Abstract: 

This special issue of the eLearning Papers is based on the contributions made to the EMOOCS 2014 conference jointly organized by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and P.A.U. Education. The success of this conference with more than 450 participants demonstrates that MOOCs are at the beginning of a wave and a first step towards opening up education. 

 

Why are MOOCs innovative? They provide alternative ways for students to gain new knowledge according to a given curriculum. MOOCs can also enhance learners’ ability to think creatively to select and adapt a paradigm to solve the problem at hand. These are the main findings of a case study on the Discrete Optimization MOOC on Coursera

 

Many higher education institutions are asking their staff to run high quality MOOCs in a race to gain visibility in an education market that is increasingly abundant with choice. Nevertheless, designing and running a MOOC from scratch is not an easy task and requires a high workload. Professors from Universidad Carlos III in Madrid offer a set of recommendations that will be useful to inexperienced professors. An MIT study also gives key findings on optimizing video consumption across courses. 

 

What are the defining characteristics of a MOOC? Can we categorically differentiate a MOOC from other types of online courses? This is one of the central questions of the debate on the future of MOOCs. An UNED study proposes a quality model based on both course structure and certification process. Most of the debate around the future of MOOCs focuses on learners’ attitudes such as attrition or a lack of satisfaction that leads to disengagement or dropout. A Stanford study shows how educational interventions targeting such risk factors can help reduce dropout rates, as long as the dropouts are predicted early and accurately enough. A French researcher shows that learners who interact on the forums and assess peer assignments are more likely to complete the course. Another Stanford study tested different approaches to measure the extent to which online learners experience a sense of community in current implementations of online courses. In a similar context, a German team of researchers studied the collaborative endeavour of planning and implementing a cMOOC

 

One of the key elements of the discussion around MOOCs is their relevance to students in their respective cultural settings. A Leicester University researcher contemplates whether activities, tasks, assignments and/or projects can be applicable to students’ own settings; for example, giving students the freedom to choose the setting of their projects and the people with whom they work. These questions are central to making MOOCs truly accessible to all.

<p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">This special issue of the eLearning Papers is based on the contributions made to the&nbsp;<strong>EMOOCS 2014 conference</strong>&nbsp;jointly organized by the&nbsp;<strong>École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)&nbsp;</strong>and<strong>&nbsp;P.A.U. Education</strong>. The success of this conference with more than&nbsp;<strong>450 participants</strong>&nbsp;demonstrates that MOOCs are at the beginning of a wave and a first step towards opening up education.&nbsp;</p><div style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div><div style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">Why are MOOCs innovative?&nbsp;They provide alternative ways for students to gain new knowledge according to a given curriculum.&nbsp;<strong>MOOCs&nbsp;</strong>can also enhance learners’ ability to think creatively to select and adapt a paradigm to solve the problem at hand. These are the main findings of a case study on the&nbsp;<strong>Discrete Optimization MOOC on Coursera</strong>.&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">Many higher education institutions are asking their staff to run&nbsp;<strong>high quality MOOCs</strong>&nbsp;in a race to gain visibility in an&nbsp;<strong>education market</strong>&nbsp;that is increasingly abundant with choice. Nevertheless, designing and running a MOOC from scratch is not an easy task and requires a high workload. Professors from&nbsp;<strong>Universidad Carlos III in Madrid&nbsp;</strong>offer a&nbsp;<strong>set of recommendations</strong>&nbsp;that will be useful to inexperienced professors. An&nbsp;<strong>MIT study</strong>&nbsp;also gives key findings on optimizing&nbsp;<strong>video consumption</strong>&nbsp;across courses.&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">What are the defining&nbsp;<strong>characteristics&nbsp;</strong>of a MOOC? Can we categorically differentiate a MOOC from other types of online courses? This is one of the central questions of the debate on the future of MOOCs. An&nbsp;<strong>UNED study</strong>&nbsp;proposes a&nbsp;<strong>quality model</strong>&nbsp;based on both course structure and&nbsp;<strong>certification process</strong>. Most of the debate around the future of MOOCs focuses on&nbsp;<strong>learners’ attitudes</strong>&nbsp;such as attrition or a lack of satisfaction that leads to disengagement or&nbsp;<strong>dropout</strong>. A&nbsp;<strong>Stanford study</strong>&nbsp;shows how educational interventions targeting such&nbsp;<strong>risk factors</strong>&nbsp;can help reduce dropout rates, as long as the dropouts are predicted early and accurately enough. A French researcher shows that learners who interact on the&nbsp;<strong>forums</strong>&nbsp;and assess peer assignments are more likely to complete the course. Another Stanford study tested different approaches to measure the extent to which online learners experience a sense of community in current implementations of online courses. In a similar context, a&nbsp;<strong>German team of researchers</strong>&nbsp;studied the collaborative endeavour of planning and&nbsp;<strong>implementing a cMOOC</strong>.&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;">One of the&nbsp;<strong>key elements</strong>&nbsp;of the discussion around MOOCs is their relevance to students in their respective cultural settings. A&nbsp;<strong>Leicester University researcher</strong>&nbsp;contemplates whether activities, tasks, assignments and/or projects can be applicable to students’ own settings; for example, giving students the freedom to choose the setting of their projects and the people with whom they work. These questions are central to making MOOCs truly&nbsp;<strong>accessible to all</strong>.</p></div>


ePaper Articles: 

  • Dropout Prediction in MOOCs using Learner Activity Features
  • Encouraging Forum Participation in Online Courses with Collectivist, Individualist and Neutral Motivational Framings
  • Cultural Translation in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Characterizing Video Use in the Catalogue of MITx MOOCs
  • Toward a Quality Model for UNED MOOCs
  • The Discrete Optimization MOOC: An Exploration in Discovery-Based Learning
  • Designing Your First MOOC from Scratch: Recommendations After Teaching “Digital Education of the Future”
  • Offering cMOOCs Collaboratively: The COER13 Experience from the Convenors’ Perspective
  • Mathematics Courses: Fostering Individuality Through EMOOCs
  • Analyzing Completion Rates in the First French xMOOC
Editorial Number: 
37
eLearning Authors: 
Pierre-Antoine Ullmo
Tapio Koskinen
Aiuto linguistico