Category Archives: Technology in education

Number of MOOCs we need worldwide

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By Darco Jansen, Programme Manager at EADTU

The ECO project is running for 3  years from February 2014 until January 2017. The coming period we will launch more MOOCs by ECO partners (so called second and third iterations). In the final project year we will select about 4.000 teachers who will be able to create their own MOOCs. At the end we are aiming for the provision of minimal 500 MOOCs.

Currently Europe diposes of 1014 MOOCs (see European MOOC Scoreboard). Globally this number is over 4000 MOOCs. But how many do we actually need? Let us figure out ratios that make sense.

Need for tertiary education

Nearly one-third of the world’s population (29.3%) is under 15. Today there are 165 million people enrolled in post-highchool tertiary education. Projections suggest that participation will increase significantly the coming years with a peak at 263 million in 2025. Accommodating the additional 98 million students would require more than 4 major universities (30,000 students) to open every week for the next 15 years.

Are MOOCs a solution to world’s need for tertiary education? It is favourable to be ambitious and try and calculate the number of MOOCs you need to educate these additional 98 million students.  To be able to do this, let us make make the following assumptions:

  1. A master is 60-120 ECTS or about 20 to 40 courses of 3 ECTS or an average of 30 courses of 3 ECTS each.
  2. If a student wishes to complete a master in 4 to 10 years (on average 6 years). Consequently every student each year should complete 5 HE courses of 3 ECTS each and that over the course of 6 (consequitive) years.
  3. Over a period of 15 years 2,5 sstudent (15years/6years) has the need for 5 HE courses each year
  4. If the goal is to educate 98 million students to a master level for the next 15 years. Hence each year we need to offer about (5*98.000.000/2,5)= 196.000.000 certificates of HE course of 3 ECTS.
  5. Each MOOC (on average) attracts 25.000 participants of which 10% (2.500) complete successfully. So about 2.500 gets a certificate that counts for as a Masters Degree (ECTS credit). So with 1 MOOC we are able to issue a certificate to 2.500 participants. If we were to offer 1X MOOC 4 times a year, this equals 10.000 certificates.

In conclusion: the total number of MOOCs to accomplish this ca. 196.000.000/10.000 MOOCs = 19.600 MOOCs.

How can this be achieved?

A. 4 Major universities (30,000 students) to open, every week for the next 15 years

B. Develop 19.600 MOOCs that offer ECTS credits to 10.000 students each year

But this thought experiment brings upon another question. Rory McGreal during EMOOCs, 2014 in Lausanne questioned why we are not changing educational model and increase number of students? The answer to thi question is partly answered in this article on the ECO platform.

In line with the above reasoning, with 45,000 MOOCs is is theoretically possible to issue 450.000.000 certificates each year and therefore educate 15% of the world population to a master (> 1 billion). In 2010 on average the OECD countries spent about 1,6% of their GDB on their tertiary education (see Education at a Glance, 2013). Imagine what would happen if only 1% of that budget is spent  by countries on the development and exploitation of MOOCs.

Although some state that education is not a mass customer industry (see for example Five myths about MOOCs ), one can (and must ) question how the need for affordable tertiary education can be provided.

The optimal solution is probably to continue opening universities (both traditional and distance teaching), as well as to encourage universities to develop high quality MOOCs. Given that we find ways that assist universities in aligning their MOOCs with their business models, the consequence will be better higher education for more people.

We already have produced more than 4000 MOOCs in three years. To accelerate this (and for economic reasons), ECO suggests to start re-using MOOCs for education in other languages and cultures instead of developing more and more from scratch. In the ECO project we are also focusing on open licence to support re-use and we will train teacher such that they will be able to develop MOOCs. From the 23rd of March 2015 the MOOC Design course will be available on the ECO Portal.

Let us seize the moment the opportunity.

Videos for teaching, learning, and communication

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Hub 2 (ECO Project) will be evolving to a course with simulations, quizzes, lots of badges and use of web 2.0 and how to use it more effectively, for instance Twitter and you tube. Using audio is emphasised too in the video.

By Carol Fowler (@carolUoMan)

Creating short videos for your class

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Charlie: Hey there! What have you been up to?

