Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EUA Occasional Papers > MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses

Over the past year, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have received a great deal of attention from  the academic community and the media. The EUA Secretariat has followed the development of the MOOCs since the beginning of 2012, surveying discussion forums and publications, but also assessing the websites of MOOC providers and participating in several MOOCs in order to gain first-hand experience of this developing phenomenon. The EUA Board discussed this development during its meeting on 30 November 2012.

The paper – slightly altered – was presented and discussed at the EUA Council in Istanbul, 25 January 2013. It provides an overview of the literature on this topic and identifies the key issues in order to inform the Council’s discussion. Most of the sources referred to are from 2012 but MOOCs are a quickly.


1. Introduction ... 3
2. What is a MOOC? ... 3
3. MOOCs – a not so recent phenomenon ... 3
4. Who provides the MOOCs? ... 4
5. How MOOCs work ... 6
5.1 Course design and management ... 6
5.2 Funding ... 6
5.3 Who are the students? ... 7
5.4 MOOCs offer “real” courses ... 8
5.5 Entry requirements ... 8
5.6 Dropout ... 8
5.7 Recognition ... 8
6. A learning revolution – or a new business? ... 9
7. Conclusion: What to learn from MOOCs – issues for discussion ... 11
8. ANNEX ... 14
8.1 Universities that partnered up with Coursera ... 14
8.2 References .. 15
8.3 Links ... 16

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Open Badges

MOOC List: A Complete List of Massive Open Online Courses ...

White Paper: MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses

MOOCs are on the Move: A Snapshot of the Rapid Growth of MOOCs

A White Paper by Dr Lindsay Ryan - January 2013

What are MOOCs

MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses and they are rapidly changing the game for higher education, executive education and employee development generally. MOOCs offer free online courses covering a growing range of topics delivered by qualified lecturers from some of the most well-known universities in the world. In this age of lifelong learning, MOOCs are a means of providing learning and development to virtually everyone, anytime, anywhere in the world with internet access.

This paper presents a snapshot of current developments in MOOCs, noting that MOOCs have really only gathered momentum in the past year and are constantly developing and evolving almost on a weekly basis.


Source and Full Text Available At


Duke University’s First MOOC > Report

After only three months for planning and development, Duke University and Dr. Roger Barr successfully delivered a challenging open online course via Coursera to thousands of students around the world.

Lessons learned from this experience have contributed to the strategic goals of Duke’s Online Initiatives.

  • Over 600 hours of effort were required to build and deliver the course, including more than 420 hours of effort by the instructor.
  • The course launched on schedule and was successfully completed by hundreds of students. Many hundreds more continued to participate in other ways. The number of students actively participating plateaued at around 1000 per week. 
  • Over 12,000 students enrolled, representing more than 100 countries. Approximately 8,000 of these students logged in during the first week.
  • At the time of enrollment, one-third of enrolled students held less than a four year degree, onethird held a Bachelors or equivalent, and one-third held an advanced degree.
  • 25% of students who took both Week 1 quizzes successfully completed the course, including 313 students from at least 37 countries. Course completers typically held a Bachelor’s degree or higher; however, at least 10 pre-college students were among those who successfully completed this challenging upper level undergraduate course. 
  • Students who did not complete all requirements cited a lack of time, insufficient math backgroundor having intended to only view the lectures from the outset. Regardless of completion status, many students were primarily seeking enjoyment or educational enrichment.
  • Most students reported a positive learning experience and rated the course highly, including ones who did not complete all requirements
  • The Coursera platform met the needs of the course in spite of being continuously under development while the course was live. Technical issues reported by the students and instructor were generally minor, of short duration and/or quickly resolved.
  • Patience, flexibility and resilience on the part of instructor, Coursera students, CIT staff, and Duke 
University Office of Information Technology media services staff were key elements in the success of this course.

