter as an adjunct to MOOCs, finding that an active minority of users contributed the preponderance of messages posted to Twitter hashtags and that learners make up only about 45% of users. Nor do these findings reveal substantive evidence of learners contributing to multiple hashtags, which may suggest that learners did not find Twitter to be a useful space that provided added value or responded to their needs. Ultimately, these results demonstrate the need for greater intentionality in integrating social media into MOOCs.
In 1987, Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson published their classic work entitled “Seven principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” A. W. Bangert opined in a 2004 article that “The Seven Principles framework (Chickering and Gamson) offers solid, research guidance for the design and delivery of Internet courses.”
Principle 01: Encourages contacts between students and faculty.
Email response policy sets expectations for both student and instructor
Electronic office hours
Use a variety of communication tools in course (announcements, email, discussion, etc.)
Synchronous communication (chat, text, Skype, etc.)
SUNY Empire State College and Buffalo State College are using a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant to fund the creation of a new Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) that “will help participants gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills needed to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments for all students, including those with disabilities.”
Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners is a free 6-week (2/22-4/4) professional development course available that will help you gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills you need to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments. Continue reading →
Vander Ark talks about some recent trends and his preferences for online learning. He tends toward blended learning for most students.
The educational landscape is continually being changed by new innovations in online learning. Online learning solutions provide access to high-quality course materials, which can be administrated in a cost-effective manner.
For school districts looking to embrace online learning, this new approach to learning also provides a method for offering blended classes and is ideal for advanced courses in STEM and foreign languages. And it is a great way to leverage talented teachers, and to provide new career options for many of your teachers.
These are some of the key insights from a recent podcast interview with Tom Vander Ark, who is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World.
As an advocate for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access, Tom is also the CEO of Getting Smart, a learning advocacy firm and is a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm investing in education technology startups.
Straumsheim has an interesting piece over at Inside Higher Ed about what to call MOOCs. He quotes Harvard Faculty Director Robert A. Lue on the conversations they have had on campus about this change in online. He points out that the traditional 90-minute lecture has not translated well to the online environment. He says that faculty were encouraged to follow the Khan Academy model of breaking things up into modules that cover no more than one concept. He added, “When those modules are freed from the time constraints of a semester or quarter, the end result bears only some resemblance to a course.”
“It really does reflect in my view a real sea change in how we’re thinking about education,” Lue said. “The word [course] is still meaningful, but I feel strongly that as a defining term, it is increasingly less defining of all the different options that we want to have.”
Lue compared the breakdown of courses into modules to textbooks and chapters. “It’s very hard to use a course in another course, while once you modularize into these more discrete learning experiences, it’s so much easier to share,” he said.
The rest of the article contains some interesting in sights into the changes going on in technology, MOOC partnerships, and the rethinking of content and its delivery.
Online learning has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. Students have flocked to online universities and massive open online courses (MOOCs) because they want to make themselves more appealing to potential employers. Is it working?
Time magazine explored this issue in an effort to understand whether online learning is actually helping students get jobs and employers find qualified employees. While employers are somewhat skeptical about online learning, attitudes are shifting as more students look to the web for a degree.