MOOC Archives - Ecolearning

ECO Partner: ECFOLI, Erasmus+ Project

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The ECO project is very happy to count among its members CCMC (Cyprus Community Media Centre » which is the coordinator of the Erasmus+ MIL project ECFOLI. This innovative MIL project is launching a sMOOC on the ECO Learning platform.

 

ECFOLI aims at fostering sustainable conflict resolution strategies through the study, the ownership of elements of common Mediterranean cultural heritage transformed in a media product. This project is implemented in 4 different countries simultaneously : Palestine, Cyprus, Portugal and Morocco. 48 youth aged 16+ are participating in this MIL project. The project involves 6 different organisations from 5 different countries:

– CCMC, Cyprus Community Media Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus

– ICFFCY, Nicosia, Chypre

– Lusofona Universty, Lisbon, Portugal

– Partners for Sustainable Development, Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine

– Forum de la citoyenneté, Casablanca, Morocco

– Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris, France.

* The sMOOC is at the moment in restricted access so that the young people can conceive it correctly, as soon as it is opened, we will communicate on it.

 

 

ecfoli-logo

sMOOC Bac2Sciences

The Bac2Sciences sMOOC team keeps on collecting proofs of recognition for its work and it is well deserved!

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The sMOOC, Bac2Sciences was developed by female teachers who are devoted to their students with the idea to allow participants to revise their “baccalauréat”. The team consists of geographically distant teachers, from various disciplines, with complementary profiles and a common motivation to make their students succeed.

Thus, while proposing this MOOC, they have enabled their students to self-train and work together in the co-construction of knowledge on a common device.

This MOOC has been a real success and its creators are very proud!

sans-titre

Over the last few months they have been collecting proofs of recognition for their work:

  • A favorite at Ludovia#13
  • Finalist at the e-Education Symposium
  • A multiple selection at the “Innovative Teachers’ Forum”
  • Representations in different conferences and events: Educatec-Educatice, Clic 2016, Ludovia#13 …

At our level, we are also very proud we have been able to accompany them. Indeed, the ECO project allowed them to benefit both from the creation space on its platform and from our technical and pedagogical support.

Congratulations again to such a beautiful team!

As a reminder, the sMOOC content is still accessible here

MOOC project

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:

http://blog.canvaslms.com/blog/bid/310026/Why-teach-a-MOOC#sthash.hkZp87U1.dpbs and http://moocnewsandreviews.com/5-reasons-teachers-should-dip-into-moocs-for-professional-development-2

MOOC accesibility

How will you promote your MOOC to attract participants?

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

In this course you will have the opportunity to learn more about how to design your communication plan for your own MOOC. A communication plan is a written document that serves as a guide to the communication and sponsorship efforts throughout the duration of the project.

 

 

It is a living and working document and is updated periodically as audience needs change. It explains how to convey the right message, from the right communicator, to the right audience, through the right channel, at the right time.

It addresses the six basic elements of communications: communicator, message, communication channel, feedback mechanism, receiver/audience, and time frame.

A communication plan includes:

  • “Who” – the target audiences
  • “What” – the key messages that are trying to be articulated
  • “When” – timing, it will specify the appropriate time of delivery for each message
  • “Why” – the desired outcomes
  • “How” – the communication vehicle (how the message will be delivered)
  • “By whom” – the sender (determining who will deliver the information and how he or she is chosen)Many agencies, PR, advertising and media alike, claim to have this capability describes.

The best time to develop your plan is in conjunction with your annual budgeting or organizational planning process.

Here you have some tips about how to develop your plan:

  • Define objectives and goals.
  • Conduct a research-communication audit.
  • Identify the purpose of your communication.
  • Identify your audience.
  • Plan and design your message.
  • Consider your resources. Identify tools.
  • Plan for obstacles and emergencies.
  • Establish a timetable.
  • Strategic how you’ll connect with the media and others who can help you spread your message
  • Create an action plan
  • Decide how you’ll evaluate your plan and adjust it, based on the results of carrying it out
  • Evaluate the result.

What does your intended audience read, listen to, watch, engage in?  You have to reach them by placing your message where they’ll see it.

In order to communicate effectively, you need to be able to truly understand your workplace context, choose appropriate methods of communication to suit your audience, plan and undertake detailed communication plans, and follow up on the success of your communication and messaging. The importance of accessibility is an essential communication tool to provide equal, barrier-free access to information for educational institutions.

We know that promotion and marketing are necessary to attract students to a MOOC. This will likely utilize social media and professional networks to advertise the course and gain attention.
ECO content can be visualized on computers, tablets and/or Smart phones.
You can check our social media sites where we promote our MOOCS:

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:
https://flo.flinders.edu.au/mod/book/view.php?id=672344&chapterid=56344
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_planning
http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/sustain/social-marketing/awareness-through-communication/main

Voice overs

Videos for MOOCs: Presentation slides with voice-over

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Considering that video is the main method of content delivery in MOOCs, we are going to provide you an overview of presentation slides with voice-over videos.

This article forms integral part of the on line MOOC course communication, created by The University of Manchester. It will end the 4th of December. You can still enrol!

A voVoice oversice over is the invisible speaker you hear in TV and cinema commercials, radio spots, e-learning, internet, DVD/CD-ROM, product and company presentations, documentaries, pod-casts, animated films, flash presentations, IVR voice prompts, on-hold marketing, navigation technology, etc.

Adding voice over to existing PowerPoint slides can be a great way to turn slides you’ve used for years into stand-alone flipped content.

The basic functions of PowerPoint are pretty easy to use, but it has many features that can really take your presentation to a new level. The ability to supplement a presentation with voice-over or other audio is one such function.

Adding your voice to PowerPoint slides is a pretty easy process, and it can turn a presentation from a plain set of slides into a self-contained instructional asset that stands alone and can be used by students to self-teach. This can be a great way to test the waters with flipped content delivery.

The basic steps are as follows:

  • Have the right equipment – You’ll need a microphone to record your voice and a working sound-card or integrated audio.
  • Create a new folder and presentation file – As you record narration, sound files will get created as part of the presentation, and having them all in one folder will help you manage them.
  • ‘Record Narration’ tool – Open PowerPoint and find the “Slideshow” command in the top bar. Once you click on “Slideshow”, a menu will appear – select “Record Narration”.
  • Set sound levels and properties – In the “Record Narration” dialogue box that appeared after clicking the previous command, click the “Select Microphone Level” button and use the slider to adjust the microphone’s level to ensure your microphone is recording at optimal sound levels.
  • Recording – To record, simply click “Record Narration” on the Slide Show menu. In the bottom left corner of the “Record Narration” window is a check box for “Link Narrations In” – click this box to check it on (you will need to do this each time you start recording a section of voice-over). You can build out your voice-over gradually from the beginning (in other words, you don’t need to do it all in one take). As you record new sections, you will be prompted each time as to whether you wish start on the first slide or on the current slide.

Note that if want to record over a section you are not happy with, just record over it and your new content will replace your old content (as long as you save it). Once you are done recording a part, hit the “Escape” key and PowerPoint will ask you if you want to save the timings on the slides. Always choose yes. Save your PowerPoint presentation each time you complete any section of narration.

Once you have completed part or all of your narration, play your presentation to watch and hear it. You will probably have to experiment with these steps and the overall process to get through your first voiced-over presentation, but once you’ve done it once, you will know what it takes to repeat the process.

You can save it in a few formats. You may want to try different approaches depending on where you want to deliver it. Depending on the PowerPoint, you can export your enhanced slide deck in WMA format so it plays as a video.

You can still enrol! We can’t wait to see what you filmed after completed “Videos for teaching, learning, and communication” – Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from:
http://www.voicearchive.com/faq/#voiceover
http://www.flippedclassroomworkshop.com/5-easy-steps-for-adding-voice-over-to-powerpoint-presentations/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTlzpwFFvLE

sMOOC Step by Step

Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) types

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The first MOOCs emerged from the open educational resources (OER) movement. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island in response to a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. Stephen Downes considers these so-called cMOOCs to be more “creative and dynamic” than the current xMOOCs.

