Online Educa and workshop on Learning Analytics

Just a few weeks left until our first Lund University Massive open Online Course Introduction to European Business Law open the doors for thousands of learners. We are so excited to meet all the people that have enrolled! The MOOC team at the Faculty of Law are busy building the course right now and I have had a sneak peek – it looks great. There is also a Facebook page (over 1200 likes now!) for everyone interested in getting updates on the course and engage in discussions outside of the MOOC platform.

Last week, I was in Berlin together with my colleagues Maria Hedberg and Deana Nannskog from Lund University. Maria works with me at the Centre for Educational Development and Deana is a project manager at Lund University Commissioned Education. We went there to take part in the yearly conference on online education – Online Educa Berlin. As part of a panel from the Nordic countries I gave a presentation on the benefits of producing MOOCs for universities in countries where higher education is free and where MOOCs are not a threat to national higher education in the same way as in other countries. My point was that the whole process of creating a massive open course can generate a value into the organization because of certain key success factors often present in MOOC-projects. We also had the opportunity to listen to some well-known keynotes and interesting presentations, such as Stephen Downes and Ola Rosling. Oh, and we got to try Oculus Rift:)!

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A workshop on learning analytics at a Sweden AND California-friendly time:). For Emma it was early morning, for us late afternoon.


Yesterday me and some members from our MOOC teams participated in a workshop on learning analytics arranged by our wonderful partnership manager Emma at Coursera. She gave us an overview of all the data we have access to from ur courses and how we can interpret it. It was very interesting and I think we all learned a lot.


Soon I might be able to tell you more about the Lund University MOOCs that will be developed during 2015. Until then: only two weeks of hard work left before Christmas and then another two weeks to start date! Don’t forget to enroll!

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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.

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Less than three months to course start for two of our three courses at Coursera and things are going according to the time plan. Almost all the video production is finalized for two of the three courses and the teams are now working with assessment tasks and criteria, and collecting content. It is time to start uploading stuff on the platform.

At our last project group meeting we finalized a checklist for quality assessment that we will use as a tool for reflection and discussion around our ambitions with these courses and how we can strive to achieve them. At the end of this blog post is a link to that document, which partly builds upon the quality assurance process for OpenUpEd’s quality label. We believe this list should not be used for ”ticking off” things or grading our work, but rather as a basis for reflection for the MOOC-teams and stakeholders. It could possibly also be valuable for educators at other types of online courses.

We have arranged three workshops during these past weeks.


Maria talks to David, Anna, Moa and Stefan about quiz production and quiz functions at the Coursera platform.

The first one was about how to create high-quality online multiple choice quizzes (what to think about when writing questions and options, what different variants of questions can be formed on the Coursera platform and how randomization of questions and alternatives is carried out).  We did two versions of this workshop, one at the faculty of law for the coordinators at the law faculty and medical faculty, and one at CED for the IIIEE.


Anna, Markus, Mark, Daniel and Lotta are learning about Google Hangouts on Air.

The last workshop was about how to arrange Google hangouts on Air. Two of the teams (the IIIEE and Medical faculty teams) are planning to stream live sessions with instructors during the course weeks. The tool most widely used for this in Coursera courses is Google hangouts. Google Hangouts on Air are video sessions that can handle up to ten partcipants and a Q&A window were others can post questions. The session is streamed and can also be watched afterwards via Youtube. We had Peter Arnfalk from the IIIEE with us via a live link since he couldn’t join us in person, so we could actually send the Google Hangout workshop as a Google Hangout on Air:). In order to prepare for the hangouts the teams created Google pages for their courses and then each team tried to launch a hangout and test the functions. Now the teams have a few weeks to test this ”at home” and then we will try it out again and see if there are any more issues that we need to address before the courses go live. During this period of time the staff can also think about what kind of hangout they want to do. In some courses, the hangouts are used to give the participants a chance to listen to a panel consisting of several instructors that answer questions either posted in before hand in the forums or in real time in the Q&A window. In other courses, some of the more active participants are invited to join the hangout via video and can pose questions to and discuss with the instructor(s).

We have also been involved in the planning of a joint Scandinavian conference on MOOCs together with Karolinska Institutet, Chalmers and Uppsala. The conference will be held at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm in June next year. Call for papers is written at this moment and we have some exciting keynote speakers! More info will come soon.

Next week should be fun since I will be joining up with representatives from other LERU (Leading European Research Universities) representatives in the e-learning group in Edinburgh. MOOCs will, naturally, be on the agenda but also other e-learning initiatives and projects and I’m looking forward to discuss and learn from others. After that, we will start planning our next workshop, which will be a training session for the teaching assistants (TAs) on how to moderate forums.

