Talk MOOC to Me

07 Nov

By Jackie Vetrano

(This blog post stemmed from a presentation called “Talk MOOC to Me,” given at the Higher Education Web Professionals Annual conference.)

Four ladies, 45 minutes. Can it be done? We’ll find out. The Penn State Design team looked at MOOCs, specifically the Epidemics MOOC at Penn State.

What’s a MOOC? It’s a Massive Open Online Course. But, what is massive? The average enrollment for a MOOC is 43,000, but it can greatly change based on course material. MOOCs are “open” because they’re free; but you get what you pay for.

These courses then ended up having little to no production value from poorly uploaded videos from one faculty member. To increase the quality of these videos and courses, a new pricing model had to be analyzed. Models such as Signature Track or Verified Courses along with Monthly Access and Certificate Programs started to form, but with a price. Some will verify that you are who you say you are, while others provide a wide variety of material.

When MOOCs first started, the course material was provided by video or transcript. This posed a problem for those students who did not have access to video, as they missed out on important graphics provided in the videos. Evaluations were an obstacle, as well. So, why do we create MOOCs?

Penn State had a variety of goals for their MOOC, but focused mainly on Reinforcing Leadership in Online Education and enriching Face to Face, Hybrid, and Online Designs. Most every college has a specific online division, becoming a leader in the online education realm. The team was excited to take on the challenge to renovate the learning experience for their students using Coursera.

Penn State created a custom space that follows an easy, chronological flow in a streamlined format for online learners. Penn State had 8 different faculty members working on their MOOC, having a great impact on the way faculty analyzes the way they teach in the classroom, as well as how to do it online. Course ideas became shorter, easier to learn, and blended with online coursework.

[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: ]

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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in MOOCs in the News, Op-Ed


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