When Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) first began, millions of people signed up to watch free video lectures from universities, complete assignments, and earn certificates; MOOCs were expected to reinvent higher education. While some still believe these free online courses can change the traditional college experience, new research on 1.7 million MOOC participants shows these courses didn’t grow as expected. Here’s what researchers from edX, one of the biggest MOOC platforms ran by Harvard and MIT, found from their participants:
- In one survey, 39% of users identified as current/former teachers; one-in-five had already taught the subject they were taking a course in. Generally, MOOC participants were already well-educated.
- There was heavy participation from Greece and Spain – during the period of the study, Greece universities suspended operations and Spain experienced national student protests, possibly causing students to look online for an alternative.
Because MOOCs don’t have as many participants as originally expected, educators are beginning to rethink the best possible future for these online courses. Some believe that expanding on-campus applications of MOOCs is a potential answer, while others believe paid certificates for online courses is the way to go. Regardless of what people believe, companies and universities are still creating and supporting MOOCs for millions of people worldwide.
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This Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) is designed for school and district leaders, and any others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives. Everyone involved in digital learning (also known as blended learning, e-learning and instructional technology) in a K-12 school or district is welcome to join the course.
This course will help you:
- Understand the potential of digital learning in K-12 schools
- Assess progress and set future goals for your school or district
- Begin to develop a plan to achieve your digital learning goals
The DLT MOOC-Ed is organized around the Future Ready Schools Digital Learning Framework. This framework shows the Digital Learning Transition Vision-Plan-Implement-Assess cycle around the seven DLT planning elements, which are all centered on improving student learning. It also shows, in the outer circle, that leadership is critical throughout the transition process.
The DLT MOOC-Ed consists of five units scheduled over eight weeks. Participants are invited to work in all the units or to select those that are most relevant to their personal learning goals. A certificate of completion to obtain CEUs is available for those who complete certain requirements. There is no cost for participating in the DLT MOOC-Ed.
Dr. Glenn Kleiman and Dr. Mary Ann Wolf are the program directors, with many others from school districts and other orgnizations throughout the country contributing to planning and facilitating the course.
Other MOOC-Ed courses currently open for registration include Learning Differences, Disciplinary Literacy for Deeper Learning, Coaching Digital Learning
, and Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations
. More information about these courses can be found at mooc-ed.org
MOOC-Ed.org is a project of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State College of Education. Built on research-based models of effective professional development, professional learning communities, and online communities of practice, MOOC-Ed courses focus on authentic, project-based learning, collaboration, and peer-supported learning, rather than tests and grades that are needed in other types of MOOCs.