As MOOCs have evolved, there appear to be two distinct types: those that emphasize the connectivist philosophy, and those that resemble more traditional courses. To distinguish the two, Stephen Downes proposed the terms “cMOOC” and “xMOOC”.While MOOCs have originated in Canada and the United States, the cMOOC and the xMOOC model used there does not fit entirely with the European take on education.

sMsMOOC Step by StepOOCs with a strong presence of mobile devices, which are more suitable for a wider range of students. sMOOCs relay on concepts such as equity, social inclusion, accessibility, quality, diversity, autonomy and openness. Students are involved in the process of learning by doing, by generating content and learning all together.

A sMOOC is defined by a number of educational and communicative features. Among which, out stand the following:

  • Educational design is influenced by social media style.Mobile technologies and ubiquitous learning become particularly relevant because students will be learning in virtual communities, which enhance motivation and promotes interactivity.
  • It is focused on the students learning process. Both tasks proposed by teachers and learners own initiatives will be a key element supporting collaboration and dialogue. Among virtual communities created in each course.
  • It is necessary to measure the success of a sMOOC from the students own goals, interests and satisfaction, instead of learning results imposed by teachers.
  • A short adaptation period is required from the students, which must be reached during the first week of the MOOC.

“sMOOC Step by Step” is a free Social Massive Open Online Course – MOOC is being made available by ECO, which is a European project based on OER, that gives free access to a list of MOOCs in 6 languages. This course offers a practical and theoretical approach in the learning process, as well as, help you create your own sMOOC (social MOOC) in a step by step way.

We have MOOC mania but all MOOCs are not created equal and there is lots of species of MOOC. This is good and we must learn from these experiments to move forward and not get bogged down in old traditionalist v modernist arguments. MOOCs will inform and shape what we do within and without institutions. What is important is to focus on the real needs of real learners.

To this end, it is important to define taxonomy of MOOCs not from the institutional but the pedagogic perspective, by their learning functionality, not by their origins.

So here is  a starting list of some of them:

  • transferMOOCs
    Transfer MOOCs literally take existing courses and decant them into a MOOC platform, on the pedagogic assumption that they are teacher-led and many rely on a ‘name’ of the institution or academic to attract learners. The pedagogic assumption is that of transfer from teacher and course content to learner. Many mimic the traditional academic course with lectures, short quizzes, set texts and assessments. You could describe them as being on the cutting edge of tradition. Coursera courses largely fall into this category.
  • madeMOOCs
    Made MOOCs tend to more innovative in their use of video, avoiding talking heads in favour of Khan Academy or Udacity hand on board sequences. They also tend to have more of a formal, quality driven approach to the creation of material and more crafted and challenging assignments, problem solving and various levels of sophisticated software-driven interactive experiences. Peer work and peer-assessment, used to cope with the high teacher-student ratios. These tend to be more vocational in nature, VOOCs (Vocational Open ONine Courses), where the aim is to acquire a skill or skills. Udacity take this aapproach. Remember that Thrun and Norvig were not academics but corporate researchers working for Google.
  • synchMOOCs
    Synchronous MOOCs have a fixed start date, tend to have fixed deadlines for assignments and assessments and a clear end date. They often around the agricultural, academic calendar. For example, Coursera offer courses on strict standard end dates with clear deadlines for assignment. Udacity started with their ‘hexamester’ 7 week courses with fixed start dates. Many argue that this helps motivation and aligns teacher availability and student cohort work.
  • asynchMOOCs
    Asynchronous MOOCs have no or frequent start dates, tend to have no or looser deadlines for assignments and assessments and no final end date. The pedagogic advantages of asynchronous MOOCs is that they can literally be taken any time, anywhere and clearly work better over different time zones. Interestingly, Udacity have relaxed their courses to enrol and proceed at user’s own pace. Some sceptics point towards this as being a tactic to reduce drop-out rates due to missed assignment deadlines. Note that Coursera offers a completely open self-study option but this does not warrant a certificate of completion.
  • adaptiveMOOCs
    Adaptive MOOCs use adaptive algorithms to present personalised learning experiences, based on dynamic assessment and data gathering on the course and courses. They rely on networks of pre-requisites and take learners on different, personalised paths through the content. This has been identified by the Gates Foundation as an important new area for large scale productivity in on line courses. These MOOCs tend not to deliver flat, linear structured knowledge but leaning experiences driven by back-end algorithms. Analytics are also used to change and improve the course in the future. Cogbooks is a leading example of this type of MOOC.
  • groupMOOCs
    Group MOOCs start with small, collaborative groups of students. The aim is to increase student retention. Stanford, the MOOC manufacturing factory, has spun out NovoEd (formerly Venture Lab) which offers both MOOCs and closed, limited number, internal courses. They argue that some subjects and courses, such as entrepreneurship and business courses, lose a lot in looses, open MOOC structures and need a more focused approach to group work. The groups are software selected by geography, ability and type. They have mentors and rate each other’s commitment and progress. Groups are also dissolved and reformed during the course.
  • connectivistMOOCS
    Pioneered by Geperge Siemens and Stephen Downes, these connectivist MOOCs rely on the connections across a network rather than pre-defined content. Siemen’s famously  said “cMOOCs focus on knowledge creation and generation whereas xMOOCs focus on knowledge duplication”. More simply, Smith says “in an xMOOC you watch videos, in a cMOOC you make videos”. The whole point is to harvest and share knowledge that is contributed by the participants and not see the ‘course’ as a diet of fairly, fixed knowledge. These courses tend to create their own trajectory, rather than follow a linear path.
  • miniMOOCSs
    So far, MOOCs tend to be associated with Universities, whose courses last many weeks and often fit the semester structure and timetable of traditional institutions. We have also seem the emergence of shorter MOOCs for content and skills that do not require such long timescales. This is typical of commercial e-learning courses, which tend to be more intense experiences that last for hours and days, not weeks. They are more suitable for precise domains and tasks with clear learning objectives. The Open Badges movement tends to be more aligned with this type of MOOC.

Note that these are not mutually exclusive categories, as one can have a transfer MOOC that is synchronous or asynchronous. What’s important here is that we see MOOCs as informing the debate around learning to get over the obvious problems of relevance, access and cost. This is by no means a definitive taxonomy but it’s a start. I’d really appreciate any comments, critiques or new categories.

Did you think about what type of MOOC would you like to create?. We can’t wait to see what you create after completed “sMOOC Step by Step– Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from:
http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/moocs-taxonomy-of-8-types-of-mooc.html
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-662-52925-6_16
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course#cMOOCs_and_xMOOCs

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:https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160229182538.htm

Khan Tablet Capture style

Guide to creating your own videos MOOC’s: Khan Tablet Capture style

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Considering that video is the main method of content delivery in MOOCs, we are going to provide you an overview of one of the most frequently requested type of videos: Khan-Style Tablet Capture.

Khan Tablet Capture styleThis article forms integral part of the on line MOOC course Videos for teaching, learning and communication, created by The University of Manchester. It will end the 4th of December.

Salman Amin “Sal” Khan is an American educator who founded the Khan Academy, a free on-line education platform and an organization with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and sciences.

Khan was motivated even at a young age to help other people learn.In late 2003, Khan began tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in mathematics over the internet using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutoring, he moved his tutorials to YouTube where he created an account on November 16, 2006.

The popularity of his educational videos on the video-sharing website prompted Khan to quit his job as a financial analyst in late 2009.

He moved his focus to developing his YouTube channel, Khan Academy, full-time with the aid of close friend Josh Gefner.
Khan consequently received sponsorship from Ann Doerr, the wife of John Doerr.
His videos received worldwide interest from both students and non-students, with more than 458 million views in the first number of years.

Khan outlined his mission as to “accelerate learning for students of all ages. With this in mind, we want to share our content with whoever may find it useful”.  Khan plans to extend the “free school” to cover topics such as English. Khan’s videos are also used to educate rural areas of Africa and Asia.

Khan published a book about Khan Academy and education goals titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education Re imagined.

Khan Academy, initially a tool for students, added the Coach feature in 2012, promoting the connection of teachers with students through videos and monitor tools.