Yvonne Belanger / Duke Center for Instructional Technology ; Jessica Thornton / Office of the Provost

Source and Full Text Available At


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Using Information Expertise to Enhance Massive Open Online Courses

Using Information Expertise to Enhance Massive Open Online Courses


It is a truth not yet universally acknowledged that a venture based on information must be in want of a librarian. Librarians offer expertise in organizing and managing information, clarifying and supporting people’s information needs, and enhancing people’s information literacy skills. There are innumerableendeavors today in education, health, business, government, and other domains that draw heavily on information resources. One such endeavor in higher education is the recently burgeoning massive open online course (MOOC). MOOCs are online classes that welcome any and all enrollees, free of charge, amassing rosters that reach several hundred to several hundred thousand participants. Information flows into, around, and out of MOOC environments through instructor-selected and -generated materials, participant-selected and -generated materials, and instructor-participant and peer-to-peer communication. MOOCs have the potential to create unprecedented levels of access to quality higher education on a global scale, building richly diverse learning communities. Furthermore, MOOCs provide opportunities to disrupt traditional pedagogies, leveraging technology to foster creativity and collaboration while enabling research and development around best practices in online teaching and learning. There are numerous ways in which librarians can use their information expertise to enhance
MOOCs and forge new roles in this evolving educational arena.

Katy Mahraj (2012): Using Information Expertise to Enhance Massive Open Online
Courses, Public Services Quarterly, 8:4, 359-368

Source and Link To Full Text (Fee) Available At


British Library Joins UK MOOC Platform FutureLearn

The British Library has announced its intention to join the UK’s Mooc platform FutureLearn Ltd, offering participants of its online courses access to the Library’s unique digitised resources. The Library will be the first non-university research institution to join the initiative, and is among five university partners announced today during a major business and skills mission to India with the Prime Minister.

The launch of the FutureLearn Mooc (or ‘Massive open on-line course’) stems from the growth of online degree-style courses in the USA, where companies such as edX and Coursera offer around 230 Moocs to more than 3 million students. The first ever UK Mooc, FutureLearn Ltd, was launched by the Open University last December and includes partnerships with eighteen UK universities. Existing Library digital resources will be made available on FutureLearn, complementing plans for large-scale participation in online lectures and courses which are due to start later this year. The Library’s freely available digital collections include over 800 medieval manuscripts, 40,000 nineteenth-century books and 50,000 sound recordings, and continue to grow each year.


Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “FutureLearn is an exciting development in higher education, with the potential to enable mass access to valuable resources and teaching anywhere in the world, for free. As the home of a growing set of unique and valuable digital resources, the British Library is looking forward to partnering with The Open University and widening access to our collections for even more researchers online worldwide as the initiative develops.”

Welcoming the new partners to Futurelearn, Open University Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean said: “We’re in the middle of an exciting time for higher education in which anything is possible. I am delighted that these iconic institutions - the British Library and five top universities - have joined us on our journey to make Futurelearn the world’s best source of free, open, online courses. I’m convinced that Futurelearn will quickly become a great, innovative British export. We’re building on the country’s 800-year history of higher education to deliver a best in class teaching and learning experience that will benefit students all over the world”.


Source and Full Text Available At


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome To Build a Sustainable Model

So what are the barriers that must be overcome for the MOOC concept (in future generations) to become self-sustaining? To me the most obvious barriers are:
  • Developing revenue models to make the concept self-sustaining;
  • Delivering valuable signifiers of completion such as credentials, badges or acceptance into accredited programs;
  • Providing an experience and perceived value that enables higher course completion rates (most today have less than 10% of registered students actually completing the course); and
  • Authenticating students in a manner to satisfy accrediting institutions or hiring companies that the student identify is actually known.
Given this short timeline and the nature of investment-backed educational experiments, I think the real focus should be on whether and how MOOCs or successor models build on current scalability and openness while overcoming these four barriers.


Source and Full Text Available At

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Are You MOOC-ing Yet? A Review for Academic Libraries

CULS header

Gloria Creed-Dikeogu, Carolyn Clark

Kansas Library Association College & University Libraries Section 
Proceedings > Vol 3 (2013) > pp. 9-13


What is a MOOC? What should librarians know about MOOCS? This article introduces librarians to Massive Open Online Courses by discussing the historical development, key structure and features that make them a unique teaching platform, and some of the potential opportunities for librarian participation.


Opportunities for Librarian Involvement

Academic librarians should expect to become involved in the MOOCs their institutions offer or are planning to offer. For the most part, librarians can expect to take on roles that are similar to those they have with traditional courses. Two of these roles are handling copyright issues and teaching information literacy (Mahraj, 2012).

According to an Association of Research Libraries Issue Brief, librarians are involved in MOOC-related copyright issues including the “[u]se of copyrighted works in instructional materials such as online lectures or modules (the equivalent of traditional classroom teaching); assignment of copyrighted works for outside reading (the equivalent of assigned texts and course reserves)….” (Butler, 2012, p. 3). Academic librarians are used to assisting their institutions with copyright law and may feel comfortable with their knowledge in this area. However, applying copyright law to MOOCs will most likely be a challenge. The problem is that copyright law does not address the unique structure and features of MOOCs, so permissible uses of materials in a traditional class might constitute an infringement in a MOOC. The use of copyrighted materials in a MOOC does not fall neatly within the descriptions of fair use exemptions (Butler, 2012). [snip].

The difficulty associated with copyright law provides librarians with the opportunity to encourage the use of materials in the public domain or subject to open licenses such as Creative Commons licenses. (Butler, 2012) As with fair use, librarians need to be careful. It is crucial they read license agreements even if they are “open licenses” to make sure use in a MOOC is permitted. [snip]

In addition to helping their institutions properly use resources, academic librarians should be involved in teaching and promoting information literacy skills to students taking MOOCs (Mahraj, 2012). Students in MOOCs must have strong information literacy skills as connectivism, the theory of learning utilized in MOOCs, “… [snip] (Kop & Hill, 2008 p. 2). Furthermore, connectivism “…puts the responsibility of information gathering, the validation of sources, and the learning process in the hands of the learning….” (Kop, Fourtier, & Mak, 2012, p. 75). Many students do not have the ability to handle this responsibility without assistance and instruction in information literacy. [snip]. Mahraj (2012) suggests academic librarians can teach/coach MOOC students by scanning student blog posts to find where students are having problems evaluating sources and then providing comments to the posts. Considering the huge numbers of students who enroll in a MOOC, following Mahraj‟s suggestion could take an extraordinary amount of time and effort. More efficient ways to reach students enrolled in a MOOC could be modeling appropriate citation (Mahraj, 2012), providing information literacy skills self-assessment tools, and creating online information literacy tutorials. Regardless of the teaching method chosen, MOOCs offer the opportunity to increase the information literacy skills of huge numbers of students.


Source and Full Text Available At 


iSchool Offering Introduction to Data Science in Open Online Course

As the world's data grow exponentially, organizations across all sectors, including government and not-for-profit, need to understand, manage and use big, complex data sets—known as Big Data, a term spreading through forward-thinking business dialogue and building job market demand.

Data science is the answer to optimizing (or, for starters, simply dealing with) Big Data. However, the iSchool’s distinct perspective approaches data science with a view of the full data life cycle, going beyond what most discuss as data analytics.

Data Science @ the iSchool

Get a taste of what comprises this emerging science and an understanding of what it means to work in what Harvard Business Review called the sexiest job of the 21st century, the data scientist. Using Dr. Jeffrey Stanton’s eBook, An Introduction to Data Science as a guide, participants will ramp up on the most popular open source data science tool, the R open source statistical analysis and visualization system.

This opportunity is free of charge and begins in late February, lasting four weeks. Enrollment in this open online course will be limited to 500 students to ensure a high quality experience for all.

Source and Link To Registration Available At: