Friday, March 28, 2014

eLearning Papers Issue 37: Experiences and Best Practices In and Around MOOCs

This special issue of the eLearning Papers is based on the contributions made to the EMOOCS 2014 conference jointly organized by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and P.A.U. Education. The success of this conference with more than 450 participants demonstrates that MOOCs are at the beginning of a wave and a first step towards opening up education.

Why are MOOCs innovative? They provide alternative ways for students to gain new knowledge according to a given curriculum. MOOCs can also enhance learners’ ability to think creatively to select and adapt a paradigm to solve the problem at hand. These are the main findings of a case study on the Discrete Optimization MOOC on Coursera.

Many higher education institutions are asking their staff to run high quality MOOCs in a race to gain visibility in an education market that is increasingly abundant with choice. Nevertheless, designing and running a MOOC from scratch is not an easy task and requires a high workload. Professors from Universidad Carlos III in Madrid offer a set of recommendations that will be useful to inexperienced professors. An MIT study also gives key findings on optimizing video consumption across courses.

What are the defining characteristics of a MOOC? Can we categorically differentiate a MOOC from other types of online courses? This is one of the central questions of the debate on the future of MOOCs. An UNED study proposes a quality model based on both course structure and certification process. Most of the debate around the future of MOOCs focuses on learners’ attitudes such as attrition or a lack of satisfaction that leads to disengagement or dropout. A Stanford study shows how educational interventions targeting such risk factors can help reduce dropout rates, as long as the dropouts are predicted early and accurately enough. A French researcher shows that learners who interact on the forums and assess peer assignments are more likely to complete the course. Another Stanford study tested different approaches to measure the extent to which online learners experience a sense of community in current implementations of online courses. In a similar context, a German team of researchers studied the collaborative endeavour of planning and implementing a cMOOC.

One of the key elements of the discussion around MOOCs is their relevance to students in their respective cultural settings. A Leicester University researcher contemplates whether activities, tasks, assignments and/or projects can be applicable to students’ own settings; for example, giving students the freedom to choose the setting of their projects and the people with whom they work. These questions are central to making MOOCs truly accessible to all.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MOOCs in STEM: Exploring New Educational Technologies > June 5-6 2014 > San Jose University

NSF-funded conference on STEM education

Conference Dates: June 5-6, 2014
Conference Location: San Jose, CA

San José State University’s (SJSU) College of Engineering is holding a NSF-funded conference on learning and discussing the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other intensive technologies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Future of MOOCs and Turbocharged Technologies in STEM Education conference will be an opportunity for experts around the world to gather, share their ideas, and to have a discussion on how MOOCs and other technologies should be used to further the education within the STEM fields. This conference will be an opportunity for SJSU and other nationwide faculty to congregate, learn and discuss effective strategies for credit bearing courses.
The conference will also feature guest keynote speakers Yvonna Belanger of the Gates Foundation and Chris Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well speakers and presentations from the professional and academic sides of MOOCs.

The overall goal of the conference is to discuss the future of MOOCS and other disruptive educational technologies in STEM higher education. Our secondary goals are to understand the role of MOOCs in modern academia in STEM fields, how to best introduce them into a university setting, and how they may supplement traditional and flipped STEM classrooms. It is supported by the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the IEEE Education Society.

Call for Proposals [PDF]
Online Application

Source, and Call for Proposals, and Application Links Available At:


Monday, March 10, 2014

Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promise and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses

Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promise and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses is one of the first collections of essays about the phenomenon of “Massive Online Open Courses.” Unlike accounts in the mainstream media and educational press, Invasion of the MOOCs is not written from the perspective of removed administrators, would-be education entrepreneurs/venture capitalists, or political pundits. Rather, this collection of essays comes from faculty who developed and taught MOOCs in 2012 and 2013, students who participated in those MOOCs, and academics and observers who have first hand experience with MOOCs and higher education. These twenty-one essays reflect the complexity of the very definition of what is (and what might in the near future be) a “MOOC,” along with perspectives and opinions that move far beyond the polarizing debate about MOOCs that has occupied the media in previous accounts. Toward that end, Invasion of the MOOCs reflects a wide variety of impressions about MOOCs from the most recent past and projects possibilities about MOOCs for the not so distant future.

Contributors include Aaron Barlow, Siân Bayne, Nick Carbone, Kaitlin Clinnin, Denise K. Comer, Glenna L. Decker, Susan Delagrange, Scott Lloyd DeWitt, Jeffrey T. Grabill, Laura Gibbs, Kay Halasek, Bill Hart-Davidson, Karen Head, Jacqueline Kauza, Jeremy Knox, Steven D. Krause, Alan Levine, Charles Lowe, Hamish Macleod, Ben McCorkle, Jennifer Michaels, James E. Porter, Alexander Reid, Jeff Rice, Jen Ross, Bob Samuels, Cynthia L. Selfe, Christine Sinclair, Melissa Syapin, Edward M. White, Elizabeth D. Woodworth, and Heather Noel Young.
About the Editors

Steven D. Krause is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. Some of his recent scholarship has appeared in College Composition and Communication, Kairos, and Computers and Composition, and he has published commentaries in AFT On Campus and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His blog at won the John Lovas Memorial Weblog award from Kairos in 2011.

SKU: 978-1-60235-533-0 / Edited Steven D. Krause and Charles Lowe / Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-533-0 (paperback, $30); 978-1-60235-534-7 (hardcover, $60). © 2014 by Parlor Press and the respective authors.

Source and Access to Full Text Available At


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

EMOOCs 2014: European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit > Proceedings > Research Track

Table of Contents

> Understanding Persistence in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses): Descriptive & Experimental Evidence 5
Rachel Baker, Brent Evans, Erica Greenberg and Thomas Dee
> Analysing student participation in Foreign Language MOOCs: a case study 11
Elena Bárcena, Timothy Read, Elena Martín-Monje & Mª Dolores Castrillo
> Signals of Success and Self-directed Learning 18
Penny Bentley, Helen Crump, Paige Cuffe, Iwona Gniadek, Briar Jamieson, Sheila MacNeill and Yishay Mor
> Analyzing completion rates in the First French xMOOC 26
Matthieu Cisel
> Challenges for conceptualising EU MOOC for vulnerable learner groups 33
Inge de Waard, Michael Sean Gallagher, Ronda Zelezny-Green, Laura Czerniewicz, Stephen Downes, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and Julie Willems
> Scaffolding Self-learning in MOOCs 43
Israel Gutiérrez-Rojas, Carlos Alario-Hoyos, Mar Pérez-Sanagustín, Derick Leony, Carlos Delgado-Kloos
> Towards an Outcome-based Discovery and Filtering of MOOCs using moocrank 50
Israel Gutiérrez-Rojas, Derick Leony, Carlos Alario-Hoyos, Mar Pérez-Sanagustín and Carlos Delgado-Kloos
> Dropout Prediction in MOOCs using Learner Activity Features 58
Sherif Halawa, Daniel Greene and John Mitchell
> Self-Regulated Learning in MOOCs: Do Open Badges and Certificates of Attendance Motivate Learners to Invest More? 66
Simone Haug, Katrin Wodzicki, Ulrike Cress and Johannes Moskaliuk
> Extending the MOOCversity A Multi-layered and Diversified Lens for MOOC Research 73
Tanja Jadin and Martina Gaisch
> Encouraging Forum Participation in Online Courses with Collectivist, Individualist and Neutral Motivational
René F. Kizilcec, Emily Schneider, Geoffrey L. Cohen and Daniel A. McFarland
> MOOC Learning in Spontaneous Study Groups: Does Synchronously Watching Videos Make a Difference? 88
Nan Li, Himanshu Verma, Afroditi Skevi, Guillaume Zufferey and Pierre Dillenbourg
> Dropout: MOOC Participants’ Perspective 95
Tharindu Rekha Liyanagunawardena, Patrick Parslow and Shirley Ann Williams
> Reflections on Enrollment Numbers and Success Rates at the openHPI MOOC Platform 101
Christoph Meinel, Christian Willems, Jan Renz and Thomas Staubitz
> The SIRET Training Platform: Facing the Dropout Phenomenon of MOOC Environments 107
Sergio Miranda, Giuseppina Rita Mangione, Francesco Orciuoli, Vincenzo Loia and Saverio Salerno
> MOOCs in fragile contexts 114
Barbara Moser-Mercer
> Cultural Translation in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) 122
Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
> A typology and dimensions of a description framework for MOOCs 130
Marilyne Rosselle*, Pierre-André Caron**, Jean Heutte**
> Characterizing video use in the catalogue of MITx MOOCs 140
Daniel T. Seaton, Sergiy Nesterko, Tommy Mullaney, Justin Reich, Andrew Ho and Isaac Chuang
> How Students Learn using MOOCs: An Eye-tracking Insight 147
Kshitij Sharma, Patrick Jermann and Pierre Dillenbourg
> A Platform that Integrates Quizzes into Videos 155
Robin Woll1, Sven Buschbeck2, Tino Steffens1, Pascal Berrang1, Jörn Loviscach3
> Designing Video for Massive Open Online-Education: Conceptual Challenges from a Learner-Centered Perspective 160
Carmen Zahn, Karsten Krauskopf, Jonas Kiener and Friedrich W. Hesse
Reviewers of Research Track 168

