First project group meeting and visit from Coursera!

So the blog has not been updated for two weeks – our only excuse is that we have had a lot to do!

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Melanie and Vivek at the train station (with Lund University luggage straps!)

The big event this week was the visit from Coursera’s chief academic strategist Dr. Vivek Goel, who came to Lund today together with partnership manager Melanie Lei. They are doing a tour of the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and some other European countries and we were very happy to welcome them to Lund for a few hours. About 10 people participated in the meeting at Algatan 4, during which Vivek presented Coursera’s vision and updated us on new features at the platform. It was a very informative and inspiring meeting and the participants had a lot of questions for Vivek before he and Melanie had to rush to the train station to catch the train back to Copenhagen.

 

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Photo: Louise Larsson (LUs bildbank)

We had a nice stroll back through Lundagård, the central park in Lund in which both the old university building and the famous cathedral is situated – in the beautiful indian summer weather that we are experiencing now. This is the first official week of the fall semester and suddenly the whole city is bursting with students – a lovely time of the year here in Lund.

 

The fall semester started off officially last week with our first project group meeting. The main point of the meeting was to bring everybody up to speed on what has been going on during the summer in the teams, what the next steps are and for us to find out how we can support the teams where they are right now. Both the law faculty and the IIIEE have been doing a lot of filming during the summer and are currently in the editing phase. They are now also starting to design the in-video quizzes for the video lectures. In-video quizzes are questions that pop up during a video at which time the viewer is tested on what has been said in the previous segment. they are usually not graded and can be re-taken as many times as the viewer may wish and their primary function is to help the learner to understand the key points of the lectures and to add more interactivity to an otherwise rather passive learning ”activity”. These in-video quizzes are also helpful for the instructors since they will give them data on what particular issues might be more difficult to understand than others and they can address those in the forums or in Q&A sessions online later on in the course. Here is an example of an in-video quiz question from a course inSocial Psychology at Coursera. 

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Our medical faculty team have been scattered all over the world during the summer, since some of its members have been away doing fieldwork in f ex Africa and they will start filming their video lectures this month.

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A status update at the European business law Facebook page

We also talked about social media and different ways for advertising the courses. The Greening the economy team have a Google+ page where they are promoting the MOOC and will also have a Facebook group for the course. The Introduction to EU law course has a Facebook page already boasting 300 likes! Lund University office for External Relations will be helping us to marketing our courses in different ways, for example through a newsletter to the alumni. Our courses were also mentioned in the vice chancellor’s and pro vice chancellor’s monthly newsletter to the LU staff.

A large part of the meeting was dedicated to discussing topics such as how many moderators/TAs each teams should hire, and to share experiences on the video recording process. These meetings, we have found, are great opportunities for the teams to get together, find out how the other teams work and learn from each other. This means we sometimes have to push things on our agenda until the next meeting, but it’s totally worth it because it is very valuable for everyone to be able to discuss common issues. Since this is such a new area for all of us, we need all types of platforms for sharing experiences. At our next meeting in October, we will discuss and decide upon a quality assurance checklist that all teams can use, and also figure out what kind of questions we want to use for our pre-course surveys (Edinburgh university has kindly shared their template with us so that we can use and adjust it to our needs).

We are planning several exciting workshops for the teams in the months to come. Next week already, Tanja de Bie from Leiden will be visiting us to give a workshop on forum moderating for the instructors and the future teaching assistants and moderators. Tanja has written a handbook on moderating forums in MOOCs and is coordinating the Leiden MOOC teams’ moderators. This will be a very interesting workshop! After that we also plan for a workshop on how to create graded quizzes and peer-assesment in the Coursera platform, one on communicating with the learners through Google hangouts and also one on data analytics as we get closer to the start dates. We might also want to arrange a workshop on how to better advertise our courses and hope to be able to invite some knowledgeable people from our External relations office and Corporate Communications to help us understand more about that.

 

 

Om Marita

I am an assistant professor in Chinese at the Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University. For the past couple of years I have been working at Lund University Centre for Educational Development (CED), mainly with projects and support activities for teachers regarding online teaching and learning in higher education such as visual learning media, online learning environments, digital tools for teaching etc. SInce February 2014 I manage the Lund University MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) project.
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