Can MOOCs offer useful support for students in transition? Experiences from the UCT MOOCs Project

1. Can MOOCs offer useful support for students in transition? Experiences from the UCT MOOCs Project Andrew Deacon, Janet Small & Sukaina Walji Centre for Innovation…
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  • 1. Can MOOCs offer useful support for students in transition? Experiences from the UCT MOOCs Project Andrew Deacon, Janet Small & Sukaina Walji Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching University of Cape Town 24 November 2016 ICED & HELTASA Conference, Cape Town
  • 2. Outline • What are MOOCs? • As conceived • UCT MOOCs Project • Course landscape in higher education • As used to support students in transitions • UCT created MOOCs • Using MOOCs to support students
  • 3. Massive • Have many thousands participating Open • Open to anyone with an internet connection Online • Everything is online Course • Course is organised to support learning M O O C
  • 4. MOOCs occupy ‘in between’ spaces which are neither formal nor informal but draw on both the skills of formal learning and the informal identities that have a kind of authenticity (Farrow, 2014) Traditional formal courses MOOCs Informal learning from books, web, … Expect high engagement, but small numbers reached Lower engagement, with large numbers reached
  • 5. MOOC platforms & university partners 2 1 UCT - Coursera & FutureLearn Wits – edX Stellenbosch – FutureLearn Around 250 universities have partnered with these three MOOC platform
  • 6. UCT MOOCs Project • Develop 12 MOOCs • Research educators’ open educational practices
  • 7. As conceived
  • 8. Goals of the UCT MOOCs Project • To showcase the teaching and research excellence of UCT • To give exposure to African content and knowledge • To profile key postgraduate programmes and research areas aligned with the university’s strategic goals • To support students in academic transitions • To make UCT’s knowledge resources globally accessible • To develop models and expertise in online learning that could be deployed in mainstream degree programmes
  • 9. Interest in supporting transitions • Rise in interdisciplinary programmes • Academically generally well prepared • Students from other disciplines don’t know context • Pressure to admit more students • Varying levels of academic and research preparedness • Students without some core skills • Show study opportunities • Lack awareness of fields of study and opportunities • Students unaware of study and career options
  • 10. e.g. Short courses Global Citizenship Write Science courses e.g. most degree programmes
  • 11. Showcase teaching and introduce topics with high- profile ‘rockstar’ presenters Introduce fields and support students in undergraduate study Develop skills and introduce topics for postgraduate study. Showcase research and special interest topics of interest to postgraduate level Showcase professional careers for continuing education and qualifications Inwardly focused gateway and transition courses Outwardly focused showcase courses
  • 12. As it happened
  • 13. Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion Julia Scientific Programming Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics What is a Mind?
  • 14. Cases with support for transitions 1. UCT created ‘gateway’ courses • Postgraduate research skills • Undergraduates’ writing skills 2. Facilitating or wrapping existing MOOCs • Study groups to support postgraduates • UCT MOOCs being used elsewhere
  • 15. Understanding Clinical Research
  • 16. 29% 5% 15% 2% 25% 24% Understanding Clinical Research Overall Coursera has 5% African learners
  • 17. Understanding Clinical Research Juan, thanks for making your wonderful understanding of statistics available in such an approachable and well-presented format. I am encouraging all Paediatric Surgery registrars and other colleagues at Red Cross to do the course! You have made a complex and confusing field a lot less so. Looking forward to your next Coursera course!
  • 18. Understanding Clinical Research
  • 19. Understanding Clinical Research
  • 20. Understanding Clinical Research
  • 21. Writing Your World: finding yourself in an academic space • Week 1: Starting to write understanding definitions of identity • Week 2: Developing an argument shifting identities • Week 3: Supporting the argument situating identity within culture • Week 4: Starting to finish writing the first draft
  • 22. UCT Office for Postgraduate Studies • Supporting students in transition • Workshops, seminars and open online courses for UCT postgraduate students • Supporting research, writing and quantitative skills • MOOCs cheaper than traditional courses • MOOC wrapping - where facilitators additionally: • Provides a social space for postgraduates • Contextualise and clarify content • Encourage and motivate students
  • 23. UCT Office for Postgraduate Studies
  • 24. UCT student on wrapped MOOCs • “The course has had a huge implication for me and has now altered the route of my thesis and where I project myself in the long haul of life” • “It has been truly helpful! I wanted to tell you that I won best poster presentation at the School of Public Health's annual research day, so thank you - I could not have done without your help” • “For me I would say the most important and interesting thing I have learned is R-programming, because I didn't know how to use it before”
  • 25. UCT MOOCs used elsewhere • Wrapped (e.g., with additional student essay) • Reuse of materials (e.g., to show videos) • Translated (e.g., into Spanish) • Community mentors (i.e., volunteer tutors) © University of Cape Town CC-BY
  • 26. Conclusions • MOOC strengths • Students appreciate it (run with minimal monitoring) • Scale easily (reaching a global audience) • Helps us understand contexts of students in transition • MOOC weakness • But students in transition remain uncomfortable • Limited individual support and feedback • Not for everyone and not enough • MOOC opportunities • Use by others (enroll, flip, wrap, reuse, …)
  • 27. Project References • Czerniewicz, L, Deacon, A, Glover, M, Walji, S. (2017) MOOC-making and open educational practices, Journal of Computing in Higher Education. • Czerniewicz, L, Glover, M, Deacon, A, Walji, S. (2016) MOOCs, openness and changing educator practices: an Activity Theory case study. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Networked Learning. • Walji, S, Deacon, A, Small, J, Czerniewicz, L. (2016) Learning through engagement: MOOCs as an emergent form of provision. Distance Education, 37(2):208-223. • Chapman, SA, Goodman, S, Jawitz, J, Deacon, A. (2016) A strategy for monitoring and evaluating massive open online courses. Evaluation and Program Planning, 57(August):55–63. • Czerniewicz, L, Deacon, A, Small, J, Walji, S. (2014) Developing world MOOCs: A curriculum view of the MOOC landscape. Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies, 2(3):122-139.
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    Sep 6, 2017
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