Thursday, February 28, 2013

MOOCs: Transforming Education- In 10 Minutes

Both academic and corporate institutions are rushing to find a way to create, explain, and deploy successful and well publicized MOOCs- Massive Open Online Courses.  News outlets and marketing firms are attempting to explain their purpose and value.  In the longer view, many are questioning if there is a profit at the end of the road. To be truly successful, a MOOC needs to be scalable in a sustainable framework, with a potential towards profitability.  The key is to develop a proof-of-concept to illustrate how a MOOC can and should be created.

In a special 10 minute web streamed presentationJim Jorstad, Director of Academic Technologies and Dr. Bob Hoar, Math Professor and Founder of the IIURL, both from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, collaborated to shape the discussion on what a MOOC is, and how to create one and evaluate its effectiveness.

Through support from the University of Wisconsin System and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a College Readiness Math MOOC was created with over 1000 students enrolled worldwide. The idea was to test and develop effective teaching strategies and mobile learning technologies to help math students learn more effectively and in a shorter period of time, anywhere and at any time.

In the end, the concept is also testing the MOOCability of the curriculum.  In other words, will a MOOC work as effectively in a traditional class as perhaps in a lab setting, or in other disciplines.  What is learned in this project may lead to future MOOC designs and methods worldwide.  It is the research gained from this project which will help determine if a MOOC can in fact be scalable, sustainable, and profitable.

No comments: