There is no license.

The current situation (context)

The proposed MOOC is a course on Irish History.

The project will take place between a Department of History and a Dept of Online Learning or Open Education in an Irish university. It would require support from both Heads of Department (and perhaps also from a higher level to secure funding). The academic input would come from me as the project leader, and from existing staff who are busy with their own workload. The digital / computer input would come from existing staff in the Dept of Online Learning charged with delivering the MOOC. 

The content for the MOOC (text, video presentations, links to external digital collections, learner discussion forums etc.) would be hosted on whichever MOOC platfrom is selected. The text would be written by historians, the video presentations would be delivered by me and/or these academics. These video presentations would be recorded to a high quality by an in-house video unit. Collaborative links to extenal free digital resources would be established by me. The learner discussions would be moderated by the relevant platform and by me.

Promotion of the MOOC would be handled by the university's communications department, by the MOOC platform and by me.

Getting cooperation from other units within the university could be a problem.Colleagues' negativity towards the MOOC module might be another challenge. 

The change you would like to see (challenge)

I hope to create a MOOC which attracts a large audience (many thousands) from across a number of countries, and which holds onto a sizable proportion of them until the final week. This MOOC will showcase the standard of teaching at the university, and raise the profile of the History Department and the Dept of Online Learning/ Open Education, encouraging both units to commit to further History MOOCs.

Through this MOOC a wide variety of learners from many regions would get to (a) sample the undergraduate experience of critical thinking and arriving at their own analysis of a situation (b) appreciate the standard of teaching at the university (c) engage with other learners at many levels of experience, enabling them to see one shared topic from a number of viewpoints and (d) apply the analytical skills achieved in the MOOC to other situations.

How you might go about bringing that change (solution)

The MOOC would be constructivist, i.e. the learners would be presented with a short presentation of key facts, the disputed nature of the events would be pointed out, and open questions posed. learners would be invited to use a range of existing public digital sources (digitized images, documents, video clips, audio clips) from reliable academic or state institutions to respond to these questions. Learner discussions would be stimulated by additional open questions or challenging statements which invite reasoned debate.

Measures of success (evaluation)

Attracting a large audience would be a measure of the attractiveness of the topic and the effectiveness of the promotional activity. The success of the pedagogical approach would be measured by retaining a reasonable proportion of the learners, maintaining their interest through well constructed video presentations and engaging questions. The creation of a sense of online community would show the success of the strcuture of the MOOC as a package. Positive learner feedback and public comment on the course and the university would count as success in boosting the public profile of the two departments concerned and the university as a whole.

Author(s): CiarĂ¡n Wallace
Published at: 03 May 2016 13:08 GMT
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