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