John: I have joined this great hub for the ECO Project…

Charlie: Really? What is it called?

John: It is called Videos for teaching, learning, and communication

Charlie: What are you learning about? That sounds a bit technical to me!

John: I create short videos for my class!

Charlie: That sounds really difficult and very expensive, I doubt I can afford it

John: It’s a free course and I don’t need to buy any products at all because I just use the smartphone I have…. THIS ONE!


Learn how to create short videos for your class in ECO MOOC “Videos for teaching, learning and communication“. You can still enrol!

Author: Carol Ann Fowler – Teacher of ‘Videos for teaching, learning and communication’


The importance of videos in teaching, learning and communication

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Hub 2 - videos for teaching, learning and communication

The topic of videos in teaching, learning and communication is very important at the moment. Most people have videos or cameras with microphones and so easy to use. Video production used to be the domain of the film industry and was usually left to the very few with specialist skills. Now anyone can make a short video, with sound, text and special effects. Some people can also enable interactive video. Look at what the children (and adults) are engaged in these days? If we can catch their attention for more important topics but use the methods that engage them in play, then we have their attention. They can then expand on that knowledge as they do with social media and online gaming!

The MOOC for creating Videos for teaching, learning and communication is learning all about state of the art video production but using free editing software that is simple to use. We also guide you on how to upload, comment, and chat about your creations. Expand your knowledge further afield and be creative, using social media and web 2.0 tools that are free! The innovative course shows you how to access the tools you require to create a short video to promote something in your subject, and engage your students in a way that text and drawing may not. You can bring the imagination alive and encourage students to build on what you have learnt and share with them. The resources you can use are linked to free resources on the internet. Yes, free!

The guide for the MOOC (Videos for teaching learning and communication) has created videos for Virtual Learning Environments and for interactive resources for young students to trainee Doctors. The guide for the MOOC has a good deal of skills and experience in e-learning and especially interactive video creation and is very happy to discuss and comment on your creations. The MOOC is only a pilot at the moment and opinions of learners are very important. So register with the MOOC Videos for teaching learning and communication and start creating your video. We will inform you of the next phase once you register and you can carry along your registration to the next more improved phase 2 in May.

So, come along and register. All are welcome!

Author: Carol Ann Fowler – Teacher of ‘Videos for teaching, learning and communication’

Videos for teaching, learning and communication – FAQ

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The MOOC ‘Videos for teaching, learning and communication’ from the University of Manchester is aimed at any learner who wants to teach, market or communicate via the medium of video. Understanding how to create a basic video from the equipment you already have, searching for and using free editing tools, and knowing how to collaborate and cooperate using web 2.0 technology in a manner that is appropriate and protects privacy and safety online, are some of the learning goals of this course.

In this post, some frequently asked questions have been gathered and answered for those who are interested in joining the course or are currently doing it:

Q: Why take this short course, is it too late?

A: You can make a short video on any subject. You can take a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Q: How will this course help my classes if I am a teacher?

A: Everyone likes to watch something short, entertaining and visual.

Q: I only have a smart phone, how can I make a video?

A: You will have links to any free software, no matter what device you have. You will also be given tips on how to use your camera on your device.

Q: I am not very creative; my videos may not look very professional, is that OK?

A:  Any short video is practice, practice, and practice. The more short videos you make the better you become and everyone is at different levels. Some are real beginners; some are experts and want some tips. The course is for everyone.

Q: My microphone is not very good and the sound may not be perfect, is that OK?

A: That is no problem, as you are not expected to have expensive equipment, just the equipment you have on your smart phone, tablets or any other device.

Q: I do not have a YouTube space or Facebook or Twitter, or even blog.

A: No problem, you can get one easily and you are given links on simple instructions on how to create on.

Q: My English is not very good and I may find the instructions difficult, how can I do this course properly?

A: All the introduction videos have closed captions for different languages and scripts you can translate with Google Translate. Also there is a short English pre-course starting up very soon on the hub 2 for “Videos for teaching, learning and communication”.

Q: I have hearing problems and my sight is not very good. How can I access this course?

A: There are links for people who have problems with accessibility.  For example, there are  links to special software to help, such a sign language Apps. Or links to help you access your computers magnifying options.

