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Reasons to develop your own MOOC

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To MOOC or Not to MOOC?. There are plenty of great reasons to embrace MOOCs. Teaching a MOOC is a great experience with lots of practical value. Here are some reasons to consider teaching a MOOC:

AcadeMOOC projectmic research
Research can be a catalyst for teaching a MOOC. This is a tough area because MOOCs are so new, there are almost limitless avenues to explore.

MOOCs give teachers a chance to see how other teachers work. There is a value of learning about pedagogy from observing other teachers. If they are good, you might decide to emulate them; if they are bad, you might try to avoid repeating their mistakes.

Professional experience
It allowed you to observe how they are designed and taught, and to learn from how other participants react.

On line learning often prevents the instructor from being as spontaneous as they can in a face-to-face class, and although it requires a lot of pre-planning of material, instructors can still find creative ways of responding to participant interests and requests. You can develop new skills about how to make a video feel more interactive and dynamic for your students.

By comparing the four different MOOCs, you can see the “best practices” of MOOC pedagogy used across the courses.

Re-live the student experience
Some instructors want to teach a MOOC many times over with the goal of creating a super-efficient, super-effective learning experience.

MOOCs allow teachers to find out what it is like to be on the receiving end of eLearning today. You may be using some technology in your teaching, but you may not have experienced this learning as a student before.Re-live the student experience – on line!

Learn by doing
A very common purpose for wanting to teach a MOOC is simply that—to teach a MOOC. Educators are inquisitive by nature and their interest in MOOCs is an extension of that curiosity.

To learn something new, some people would traditionally invest time and effort into reading a book. Others would browse the Internet for resources.

However, if you prefer social learning to the solitary pursuit of reading a book (after all, as an adult learner and teacher, you probably already read a lot of books and other material as it is!), or if you feel you need a little bit of scaffolding when dipping into a new topic, MOOCs are an option. So, you can learn something new in a structured way.

Whereas previously, you could follow an entire course’s lectures by downloading lectures from iTunes U, for example, the benefit of a MOOC is that you can do assignments or quizzes to validate your learning, but doing the assignments forced you to reflect on and analyses the topics in ways I would not have done independently.

Socialize the learning experience
The forums and peer assessments can also socialize the learning experience for you, enriching the depth and breadth of your learning.

Find well-chosen (mostly free) resources on a topic or sub-topic.

While you can find all sorts of discussion forums on line for different interest groups, those on MOOCs have some of the most diverse groups of people you can ever see.

The discussions can range from directly related to the class syllabus to completely learner-generated topics. You can join several community conversations about topics that interest you.

Because the courses are time-limited, the conversations can be more intense (time-wise) than on other discussion forums where responses can take weeks or months.
You will find that your classmates dove deep into how that related to their experiences.

Depending on the MOOCS you could find that many of the community discussions are focused on educational and psychological aspects.

Personal learning goals
MOOCs vary widely in quality. There is no reason to dismiss MOOCs simply because they are on line, are delivered to the masses or are free. And there is also no reason to glorify a MOOC based on these same characteristics.

As adult learners with personal learning goals, teachers can approach MOOCs in an intentional manner and make use of their potential.

I would suggest that any educator with even a remote interest in e learning for professional development should not miss out on this opportunity. I hope to encourage my own students (themselves teachers) to try out a MOOC. Meanwhile, happy MOOCing!

MOOC is really all about you. 
If you would like to become the instructor of your own MOOC, after completed “sMOOC Step by Step” please apply to “Become an e-teacher”. We can’t wait to see what you create. – Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from: and

sMOOC Step by Step team

MOOC e-teachers support

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“sMOOC Step by Step” is a free Massive Open Online Course – MOOC is being made available by ECO, which is a European project based on Open Educational Resources (OER), that gives free access to a list of MOOCs in 6 languages, in most languages via Closed Captions (via YouTube subtitles).

This article forms integral part of that course. Our fourth edition has been already launched so you enrol!

SupportingsMOOC Step by Step teamg instructors of massive open online courses -MOOCs- may be just as important to the creation of long-term, successful courses as attracting and supporting students, according to a group of researchers.

“Most of the research on how we can make MOOCs successful has focused on the student side – how do we attract and retain them, for instance – but now attention is starting to switch to instructors, who make the MOOCs happen,” said Saijing Zheng, a doctoral candidate in information sciences and technology, Penn State. “So, it’s important to know the motivations of the instructors for teaching in this new format and their experiences and challenges when they teach these MOOCs.”

Zheng said that while MOOC students may need support during certain stages of the course, instructors face several challenges throughout the course development and instruction process, which the researchers broke into three phases: preparation, implementation and feedback.

Instructors reported that teaching a MOOC was different from teaching traditional college courses, adding that some aspects that attracted them to teaching a MOOC were also challenges. For example, the size of a class can be a motivation, as well as a burden, Zheng said.

“It’s a significant motivation for the instructors to reach thousands of students, but, in many cases, they are used to providing one-on-one guidance in a traditional classroom format,” said Zheng. “So a MOOC can be a bit overwhelming to them, if they maintain those expectations.”

Having a global impact on students, professional growth, research opportunities and enhanced name recognition were other reasons they gave for teaching MOOCs, but these also may present new challenges.

Workload during the preparation phase of the course was another concern, according to the instructors.

While most instructors and universities use traditional retention rates to determine the success of the MOOC, online courses attract different types of students and may require different metrics to measure success.

“In previous research we discovered that there are lots of data that show about 90 percent of students in MOOC classes leave the course after two weeks, which is very different from a traditional course,” said Zheng. “This may mean that MOOC students may have different motivations for attending the class — they may just be curious, or attend just so they can get materials to study on their own time.”

Feedback is critical to improving the on line courses and may require the creation of technology to provide feedback to instructors in a timely manner.

“The goal, then, as researchers and designers, is to take this feedback and hopefully provide support for the instructors’ needs,” Zheng said. “By improving support for the instructors and their collaborators, we may also improve the MOOC experience for students and other stakeholders.

If you would like to become the instructor of your own MOOC, after completed “sMOOC Step by Step” please apply to “Become an e-teacher”. We can’t wait to see what you create. – Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from: