April 16, 2013 at 10:29 am #2015KimLesleyMember
I also agree. Machine assessment has limited effectivesnees. Feedback can only be generic and cannot guide a student well. I would argue that comparing to model answers does not develop critical skills or independent thinking. Self assessment skills need to be developed in students so we can’t assume they understand how to self assess. My issue with large online courses such as MOOCs is that the important elements of learning, assessment and feedback, are sidelined.April 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #2089
To pick up on a question that seems to be emerging frequently I’m interested in how a MOOC could be the same and/or different from existing distance learning as conceptualised prior to MOOCs? This is from both a pedagogical and systematic/technological approach… think this might be turning into a big question…April 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm #2091
Interesting point – I’m certainly experiencing this MOOC as extra-curricular.
The time-zone question is an interesting one. If you’re running an international distance learning programme it does seem to be the received wisdom that you can’t possibly have live synchronous sessions with cohort.
However, I’ve seen quite a few successful cases where these were held throughout a day at 9am, 1pm and 8pm – which enabled most to join in. This does raise questions about support and hours required from staff, though.
Before I left Sheffield I was going to introduce more interactive and synchronous elements to two distance learning masters which were only asynchronous – would have loved to see how this changed the nature and experience for the students and staff.April 17, 2013 at 8:48 am #2107
I’m a big fan of Flip cameras too because the quality is not bad at all and they are SOOO simple to use. Shame they are now obsolete… As you say, learners get a real reward for effort using them to create material. That’s what we need – technology that engages and facilitates learning, rather than bamboozles!
This is my “best” MOOC so far – wait and see! I was wondering if it might be helpful to have a thread on “five star” technologies like the Flip? I found this today which looks like a great way to annotate videos. I have a bit of an obsession about teaching people how to “re-find” things easily…
ImogenApril 17, 2013 at 8:54 am #2108
Sorry posted in the wrong part of the thread and no delete option. <embarrassed and frustrated by this forum software…>April 17, 2013 at 9:01 am #2109KimLesleyMember
Don’t worry Imogen. I think for a course that relies on good asynchronous communication they’ve chosen a pretty primitive forum style. It’s already getting very difficult to follow discussions.April 17, 2013 at 9:58 am #2121
In fairness Kim, I think all the volunteers involved in creating OcTEL have done a great job and are very aware of what’s working and what’s not… a learning experience for all.
I know one of the weaknesses of WordPress is forums – both BBPress and Vanilla, which are widely used to add forums, are rather clunky and high-maintenance… not sure I can think of a good example of a WordPress site with a great forum. Anyone else got suggestions?April 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm #2145Megan KimeMember
I’d second this question – finding this very salient having to think about both development of our existing ODL programme (which is very much the opposite of massive!) and the FutureLearn developments at Leeds. There are definitely big differences between the two!April 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm #2146Megan KimeMember
I should add that we don’t see the time zone issue as insurmountable – we’ve also avoided live sessions because many of our students were accessing from dial-up connections, but this is changing as access to broadband widens and so we’re trialling live sessions from next month onwards. For the time being they will be optional and supplementary however, so that anyone who cannot participate can still complete the course. I’ll let you know how the addition of these sessions changes things!April 18, 2013 at 3:21 am #2246ScottJohnsonMember
Facebook works well for discussions and I’ve seen the threads continue for a few years. Some don’t think it has a serious enough reputation and usually end up going off to talk to themselves in more sophisticated forums:-)April 19, 2013 at 2:14 am #2322Diane HockridgeMember
Yes I use Facebook groups for discussions which works ok. The other forum that works well for discussions is LinkedIn groups – I tend to have more “serious” exchanges of ideas in this context. LinkedIn.comApril 30, 2013 at 11:28 am #2983LucianeMelloMember
I teach bioinformatics in Life Sciences, and I am also interested in deliver master modules online.
LuApril 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm #3002
I’d agree – forums are a weak point of WordPress – can’t think of a WordPress integrated solution that works quite well. Something standalone like https://www.phpbb.com/ may work well – but not sure how easy that would be to connect up to the other activity (WordPress / profiles, etc).April 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm #3003
Yes – know what you mean. Lots of distance learning postgraduate courses I see always have <20 per cohort. Perhaps one exception and area for investigation is some of the more established Open University DL courses which I’ve heard have much larger intakes (although these may be broken down within the course).May 1, 2013 at 9:48 am #3015Stuart AllanMember
Thanks James and Megan. I work on an MBA programme with 11,000 students, roughly a third of whom study completely via distance learning. So it is possible to break the 1:20 ratio outside a MOOC. (I’d call our programme a MOC – i.e. without the ‘open’!)
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be doing more to help distance learners feel part of a community and support them in their studies. In fact, that’s one of the main things I’m trying to get out of ocTEL.
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