Join Europe’s MOOC teacher community: Teach.Learn.anywhere.everywhere

Enrol now!

Author: Carol Ann Fowler – Teacher of ‘Videos for teaching, learning and communication’


open education europa

Find your educational resources here

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Are you looking for open educational resources online? ECO MOOC has sought collaboration with the platform Open Education Europe to enlist the 16 ECO MOOCS.

The main goal of the Open Education Europa portal is to offer access to all existing European Open Educational Resources in different languages in order to be able to present them to learners, teachers and researchers. Open Education Europa is a dynamic platform built with the latest cutting-edge open-source technology, offering tools for communicating, sharing and discussing. The portal is structured into 3 main sections: Find, Share an d In-Depth.

Video introduction to the platform:

Facebook // Twitter //LinkedIn //Google+

Videos for teaching, learning and communication

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Este es un curso de la Universidad de Manchester desarrollado en el marco dell Proyeto ECO propone el desarrollo de competencias para la creación de vídeos para la enseñanza, el aprendizaje y la comunicación partiendo de lo más básico de los videos interactivos adaptándose al nivel del alumno y a sus objetivos. Los estudiantes tendrán oportunidades a lo largo del MOOC para pasar a niveles más avanzados o completar las tareas básicas.

Objetivos de aprendizaje

Las personas que se aproximen a este curso podrán aprender a:

  • Comprender como desarrollar las capacidades de otros alumnos y crear nuevos cursos basados en este modelo.
  • Crear un vídeo básico con el equipo que tenga y utilizar las herramientas de edición libre.
  • Diseñar, crear, cargar, descargar, implantar y utilizar herramientas de vídeo para la enseñanza, el aprendizaje y la comunicación.
  • Colaborar y cooperar utilizando tecnología web 2.0 de manera apropiada protegiendo la privacidad y la seguridad en línea.

Requisitos recomendados

El curso está abierto a todos los que tienen interés por la producción de vídeos como recurso de aprendizaje y comunicación. Deben tener acceso a herramientas de la web 2.0, Internet, cámara y software de edición. Sin embargo, esto se puede lograr compartiendo recursos o equipos en el trabajo o la escuela.

A quién va dirigido

Cualquier docente que quiere enseñar o comunicarse a través del video. Aunque el curso ha sido diseñado en inglés, la mayoría de los recursos de este MOOC están disponibles en la mayoría de los idiomas a través de subtítulos y guiones cargados.

Se tiene una especial atención a la accesibilidad para los alumnos con necesidades educativas especiales para lo que disponen de información para mejorar su participación.

La profesora responsable es Carol Fowler @carolfowler de la Universidad de Manchester, CEO en @klobomedia con trayectoria en redes sociales y Web 2.0.

Si crees que puede serte útil, accede al mismo.

“Your chances to teach, share and build knowledge are going to expand and there is no need to be afraid.”

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Consortium member Divina Frau-Meigs from the University of Sorbonne and PhD Matthieu Cissel, specialising in MOOCs were interviewed this summer by the UNED-Radio about the added value of MOOCs in the digital learning landscape.

We are talking to Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor at University Sorbonne Nouvelle, one of the partners of this European project and Matthieu Cisel is a PhD student at the Cachan École Normale Supériere, in France.

INTERVIEWER: Matthieu, in your opinion, what is the added value of MOOCs versus traditional courses?

MATTHIEU: “First of all: they are open and allow for a large variety of people with different interests to participate. People who perhaps cannot study because they do not have financial resources or the required time. The format of the open, ubiquitous course as is a MOOC allows them to strike these barriers and do a course, anywhere and anytime. That is for me the added value.”

INTERVIEWER: And Professor Frau-Meigs, what is according to you the added value of MOOCs versus traditional courses?

DIVINA: “Well, to complement Matthieu’s answer, I think the implications of social networks in the workings of a MOOC increase the value of e-learning or distance learning. This is a novel factor of the MOOC that permits teachers to control the subjects and use resources different from those typically used in the traditional learning sphere adding a shared dimension. And as I usually say: “a MOOC without social networks is like a bird without wings”.

