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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  jojacob_uk 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #25731


    I watched the online education Udacity MOOC video, thinking about how this approach could benefit NHS undergraduate nursing students studying “Skills and Practice” modules:

    Anyplace learning, just like Martini!
    Eliminate teaching repetition
    Deliver teaching staff cost savings
    Online assessments

    Practice sessions still required so a “blended” approach would fit best
    Must ensure collaborative needs are met

    Efficiencies could be met as the course participant numbers increase, server space and administration staff time would be costs, but versus traditional requirement for more teaching staff and space to teach, there would be cost savings.

    Peer assessment activities could be introduced fairly easily especially around reflective practices.

    If there were one main accredited source of “NHS” video or resource bank that Universities and staff could access that was kept up to date this could be used and links provided to, as it stands University moderation boards would currently be required to ensure that resource and teaching “quality” was upheld.

    This could lead to more modular based learning activities and would help not only educate undergraduates, but life-long modular learners too.

    Comments welcomed here or via the GSOCTEL blog

  • #25798


    I think that we do need many more resource banks of the type you describe but I don’t think that MOOCs are the best analogy. I suggest an investment in MOONs – massive, open, online ‘nuggets’ – along the lines of the Khan Academy but using more sophisticated delivery when this is warranted by the subject matter (multimedia, animation etc). There have been various attempts to do this sort of thing but they have never to my mind hit the appropriate economies of scale. Maybe we need to get that nice Mr Gates interested …

  • #26028


    I really like your idea of being able to draw on a bank of resources that we could remix as needed, and as I am involved in apprenticeships, I think your idea of them being created by industry experts is a fantastic idea.

    In a way, that is what teachers have always done. You develop lesson plans and materials for a specific course, and when you teach another course you take chunks and activities and materials from what you already have and remix it with some new stuff, or your colleague shares what she did with a similar group. So perhaps there is not much new in this idea, just the scale is bigger and the means of delivery/distribution differ.

    In the Udacity video, Sebastian Thrun makes the xMOOC model sound unproblematic, even ideal. He says, for instance, that he has used harder online tests and found people have higher scores. But that is only the people who make it to the test at the end. We all know that the biggest problem with MOOCs is the massive drop off of students. I don’t know much about HE, but in Further Education an organisation is based on its qualification success rate, calculated by comparing the number of people who started the course with the number of people who pass it. From all the research and anecdotes I have read, MOOCs fail spectatularly I this regard. We couldn’t scale up our courses in this way in FE for fear of screwing up our success rates and thus our funding and OFSTED ratings.

    The compelling argument for taking some inspiration from the xMOOC model was the ability to pause and rewind the content

    I am a bit ambivalent about the idea of being able to go at your own pace. As well as doing this ocTEL MOOC I have been doing an Open University module towards a masters level qualification. With OU modules, there is a strong sense of timetable and deadlines, and I always keep pace with that, although I typically like to be a week or two ahead with my work on them. In my years of study with OU, I have never missed a deadline, never asked for an extension and always finished on time. Compare that with ocTEL where I have been behind since day 4 and have been playing catch up ever since. This has meant that I have been out of sync with others, and missed out on interaction around topics because I have been going at my own pace. It has felt a bit lonely, and I only found out this week that there were supposed to active tutors supporting learners in the forums each week – I hadn’t even realised because I had never had any interaction with one!

    So I think Thrun’s idea that xMOOC teachers can each more students is over-egging the pudding somewhat. Yes, more people can watch you teach, but you can’t interact with more people. If there are only around 60 people interacting on ocTEL (according to Martin Hawksey’s graph a few days ago) and several tutors, and yet I haven’t had any interaction with any tutor here, then I am not convinced that scaling up teaching and letting people go at their own pace is a great thing.

    • #26588

      Hi Jo and Glenn,
      In response to your quote

      bank of resources that we could remix as needed,

      that sort of exists with open educational resources (OERs) you might want to have a look at the following Jorum [] MERLOT [] with Creative Commons licences used it is possible to remix as needed. It does require time to look through all that is available and make a selection.

  • #26087


    A couple of unrelated comments:

    Jo – I am a tutor so you may have been interacting with one of us without knowing. We don’t necessarily identify ourselves but have a remit to look at the forums and other inputs and either comment or initiate topics to keep things moving. Do you think we should be doing something different?

    Thrun has now become disillusioned with MOOCs –

    and for a different perspective with an interesting example at the end


    • #26091


      Sooo… maybe I have only been interacting with tutors?!

      That’s interesting Peter, that you don’t identify yourselves as tutors. Some of the webinar for week 5 focused on student-teacher/designer power differentials, and acknowledged that true equality of power was not possible. I wonder what this means in a MOOC such as this where we are all adults and as learners we might have chosen our own learning outcomes? (Although following the course involves going along with at least some of the course decisions that have been made for us.) If we don’t know who the tutors are, is that an attempt to demonstrate that you are learning along with us, or that you are hiding your power? Genuinely interesting, if provocative questions, and very relevant to thinking about how I might come across if I move my provision online. What do you think?

      I teach adults management, and I manage adults, and I am always mindful that assuming and asserting too much power can bring out the worst in people. But you have to show enough leadership to have the authority to lead, particularly through difficult points. The only time I presented online, I wore a suit – even though no-one could see me! – because that is what I do in the classroom and it made me feel better! But there must be other ways…

      You have sparked a fascinating chain of thoughts for me. I am going to mull over my experience of being an online learner and online interaction with tutors. If I am going to be an online tutor of some sorts in the future, I am going to need to think about how I identify myself in that context. Any thoughts on this very welcome!

      By the way the Forbes article was interesting, and mirrors my choice of joining ocTEL.

  • #26094

    Santanu Vasant

    I will say from the beginning I am a tutor, I have mentioned this in other posts too :)! This is an interesting thread. I think when teaching adults, the whole relationship is different to one where you are a teacher of children. There is a sense I think in this MOOC of being the guide on the side, asking questions, summarising points, commenting on threads etc. I would recommend Professor Gilly Salmon’s books on e-moderating and e-tivities as a starting point, whilst a little dated, making some very good points on what to consider when moving teaching into the online space.

    The balance of being firm and yet friendly is a tough one, it depends on the people, some managers are almost best friends with the people they manage, others won’t even have a social drink with them, the same is true online. When I joined the MOOC as a support tutor I took the decision to be the person who would keep the conversation going, ask questions and not be too forceful in saying this is right or wrong. I think a lot teachers / trainers are too worried about giving the learner the information and stepping back. In my view by doing this, you see people failing in a controlled way and better able to succeed when they are doing something for real, I think as educators we forget this all too often.

    Sorry, probably off topic.

    • #26644


      Thanks Santanu for your interesting comments. I’ve heard the phrase ‘guide on the side’ before and I like it. It seems to sum up perfectly the sort of support you might expect in this kind of cMOOC. It also encapsulates the support I have had from OU tutors in the past.

  • #26185


    I agree with Jo’s point that there is always some power differential but I suspect that this is pretty minimal in ocTEL as we tutors have no real sanctions or influence which is associated with ‘authority’. The ocTEL course team have had various discussions about the tutor role but this has mainly been about what we should be doing rather than identity. What would be the impact if we did identify ourselves more formally? I think it would/should be very different if we were involved in some form of assessment or evaluation with the course participants.

  • #26327


    Thanks for the comments, now who do we approach in the NHS to get the data-banks started off?

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