Activity 12: Background to MOOCs

A blog by @mircwalsh

Activity 12: Background to MOOCs

Briefly consider if the MOOC approach could be adopted in your own area of education or training. Post your thoughts in your blog and then read and comment on your peers’ postings.

Working in FE I have been creating online digital content since 2011 through iTunes U and took my first MOOC (Google Power searching by Google) in the summer of 2012 so have seen the benefits of being able to learn online.

When first starting to create MOOCs I came across a lot of criticism from colleagues who figured that no one would come to my class if they could just get it all online so I had to come up with a balance. As they currently stand anyone can take any of my courses for free online, however, if you want accreditation you have to take them in person at one of the colleges I teach at. Creating resources for MOOCS has allowed by classroom to become a paperless classroom which has been a massive benefit to me. Not only do I no longer have papercuts but I save an average of 2-3 hours per week on photocopying and stapling time not to mind all the paper I save.

In terms of students I find that this is working take for example the below three subjects.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 8.40.40 p.m.

Having these MOOCS has in no way affected the number of ‘bums on seats’ as is often a cause for concern.

Reading the reports I get the impression that they are suggesting that the MOOC model is not suitable for FE but I don’t see any reason why not. A lot of people are interested in CPD and quite often if working which a lot of my FE students are then online CPD is either the preferable or the only option. In my personal experience all my learning is done online with the exception of a few weeks CPD a year (at Apple institutes) it means that this learning is more accessible also.