Quality Assurance document

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Interest in MOOCs increasing

4058757916_1f44fe29b1These past weeks I have been approached by three-four professors/departments that are interested in learning more about how they can go about start producing MOOCs. This makes me feel like I have a very rewarding job! Teachers have started to see the benefits of learning to teach in an open virtual environment, not only in order to promote their own subject and spread knowledge about their research area or attract more students to their courses/programmes, but also (and perhaps even more so) to develop as teachers, find new ways to help their students learn and make their teaching more effective and to produce qualitative material that can also generate value for our ”own” regular students. Many have heard of the flipped-classroom-technique and are interested in changing their curriculas in ways that can give their students more valuable time in the classroom. Today I had a chat with a professor who talked about changing the whole way in which he and his colleagues have looked upon teaching, and that MOOCs could be the spark that could initiate a discussion around how we teach with new tools and technologies. I feel very privileged to get the chance to talk to teachers that sincerely love what they do and want to give their students (and others around the world) a chance to learn more – and better – about their research areas.


Anna, Peter, Mia and Lena finishing up our meeting

Yesterday we arranged the second project meeting for the semester. Because of illness and other things we were a small but enthusiastic group this time and as always, a lot of time was spent on discussing pedagogy and course design (in this case for assessment and grading) and we didn’t get around to tick off all the items on the agenda. But that is also a very important function of these meetings – they should be a space for such discussions and for exchanging good ideas and experience between teachers, librarians, coordinators and others. We did however get the chance to discuss our checklist for quality assurance rather extensively. We are working on a list with questions regarding quality aspects of MOOCs – inspired by the quality assurance process for OpenUpEd’s quality label – that could be used for self-reflection around quality in our courses. Yesterday we discussed the target group for the document and how it should be used. The project group members were concerned that it could be used just as a checklist with items to be ”ticked off” rather than as a basis for reflection and discussions within and between teams, and concluded that the list should be a ”work in progress” that could and should be discussed and revised between each course session. We will need to decide upon a date when we have reached a stage at which we can have a relevant discussion around these questions and how they relate to the decisions the teams have made for their course design in the first session of their courses.

We also talked about our next joint activity. Since all the teams are thinking of doing Google hangouts in their courses, in a couple of weeks we will arrange a workshop on this.  A Google Hangout is a kind of video conference were 10 people can join with audio and video but others can join and watch/chat (if you do it ”live”, via Youtube). We are very much looking forward to learning more about this tool.

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Heldagssymposium om svenska MOOCs

Chalmerska huset

Chalmerska huset, där symposiet hölls

Igår deltog jag och mina kollegor Maria Hedberg (CED), Ebba Ossiannilsson (CED) och Lena Landgren (Lunds universitetsbibliotek) i ett heldagsseminarium arrangerat av Chalmers om MOOCs med titeln MOOCs och de svenska universiteten. Ca 80 personer från olika delar av Sverige deltog och lyssnade på intressanta presentationer om MOOCs. Både ett par internationella och några nationella föredragshållare deltog.

Vi fick bl a höra om hur Delft University i Holland arbetar med MOOCs på plattformen edX. De har fem pågående kurser och flera andra på gång. Det var spännande att se exempel på aktivt deltagande från deras kurs om Solar Energy, där deltagarna har fått dela med sig av filmer där de visar och berättar om solcellssystem i deras närhet. Ett liknande (mindre ambitiöst) exempel på hur deltagare delar med sig av sina egna verkligheter på ett engagerande sett är en kurs i engelska på plattformen FutureLearn där man har använt en extern kostnadsfri plattform, Padlet, för att låta deltagarna posta foton från sina hemländer. Fantastiska bilder som verkligen ger en vy av alla platser som deltagarna i en MOOC lever på.

En annan intressant presentation gavs av Anne Berman vid Karolinska Institutet. Hon gav en bild av hur det är att undervisa på en MOOC. Den kurs som hon just nu håller i heter Behavioral Medicine och ges också på plattformen edX. Ett spännande moment i den kursen är den virtuella patienten, en modul för att simulera möte med en patient och låta deltagarna välja olika vägar genom samtalet. En skådespelare har använts för att representera patienten när han berättar om sig själv och sina problem, som sedan ska bemötas av deltagaren. Kursen avslutas med att deltagaren skriver en reflektion kring samtalet och sin bedömning. I edX-plattformen har fram tills alldeles nyligen inte funnits möjlighet att använda sig av kamratbedömning som bedömningsmetod, därför är det något som KI inte använder sig av i sina nuvarande kurser men som man kommer att börja utnyttja framöver.

Under eftermiddagen berättade jag om arbetet i MOOC-projektet vid Lunds universitet, var någonstans vi befinner oss och hur vi har arbetat, samt vad vi har framför oss. Här är min presentation.

Dagen avslutades med en presentation av Lars Haikola, fd universitetskansler och nu tillsatt av regeringen att utreda svenska högskolors utbildningsutbud (inklusive MOOCs). Han kommer bl a att titta på möjligheter och hinder med införande av öppen nätbaserad utbildning i svenska högskolor med fokus på frågor som t ex finansiering, ev tillgodoräknande, kvalitetssäkring, samt i vilken omfattning MOOCs ska erbjudas och deras relation till det reguljära kursutbudet.

Efter seminariet stannade jag kvar för att tillsammans med Jonas Gilbert och Cormac McGrath som leder MOOC-arbetet vid Chalmers respektive KI. Det var ett inledande möte för att diskutera ramarna för en eventuell skandinavisk konferens om MOOCs nästa år. Vi hoppas kunna skicka ut ett Call for Papers och mer information om konferensen under hösten när vi har en klarare bild av hur konferensen ska se ut.

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Workshop on forum moderation with Tanja from Leiden


Tanja and some of the workshop participants at the Centre for Educational Development.

For our first workshop for the semester we had invited Tanja de Bie from Leiden University to talk about forum moderation. Tanja has long experience from online communities from the gaming world and was therefore specifically recruited to the Leiden MOOC team to work with the moderators. She has developed a handbook on forum moderation and works very closely with the community TAs to create engaging communities in the Leiden MOOCs. They have seen that spending time and effort on engaging learners to participate in the forums have given positive effects on retention in the courses and it has overall been a very interesting experience for everyone involved. Tanja also gives training sessions for the moderators, helping them to deal with both negative phenomena of online communities such as ”trolls”, ”haters”, spam and forum banning, but also how to help people connect with each other and give support to not so experienced digital learners. Both instructors and some students from our teams came to the workshop and there were many questions to Tanja. We will follow up with a training session for our moderators later this fall, so that when the courses start early next year, they will be fully equipped to help our learners engage in discussions on different exciting topics in the forums!

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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!


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.



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.



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Back to work!


Some members from the Greening the Economy MOOC team together with the student film team (check out their T-shirts!).

So we are back from a lovely sunny summer and ready to start working hard together with the MOOC teams in order to get our three courses up and running in the beginning of next year. Next Monday will be our official ”kick-off” when we will meet with our project team (consisting of representatives from all teams, the librarians, the corporate communications office, office for external relations and the students). Two of the teams have been filming all summer and are in the polishing phase while one team will be doing the filming in September. So it’s time to start working with in-video quizzes and planning for things such as pre-course survey. On September 12 we have invited Tanja Bie from Leiden University, who will be meeting with our future forum moderators/TAs and give a workshop on forum moderation. That should be fun and interesting!

Yesterday I spoke with Peter Arnfalk, who is coordinating the Greening the economy course. I was thrilled to hear about their experiences from working with our student film team headed by Julius Kvissberg. They have had such a fun time together and the students have done a great job. Here is a short video depicting that process.

We have a lot of exciting MOOC events coming up during the fall that we will report about in this blog  so stay tuned!

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Video lectures workshop no 3


The team from the medical faculty (sitting) and Anna Ljunggren, coordinator, (standing) during our post-workshop disussion in the lounge at the Faculty of Law.

I (Marita) only had a day to recover from jet lag and then I was thrown back into hard MOOC work again. On Monday morning, it was time for our third workshop on video lectures, this time for a team of four teachers from the medical faculty, Benedict Oppong Asamoah, Markus Larsson, Devika Mehra and Becky Nelson. Anna Johansson and Johan Nyman, both from Corporate Communications, were in charge of media training and filming just like on the earlier two occasions. We are very lucky to have these wonderfully skilled people to work with in the project, and to get help from them! All the teachers seemed very satisfied with the workshop and all brought with them home some ideas and thoughts about how to act in front of the camera when they soon start producing video lectures for the course  Global perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and rights (SRHR). Hopefully we will be able to arrange one more workshop in August for those teachers that have not been able to participate in previous workshops.

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Our first MOOCs launched!

IMG_6224Last week I was in California with a vice chancellor’s delegation to visit Stanford and Berkeley. Since we were nearby Coursera’s office in Mountain view, me and our contactperson at Coursera, Emma Webb, thought  it would be a good idea to arrange a meeting with the Coursera management and also to plan the launch of our first batch of MOOCs so that it coincided with the visit. We were a small group of people from Lund University, including both the vice chancellor Per Eriksson and the pro vice chancellor for research, Sven Strömqvist. We got to meet with both one of the founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller, and their new CEO Rick Levin (former president of Yale University) as well as Coursera’s Head of growth team, Chief academic strategist and Director of partnerships strategy. We had a really interesting discussion around Lund University’s strategic goals with the MOOC project and we also got to see some of the new features of the Coursera platform. The courses were formally launched and we celebrated with champagne!

You can now find our courses at Application period is open, so we welcome everyone to join and experience Lund University courses in European Business law, green economy and sexual and reproductive health in January/February next year!

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