Source and Links to Full Text Available At:


Thursday, February 6, 2014

OpenupEd Quality Label Published

OpenupEd is an open, non-profit partnership on MOOCs. OpenupEd aims to contribute to opening up education to the benefit oflearners and the wider society while reflecting values such as equity, quality and diversity. The vision is to reach out to all those learners who are interested to take part in online higher education in a way that meets their needs and accommodates their situation.

The partnership published a quality label for MOOCs ('OpenupEd label') on 25 January 2014 after a review period. A first draft version of the OpenupEd label was presented on 23 October during a Master class and a slightly improved review version was published on 7 November 2013.

You could use the published OpenupEd label to make an initial assessment on the level of achievement for each benchmark. Note that it is not expected that every benchmark will be achieved by every HEI and a diversity of approaches is welcomed. We embrace the diversity in (institutional) approaches to open up education by the use of MOOCs.

Institutions interested in becoming a partner of OpenupEd should proceed with a self-evaluation on which to base a more detailed review. The label and review are part of the basic conditions for becoming an OpenupEd partner. Supporting documents are sent on request.

Source and Links Available At: 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

MOOCs FORUM > Premier Issue > Free Access


Why the MOOCs Forum Now?
Nish Sonwalkar
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 1-1.


MOOCs Impact at Duke University: An Interview with Peter Lange, Provost
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 2-5.

Roundtable Discussion 

State-of-the-Field Discussion
Moderator: Nish Sonwalkar, Participants: Jack Wilson, Andrew Ng, Peter Sloep
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 6-9.


Crowdsourcing to Assess MOOCs: A Position Paper
R.J. Clougherty Jr., Viktoria Popova
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 10-13.

Original Articles 

Self-Driven Mastery in Massive Open Online Courses
Chuong B. Do, Zhenghao Chen, Relly Brandman, Daphne Koller
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 14-16.

Shall We MOOC? A SWOT Analysis at the Program Level
Vanessa P. Dennen, Amit Chauhan
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 17-21.

The First Adaptive MOOC: A Case Study on Pedagogy Framework and Scalable Cloud Architecture—Part I
Nishikant (Nish) Sonwalkar
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 22-29.

Letter to the Editor

Vijay Dixit
MOOCs FORUM. September 2013, 1(P): 30-30.

Source and Links To Full Text Available At:


Friday, September 27, 2013

MERLOT JOLT > Special Issue on Massive Open Online Courses

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
Vol. 9, No. 2, March 2013


  A Message from the MERLOT Executive Director: MOOCs, MERLOT, and Open Educational Services  Gerard L. Hanley

Guest Editors' Preface to the Special Issue on MOOCs: An Academic Perspective on an Emerging Technological and Social Trend  / George Siemens, Valerie Irvine, and Jillianne Code

Research Papers
Patterns of Engagement in Connectivist MOOCs / Colin Milligan, Allison Littlejohn, and Anoush Margaryan

Learner Participation and Engagement in Open Online Courses: Insights from the Peer 2 Peer University / June Ahn, Brian S. Butler, Alisha Alam, Sarah A. Webster

Realigning Higher Education for the 21st Century Learner through Multi-Access Learning
Valerie Irvine, Jillianne Code, and Luke Richards

Case Studies
Wrapping a MOOC: Student Perceptions of an Experiment in Blended Learning  / Derek O. Bruff, Douglas H. Fisher, Kathryn E. McEwen, and Blaine E. Smith

Liminal Participants and Skilled Orienteers: Learner Participation in a MOOC for New Lecturers /
Marion Waite, Jenny Mackness, George Roberts, and Elizabeth Lovegrove

Concept Paper
Evaluating the Strategic and Leadership Challenges of MOOCs / Stephen Marshall

Position Paper
Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation?  / Bonnie Stewart

The Inside Story: Campus Decision Making in the Wake of the Latest MOOC Tsunami  / Marilyn M. Lombardi


All papers in JOLT are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License

Source and Links Available At:


Note: A forthcoming issue will include additional articles on MOOCs ; Sign-up tp receive advance notice at: