LERU e-learning working group meeting and other stuff

EdinburghEvery year the e-learning working group within the LERU (Leading European Research Universities) network convene twice to discuss questions regarding e-learning within our universities. In November the group met up at Edinburgh University for an interesting 1 1/2 day long session, mostly about MOOCs. We had an inspiring and interesting meeting where we, among other things, had the opportunity to listen to Anne-Marie Scott from Edinburgh University Learning Services Team. She gave us a presentation on how Edinburgh have worked with learning analytics as part of their MOOC work. Edinburgh have several courses at both the Coursera platform and the FutureLearn platform and some of them have already been running for several sessions. They are also constantly developing new MOOCs. It was very interesting to get a view of their data, which they also share openly here. What was particularly interesting to me was to understand how they have worked with the data and the different kind of skills involved. Anne-Marie recommended pooling resources across the institution and putting together a team of people from different faculties and with different skills – for example data base skills, statistical skills, understanding of social network analysis etc – for the learning analytics group. Edinburgh had several people working on this for a year, and she estimated that it would probably compare to one person working full time for that period of time. She also recommended that we be pragmatic when looking for tools to visualize our findings and try to use simple ones.

Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität (LMU) in München also gave an interesting presentation. They have very good experience from their MOOCs, one of which recently went on-demand at Coursera. An on-demand course has flexible open and close dates, i e it is running incessantly at the platform and people can enroll whenever they want and take the course in whichever pace they like. This is a new format for courses that Coursera rolled out this fall. We are planning to convert at least one of our Lund University MOOCs into an on-demand course after the first round, so all experiences from giving an on-demand course is valuable for us. The LMU Competitive Strategy course was already a popular course before going on-demand but now has huge enrollment numbers which is really cool. We also discussed costs for producing a MOOC and it turned out all of us in the group had similar experiences, i e that the cost for producing one MOOC on average is around 60 -70 000 €. The cost for running a MOOC, however, is very low since instructors (faculty) are involved in that part to a very little extent (mainly updating material) and most of the work is done by students and/or volunteers, in particular after the first round.

These past weeks I also set up a meeting with Moa and Julius, two of the students that have been involved in the project from the beginning. Working closely together with students during the production phase have been one of the more interesting and unique aspects of the Lund University MOOC project. Moa is part of the student support team for the law faculty online provision. The law faculty already have an infrastructure for involving students in the online teaching at the faculty and some of these students were recruited to also take part in the MOOC project. They have been coordinating the whole project and giving advice to the teaching staff both on video production and content/quiz/assessment production as well as working with course design. Julius heads the film production team that have been working closely with the IIIEE MOOC team, filming and editing all their video lectures. They have also been recruited to edit the video lectures for the law faculty and will do the filming for the medical faculty now in November and December. I wanted to know more about their roles in the organization, their thoughts around the work and what they think are the benefits of working with MOOCs as students. In the future, we hope to be able to involve students even more in the MOOCs, in particular during the course design process.

Finally, some great news: Lund University together with Karolinska Institutet, Chalmers, Uppsala University and SICS are arranging a Scandinavian MOOC conference in June next year, featuring keynote speakers such as George Siemens for example. Here is the website and call for papers. We hope for a great conference with interesting speakers and opportunities for knowledge and experience sharing!

Next time, I will be able to report from some meetings that lie ahead. On Friday I will meet with the student unions to talk about the MOOC project and next week I will go to Stockholm to participate in a national seminar on MOOCs arranged by the Swedish Institute.

In the meantime, go try out an on-demand MOOC! For example, learn about how to become a great speaker in the course Introduction to Public Speaking by Universty of Washington. Participants may upload their own videos and get feedback from others.

Skärmklipp 2014-11-19 12.03.27

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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