INTERVIEWER: What ECO project proposes is totally new and something to take into account: networks joining an open online course, massive and free. How do you see the situation of MOOCs in France, particularly, and in Europe, in general?

MATTHIEU: “There are several countries in Europe creating their own MOOCs but in France there are still less than a 100 as of today. There are for instance a much larger volume of available MOOCs in Spain. I believe it is more of a cultural thing than anything else. We are still getting to know more about distance education and its culture so it is going to take some time to learn the pedagogy, how to make videos and all that.”

INTERVIEWER: UNED leads the European Project ECO, a project that focuses on the analysis and design of MOOCs. There are 24 partners from different countries, universities, enterprises and other institutions, some of them experienced in distance education and others that will have their first contact with these courses. Universities are opting more and more for distance education and, especially, the design of MOOCs.

Divina, how do you see the situation of MOOCs in France, particular and in Europe in general?

DIVINA: “It is true that from an international point of view MOOCs are in an early stage in France. Some colleagues call that “effet diligence” (diligence effect). We are living a period where we need to promote the transition from traditional courses to modern courses. There is not a French MOOC model yet. And I think every country is going to create its own model, a sign of cultural diversity. I believe this is a good thing. But the transmissive model is still deeply rooted in France because it is a very centralized country. For the moment, the French MOOC-model considers this new MOOC initiative as a learning stage with deeply resounding ripple effect in the academic community.”

INTERVIEWER: Do other countries in Europe share this view? Or can we identify different views on the use of MOOCs? It is a new initiative but many countries are going for this kind of education.

DIVINA: “I see it as an opportunity for all countries to make universities moves intro the possibilities of the 21st,, isn’t it? Furthermore I believe the Union´s way of seizing this possibilities is as diverse as its joint cultural and linguistic heritage. Moreover, I believe the smaller countries will be able to adopt the MOOC-way of teaching and learning more easily than big countries, such as France, that are slower in their response to necessary change. But there is a real interest in it and little by little decisive authorities are assimilating the topic of digital and distance learning.”

INTERVIEWER: What kind of resistance against MOOCs have you encountered, Matthieu?

MATTHIEU: “First, a lot of teachers are scared of losing their jobs with this new model. I do not believe this will affect them but the fear and therefore the resitance is palpable. The thing is, it requires the teacher to make drastic adjustments. To make MOOCs you need to be flexible, fast and very efficient. It is a very different culture, it is working in groups, it is all very new… The biggest resistance is that MOOCs require a new way of working, a new organization… that is for me the biggest resistance.”

INTERVIEWER: Divina Frau-Meigs…

DIVINA: “I would like to add to what Matthieu just indicated is the factor of Intellectual property. The fact that for the teachers who are creating MOOCs they have no certainty about what will happen with their material they created. They believe that others are going to seize their knowledge and competences. So, there is a strong resistance against this in France, which has been a flagship for intellectual property. We are pushing ahead with MOOCs, the idea of an exception to intellectual property in education, a right to “re-mix” and the use of Creative Commons licenses, because there are solutions. But France does not really believe in these solutions and there is resistance in the very heart of ministries (of culture, media education, education) in general. So, we kind of know how to create MOOCs but spreading and adopting the model is a different matter that we need to address separately.”

INTERVIEWER: And what is the future of MOOCs, Matthieu?

MATTHIEU: “I am not sure yet. I hope we will create a viable ECO-system of MOOCs in France. The hurdle here is that we as of yet lack a feasible, stable economic model as for the MOOC-modules to offer a certain longevity.”

INTERVIEWER: In fact, this particular topic is being addressed by ECO-learning consortium. Embedding the MOOCs into a stable future economical ontext is one of the objectives of the ECO project, if not, one of the strongest commitments the European Commission isdemanding of all project members to provide a definitive answer for.  

Divina, what is the future of MOOCs in your opinion?

DIVINA: “I think MOOCs themselves are going to evolve and will be further integrated in education. In my opinion there is a clear future for MOOCs in life-long learning.”

“It is going to be difficult from the perspective of primary education, but perhaps, eventually we will make it happen. This is what I say to teachers who are afraid: “This is going to take a weight off your minds, these are the steps to follow. Your chances to teach, share and build knowledge are going to widen and there is no need to be afraid.” But it is a very important change in mind-set and this will be difficult given the fact that there are so many teachers who represent a traditional generation of teachers. It will be easier for the next generation of teachers who are more accustomed to the digital world. Digital skills are new and some teachers still have to acquire them.”

“The response of teachers so far however is promising. After sending out a call for MOOC proposals and we have received over 50 proposals. I think there will be teachers who profit from this chance and there will be others who will not go down that road until they see clearer future perspective.”

MOOCs minimising the ICT gender GAP?

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Image taken at the Women’s Race, A Coruña Spain 2013 by The Owl nº30 Source link: Flickr licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

Women tend to experience barriers when it comes to accessing technological environments and in particular Internet. In addition, we must add the difficulty in producing content, its visibility as a female identity and advanced use of the Internet. The first gap is about usage and equipment and the second one is related to literacy and the digital culture. Both hinder equal opportunities. Given this scenario, the MOOC philosophy (universal, accessible, open, free) represents a learning potential beyond the multidisciplinary education.

The national Institute of Statistic in Spain (INE) assures that in 2013 that the digital gender gap has been reduced in 2012 in the main indicators analyzed (using computer and Internet usage) over the previous year, except for the frequent use of the Internet, which has increased at one point. The highest value corresponds to frequent Internet use (6.7 points), followed by the use of the Internet (5.2 points), and useage of the computer in general (4.9 points). Always with regards to these three indicators, gap values have declined over the last years.
Nevertheless, gender gaps are still existent. The first ICT (quantitative) gap we identify is the difficulty of access to the technology itself. The second difficulty is a gap related to usage of ICT, and has a qualitative nature and thirdly a sifnificant is the limited use of more advanced ICT services, such as mobile Internet. This is where the percentage of usage drops significantly.

Beyond equipment and Internet access to include, as indicated by Castells and Cecilia Brown, there are a set of factors such as educational level, personal training, access to employment, culture and social and family background. “A second cause of social division which is much more important than connectivity in terms of technology, is the educational and cultural ability to use the Internet.” ECO foresees a relevant role for ECO MOOCs in this respect.

It is a complex problem that requires solutions and coordinated responses between different fields, disciplines, individuals and social institutions. ECO plans to embed findings from the following proposals from the source Mujeres en Red, as a roadmap for equal opportunities in relation to MOOCs:

  • Connect with the interests of women.
  • Generate strategies of appropriation and self-esteem of women through the use of ICT.
  • Become agents of equality in ICT. Change the persception of basic issues such as: sexist language and stereotypes inside Websites.
  • Promote the leadership of women in different areas of ICT and the called “Information Society”.
  • Highlight best practices from the perspective of gender.
  • To coordinate families, schools, political institutions and media projects that convert the digital environment in a space with equal opportunities.

Author:José Antonio Gabelas, University of Zaragoza. Adaptation of the blog post Crystal Rooms:

Why do ECO sMOOC rely on learner interactions?

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The ECO project has described an innovative pedagogical framework that should benefit in particular the learners enrolling in sMOOCs. What are sMOOCs? sMOOCs are social in that the learner learns from and with others by interacting with other participants, by not only exchanging and sharing knowledge, information, but also creating new knowledge through interaction and discussion. sMOOCs are seamless because they transgress borders found in traditional education: they integrate with learners’ real life experiences, and are accessible from a multiple platforms.

ECO sMOOCs are seen as part of the Open Education movement. Therefore, they are intended to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning and provide participants with a reasonable chance of success in education. This implies ‘openness’ in the sense not only of no financial cost, but also open accessibility, open licensing policy, freedom of place, pace and time of study, open entry, and open pedagogy.

ECO sMOOCs rely on a flexible pedagogical framework with a focus on networked and ubiquitous learning as the only means to deal with the number of students enrolling and to deal with the personalised learning objectives of these learners and to allow MOOC designers to design their courses flexibly in a variety of ways to meet pedagogical requirements. The learner is put central and enters the sMOOC to meet his personal learning objectives. Leaners learn by interacting with others, by being active in situated, authentic tasks. The teacher is there to facilitate the process, not to act as knowledge provider in a one-way knowledge transfer mode.