As an educator, this handy guide to creating your own lectures in Khan Academy style will hep you:

  • First, an overview of what is needed:
  • A program to record your screen, and make a video out of it.
  • A program to “draw” on.
  • Any drawing program could be used for this. Even PowerPoint if you don’t care for the handwritten look. This is the actual content being recorded.
  • A tablet. This is optional. If you want the “handwritten” look of Sal’s videos you will need to buy a pressure-sensitive tablet. This allows for very natural looking handwriting.
  • A microphone. Assuming you want to use your voice in the video, you will need a microphone of some sort.

If you use a Mac, you can use the following programs:

  • If you have Photoshop, use that.
  • If you have Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Word have drawing functions.
  • Otherwise: search for a free drawing program.
  • Mac has screen recording software built in with QuickTime.
  • Just run QuickTime, and then go file -> new screen recording.

How can you improve your handwriting?

  • Make sure that the tablet is set straight in front of you, on a table. Having it slanted will produce slanted writing.
  • Write slowly.
  • Write small. It seems necessary to write really big, but if you write as if you were using college-rule paper, it will look better.

If you want to work with layers, and / or  import pictures, you could check some video tutorial.

  • If you don’t have sound.
  • If you are using FrontCam, go to Options -> Video,
  • Then click the audio tab, and check “Record Sound”.
  • Otherwise, make sure your microphone is plugged in and that your speakers are up.

We can’t wait to see what you filmed after completed “Videos for teaching, learning, and communication”. You can still enrol! – Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from:

Step by step designing a sMOOC

Designing a Social Massive Open Online Course (sMOOC)

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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).
Step by step designing a sMOOC

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

This course offers a practical and theoretical approach in the learning process, as well as, help you create your own sMOOC (social MOOC) in a step by step way.In this course you will have the opportunity to learn more about:

  • How to build a sMOOC?
  • How to design a sMOOC?
  • How to support a sMOOC?
  • How to make an accessible and popular sMOOC?
  • How to evaluate a sMOOC and use data?

The following tips and recommendations are based on our experience and on the research we conducted to prepare our MOOCs.

Participate in a MOOC
The best way to learn about MOOCs is to take one. This will help you learn about what it is like to be a MOOC student and give you ideas for how to design one. You can check our catalogue:  for inspiration.

MOOCs cover a wide variety of topics. Find a course that is similar to the content you want to teach or choose a topic that is outside of your field but interests you. Since most MOOCs are free to take, the only investment is a few hours of your time each week. In fact, it would be even better to sign up for several MOOCs, to see the variety of approaches.

Learn from colleagues at other institutions who have already created a MOOC
Their experience will help you be informed about the time, effort, and rewards of teaching a MOOC.

Choose a topic you are passionate about and one that will be appealing to MOOC students
If you believe in your content, that enthusiasm will be visible to your students. A MOOC may be an opportunity for you to teach about something that is too narrow for a course or is outside of the primary focus for your field. You should also consider whether the topic will attract MOOC students. Based on your experience, or on a more formal needs analysis, try to determine whether there is a demand for the topic, and whether other MOOCs or resources exist on the topic.

Determine your targeted audience, and design the course to meet the needs of that audience
The entire design of the course, from content to language, teaching strategies to assessment, should be designed according to the needs and prior knowledge of your primary audience.
It is important to remember that in many MOOCs a substantial percentage of participants are from different countries, and so English may not be their native language. Age, educational background, and prior knowledge may also vary among MOOC participants; therefore it is a good idea to clearly articulate prerequisites or provide supplementary resources.

Build a team
Many faculties who have taught MOOCs recommend using a team approach for the design, development, and delivery. Rather than working alone, consider co-teaching with a colleague. Find students or colleagues who can provide feedback on the design. Identify at least one person who can test the course before thousands of students are trying to use it.

Plan the development process
Unlike planning a course on your own, a MOOC has more complexities. Begin the project by creating a time line for design and development tasks, like writing objectives, creating lectures, recording videos, designing assessments, and building the course. It is important to leave time for testing the course before potentially thousands of students access it.

Establish learning outcomes for the course before you begin selecting or creating materials
This is, in fact, no different from our recommended practice for any course design. First, establish what students will learn in the course. Then it is possible to design learning activities to support those outcomes and create assessments that measure whether students achieved the desired outcomes. It is also important that the number of outcomes is appropriate for the length of the course.

Design communication plan and community development strategies
Given the potential size of a MOOC, it is time consuming to manage communication with everyone. It can be helpful to encourage discussion and community development among students, so that you are not the central figure in the course. Discourage contacting you via email by creating discussion forums or using social media. Also, plan how and when the MOOC team will monitor the community and who is responsible for responding to the group or individuals, should it become necessary.

Create assessments for a massive audience
Assessment is not a required element for a MOOC – many focus on forming networks and discussing content rather than formal assessment through tests or written work. If assessments are used, the scale of MOOCs makes many assessment techniques impractical. Consider using automated grading, like multiple choice exams or programmed response activities, or “grading” on effort and contribution rather than performance. In many cases, MOOCs offer certificates of completion to participants who submit assessments or contribute to the MOOC community.

Other sMOOC Considerations:

• Length and timing of the course
Traditionally, courses follow the academic calendar, but that is not necessary for a MOOC. Courses can begin and end at any time. Currently, there is not any research into the ideal length of a MOOC, but most seem to be between 4 and 8 weeks long, with a few as long as 10 to 12 weeks.

Once you completed “sMOOC Step by Step” course, we will provide you with a space in one of our ECO’s platforms to host – for free – the SMOOC you create. We will provide you with the necessary on line space in our platforms to create your own MOOC for free.  But first, we need you to commit yourself to follow ECO sMOOC pedagogical model, that is, the pedagogical model you can learn by taking the MOOC “sMOOC Step by Step”. According to it, your MOOC shouldn’t be longer than 4 weeks, a period of time during which we will provide you with a free online MOOC space. After the 4 weeks we provide, you will have to pay for the hosting service of the platform.

• Funding
It is possible to offer a MOOC without significant financial investment. If, however, the MOOC requires special technology, paid staff to monitor it, or additional services, it may be necessary to seek out funding for development or delivery. The ECO Project offers a portal where teachers or teaching have access to a new methodology based on the MOOC concept, thus enabling them a lifelong learning objective in a time-efficient manner at little or no cost.

• Promotion
Promotion and marketing are necessary to attract students to a MOOC. This will likely utilize social media and professional networks to advertise the course and gain attention. Consider emailing professional associations, colleagues at other institutions, and other groups that may be interested in the content. It may also help to share information via Twitter or other social networks.
ECO content can be visualized on computers, tablets and/or Smart phones.
You can check our social media sites where we promote our MOOCS:

Legal
MOOCs require caution regarding legal concerns, particularly copyright of any materials created for the MOOC or used from other sources and the privacy of student data and contributions. These concerns are just the beginning, however. It is important to be aware of the many legal issues that impact MOOCs.

The ones who are interested in creating a MOOC are encouraged to enrol sMOOC Step by Stepand after completed you can 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: Richter, S. http://facdevblog.niu.edu/tips-for-designing-a-massive-open-online-course-mooc

Umar with several video devices. Interview

Filming MOOCs: The perfect “Talking Heads Interview”

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Considering that video is the main method of content delivery in MOOCs, we are going to provide you an overview of one of the most frequently requested type of videos: the interview videos. Also known as “Talking Heads”. There are relatively straight forward to produce.

This article forms integral part of the on line MOOC course Videos for teaching, learning and communication,created by The University of Manchester. It will end the 4th of December. You can still enrol!

Our top tips for filming the perfect talking heads interview are:

Prepping your subject
It is useful to tell them exactly what will happen in the interview process, without letting them know the questions you are going to ask. You want to capture natural, authentic answers and that tends to be hampered by giving the subject a list of questions prior to the interview. Tell the subject the general topics, that there won’t be any difficult questions and for how long you will interview them. Let them know whether if you will need to film any cutaways of them doing things that they talk about during the interview.

Wearing the right clothes
As well as the time and place of the interview, inform about which clothes they need to wear. Ask them to dress in their normal clothes but avoiding close repeating patterns as that can play havoc with cameras and clothes with logos in order to avoid any copyright issues.
It can be tempting for subjects to put on a nice dress or their best suit if they know they are going to appear on camera but this may clash with the portrait of the person that you are trying to paint in the video, it’s important to mention whether you want them to be casually dressed or not.

