Six weeks has just flown by and I received the final notice from the UNSW MOOC – Learning to Teach Online on Sunday, August 16th ! Although I wasn’t able to be as involved as I had hoped, I gathered some great ideas, contributed some good resources back, and participated (lightly) in the online forums.
The primary “nuggets” I’ll take away from this MOOC are:
- dealing with students questions by having them post in a forum and vote on which questions were of most interest – then the instructors responded to the top questions in short discussion-based videos emailed out to registered participants each week (very helpful);
- well-organized and structured course (never felt lost – could always find forums, assignments, videos quickly);
- collaborative Googledoc to accumulate suggested resources to support the weekly topics (easy way to involve participants!);
- criterion (and explanatory videos) to support peer-grading of optional assignment (interesting to listen to why and how); and, finally,
- the friendly, open supportive instructor presence established by Simon McIntyre and Dr. Negin Mirriahi!
I enjoyed the flexible design of this MOOC and, although I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to complete activities and participate in the peer-feedback cycle, I found the process interesting to observe. I would think that the resulting feedback would have been very helpful but can’t be sure. I’ve been reading more about the efforts at improving the quality of peer assessments or self-evaluation in MOOCs and in the UK (Re-engineering Assessment Practices in Higher Education). I’d be curious to hear how the participants in the process felt about any improvement in their ability to assess and share?
During the final week of LTTO, Simon and Negin shared some of the demographic stats they’d collected. This MOOC (2nd one) was much more successful than the first; more participants who stayed involved (7,000) and a broader range of countries. There were:
- 11,727 participants from 167 different countries
- 36% were from emerging economics
- top five countries – USA, Australia, India, United Kingdom, Russian Federation
- most (90%) participants had at least a bachelor’s degree
If you haven’t already found UNSW’s COFA Learning to Teach Online project site – see http://online.cofa.unsw.edu.au/learning-to-teach-online/about-the-project or their Youtube channel – https://youtu.be/SIgK2cHwD_g