Changing the Learning Landscape - Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – an insight into developing and teaching on a MOOC

  • Date: 5 Jun 2013
  • Start Time: 02:00 pm
  • Location/venue: Virtual event

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – an insight into developing and teaching on a MOOC

Jeremy Knox, Edinburgh University.

This webinar will highlight issues related to the development and teaching of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).  It will foreground the dilemmas faced by educators interested in engaging meaningfully, critically and productively with this emerging course format, focussing on three vital questions.

1. How open are MOOCs? 

In the recent institutionally-affiliated MOOCs, ‘open’ appears to be largely interpreted as ‘free enrolment’.  This section will illustrate some alternative examples of open educational practices and content, drawing from the recent ‘E-learning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC from the University of Edinburgh. 

2. What is the role of the platform?

The MOOC platforms provided by Coursera, edX and Udacity all encompass similar features which structure, elevate and constrain different educational possibilities.  The advantages of this centralised platform will be contrasted with a MOOC design that attempts to engage with the distributed, aggregated and social spaces of the web.

3. ‘Absorbing’ content, or creating it?

The content of a typical MOOC involves a sequence of video lectures interspersed with multiple choice quizzes, maintaining a fairly traditional and didactic approach to teaching.  This section will discuss student created content in the MOOC, highlighting examples of the social spaces, blogs and final assignments developed by participants of ‘E-learning and Digital Cultures’. 

Jeremy Knox is a teacher on one of the first MOOCs to emerge from the University of Edinburgh’s recent partnership with Coursera.  ‘E-Learning and Digital Cultures’ was developed with colleagues from the international MSc in E-learning distance education programme, and launched on the 28th January 2013.  Jeremy’s research offers a critical perspective on open education, highlighting assumptions about the inherent value of technology and questioning calls for the restructuring of higher education around supposedly autonomous learners.  His work concerns the ambivalence surrounding Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), suggesting a need for further theoretical considerations of the open education movement.


This webinar is free to attend.


For any questions, please contact Alex Fenlon

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