Umar with several video devices. Interview• Keep accurate notes
Makes a note of anything that the subject mentions that might require clarification. This can be covered either by asking them to explain further or by using a cutaway to give the audience context.

Selecting the right location
The best location for a talking heads interview is usually one which gives the audience some information about the person being interviewed. Each frame of the video is an opportunity for the filmmaker to communicate information.

Very often the background will be out of focus in order to give the feeling of depth and to concentrate the eye on the subject so the information available might be quite minimal and may just be a subliminal message that the audience pick up on due to the color pallet of the background or the type of environment we see the person in.

Position the subject correctly for natural light
If windows are behind the subject you may see unwanted reflections of lights and camera equipment. If the sun is shining through it can silhouette the subject and combating daylight with film lights is difficult and may create a lot of heat.

If the window is in front of the subject then you may get varying light levels coming through as the sun goes in and out of clouds or shifts position in the sky. The amount of daylight will also change throughout the course of a day as the sun rises and falls so if you expect the interview to last a long time you may find a jump in light levels if you were to cut a clip from the beginning and middle of the interview together.

Setup for sound
When location scouting it’s important to listen out for any sounds that may interfere with filming there. Usual culprits are air conditioning, traffic noise and co-workers.

When considering the sound within an interview it’s essential to have a consistent approach as you may find that the editor wants to cut back-to-back clips from several different interviews, either with the same subject or different people. If there’s a significant difference in the audio gathered the audience will find it jarring and will distract them from the narrative.

The audio recorder should always be setup from scratch to ensure that all settings are correct for the situation you are trying to capture.

Light your subject correctly
There is a traditional lighting setup used for interviews called three point lighting. This setup involves a key light which is the main source of light pointing at the subject. If you have the luxury of seeing the person before the interview you can choose which side of the face to put the key light. You can complement their features by looking at the subject’s face and casting shadows to compensate for any asymmetry.

You may also use a fill light to balance out the amount of light falling on one side of the face and a back light which will help them to stand out from the background. Once you have mastered this technique it is possible to innovate, experiment and chop and change lighting setups to get across the desired tone for the interview.

Avoid overheating your subject
Heat coming from the lights is also a factor to consider. In small offices, especially in the heat of the summer or foreign locations, you don’t want your subject to feel uncomfortable or to sweat profusely, so choosing a location and lighting setup to suit will be essential. Before filming make sure that you are aware of the availability of power sockets and the amount of current that can be drawn from them (film lights often draw a lot of current and may blow a normal ring main if too many are on at once).

Position your camera /s
Typically you will use a two camera setup for interview filming. This allows you to cut from a wide shot to a close up during the edit. The advantage of this is it lets you edit the dialogue without the subject jumping position within the frame.

Sometimes you can position the cameras so they are filming the subject from the same angle and other times it will make more sense to position them roughly 30 degrees apart so one gives you a portrait shot and the other gives a three quarter angle view of the subject.

Produce the key message/s
Deliver key message/s within the interview. There are two approaches that can help ensure that they deliver the appropriate dialogue, each with pros and cons.

Approach one is to use an auto cue. This allows the subject to read from a screen whilst looking into camera. The eye line will remain correct as they are looking through a piece of mirrored glass. The downside to this approach is that unless the interviewee is a seasoned professional, it may come across as stilted or fake as the person will cleat be reading lines.

The second approach allows you to get around this problem by giving the person bullet points that remind them of the key messages. Their dialogue will remain natural but the downside is that their eyes may be seen to flick to one side of the camera as they read the bullet point which may be held up on a sheet of paper by an assistant.

This is also distracting for the audience so the best overall approach is to keep the message short and for the subject to memories the dialogue and key messages – this easier said than done, which is why we stay firmly behind the camera!

You can still enrol! We can’t wait to see what you filmed after completed “Videos for teaching, learning, and communication– Team UoMan.

Note: Article idea and some texts are taken from: http://boldcontentvideo.com/2015/03/06/10-tips-filming-perfect-talking-heads-interview/