Tuesday, April 28, 2015


At the last minute, Sandy Hirsch (SJSU) was unable to be at the session and she was missed.

Wendy Newman
Jill Hurst-Wahl (track moderator) started the session with a background on MOOCs.  In other words, what is a MOOC? Each word has many definitions: massive, open, online, course.

Wendy Newman (Univ. of Tornoto) 
OCLC report "At a Tipping Point".  Yes, we're at a tipping point in massive learning experiences.

There are many schools doing MOOCs, but no directory to refer to.

Many considerations: 
  • Hope about reducing higher education costs
  • Concerns about models and roles in jeopardy
  • Optimism about global learning and sharing
  • Skepticism about authority and accreditation
One of the less important points about MOOCs are their low retention rates.
Is there is sustainable MOOC business model.

Why offer a MOOC:
  • Build/strengthen reputation
  • Provide professional development
  • Explore delivery and business models
  • Strengthen relationships and recruitment
  • Explore and evaluate pedagogy and open platforms
  • Contribute to innovation
Newman created the UT iSchool first online course.  

Why do people do MOOCs? The primary reason is professional development.  Secondary - curiosity, credentials (EDx honor code certificate), and credits. 

The sweet spot for a MOOC is 6-8 weeks with weekly "packages" of information.

Some MOOC systems offer a certificate for a fee.

UT has clear rules for creating a MOOC.  She had to create a new course with new learning outcomes.  It was not an exact copy of her online course.  She had to decide what the assessment were and how they were implemented.  Is the assessment self-assessment?  Peer assessment?

How do you facilitate the community within the course?  They created tribes and also had an open category.

It takes a long time to create MOOCs.  They believe that it took their three person team 300 hours to create their six-week MOOC.

They did outreach and promotion for the MOOC.  There was lots of lively discussion outside of the MOOC.

Weekly units:
  • Objectives
  • Short video lectures - 5-10 minutes
  • Readings - core and suggested (open)
  • Quizzes - some computer graded
  • Discussion questions (some graded)
  • Guest video interviews - 20 people
Impacts of MOOCs on LIS:
Need more assessment, however...
  • High professional demand and uptake
  • Sparking conversations
  • Integrating research into professional development
  • Faculty learning, too
  • Visibility of LIS schools in continuous professional development
  • Forthcoming book on MOOCs in LIS 
Impacts on participants:
  • Compelling qualitative data
  • Need more assessment data 
She would like to see research in confidence levels.

Now what?
  • Enable deeper dives that conferences, blogs
  • Help recruitment into the profession
  • Connect programs and practitioners
  • Mil roles of librarians in design and implementation
  • Investigate models for sustainability 

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