In a previous post, eLearning Principles from MOOC expert—Tina Seeling I discussed some “eLearning principles” from her mini lecture on course design that I think should influence how we design eLearning experiences. Tina has a new MOOC coming up through NovoEd, called Creativity: Music to My Ears. The course starts on April 2nd 2014 and last for six-weeks. The course is designed to explore several factors that stimulate creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. Click the link above for more information.
Did you know that Tina and Stanford has partnered with Warner Brothers Records. WBR will be bringing well known artists and executives to the table! Each session we will focus on a different variable related to creativity, such as reframing problems, connecting and combining ideas, and challenging assumptions. All of the projects in this experiential course will deal with some aspect of music, including listening, creating, and sharing. No musical talent is required – just an interest in exploring the role that music plays in our lives.
Here are some design considerations from her mini lecture on course design that Tina would like us to consider when we are teaching or designing eLearning experiences (not just MOOCs).
- Students in MOOCs want to keep learning and continue their education. Where else but a MOOC can you teach and engage with thousands of students ranging from under 18 to over 80 and representing over 150 different countries? Often people who are engaged in MOOCs are individuals who already have a college degree (some even advanced degrees), but they want to keep learning.
- Students in MOOCs often represent a huge range of technical literacy. Some students show up with strong digital media literacy skills (DML), e.g., know how to use the tools, make videos, collaborate, etc. These are the “digital natives” who have been using technology all of their life. But there are also students who struggle and perhaps are reluctant with the technology which obviously can inhibit their success in the course. In a MOOC of 44 thousand I am sure there would be at least a few who would say that this is their first MOOC. Tina also mentioned that she found out that the class is self is a great place for students to learn how to use these online tools and learn how to “learn” online.
- Students in MOOCs are all there for different reasons and have different motivations. Some students will have the MOOC become a huge aspect of their life for the course duration. Tina tells us that there are also some students who are more like “tourists” who are just checking out what online education is about and just auditing the course. I suspect there are also some who are just going to come in, decide what they want to take from the cafeteria line, and leave. And some probably signed up but their commitment was very low so they may never even step into the MOOC. Some may hope to have time at a later date and plan on accessing the MOOC in archived form if that is available.
- Students in MOOCs need to have clear expectations for each activity. I would say this extend to any student learning online because access to the instructor isn’t as readily available as they are for an on ground class. Students in brick and mortar classes can chat with their instructor after class with ease. Online students have to email and wait for a response and they may be embarrassed to put writing to their question. It seems so official or time consuming (and perhaps bothersome) when their question might be a really small inquiry. In terms of the design of the course think about how difficult it would be for Tina if 44 thousand students all asked the same question. Thurs the design of the course needs to be solid and tested to make sure that the expectations are clear. Tina gave a fun example of how students were able to create their own groups but soon hundreds of students ended up being in each group so they ended up being more like “towns.”