Whether you are a MOOC enthusiast or a sceptic, there is no doubt that MOOCs have been a force of nature in the e-learning landscape. The e-Learning Team at the University of Bath has been harnessing this force to produce, in partnership with two academic teams, high quality learning experiences for the FutureLearn platform.
Working in a transformational developmental manner with one team and in a more transactional, service-oriented approach with the other, the results which were achieved was equally impressive in spite of the approaches being at opposite ends of the transactional-transformational spectrum (Bass,1985; Bycio et al, 1995). This presentation explores the differing nature of collaborative working practices, the mix of educational development orientations (Land, 2004) which were used, the importance of context and the disciplinary differences and cultures (Becher and Trowler, 2001) which enabled the snowballing of momentum within cross-institutional project working.
Each of the MOOCs involved a course team of ten academics and three Learning Technologists providing expertise on learning design and production. The Inside Cancer MOOC team was new to the slippery slopes and dangers of delivering online distance learning and we sought to transform their perceptions, values and beliefs surrounding the affordances of technology to support the exploration of their subject discipline’s threshold concepts (Meyer & Land 2003). However, the Sustainability for professionals team were distance learning experts and highly experienced at navigating their way down this difficult terrain, which was made even more uncertain by the anonymity and large number of learners. Using the pre-existing knowledge and experience of this course team as a foundation, together we pushed the pedagogical boundaries in order to develop approaches suitable for large scale delivery to thousands of learners simultaneously.
Our experiences have led to a greater understanding educational development and have transformed the views of twenty staff who are now enthusiastic about the prospects of learning technologies, whilst showcasing the institution internationally, forefronting our research and raising the profile of individual academics. This presentation will describe the differing nature of support provided and the positive impact of team-based curriculum development. Through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected from the MOOC learners, we will also critically reflect upon the role of the lead educator during both courses and discuss how the differing approaches to course development can encourage learner engagement.
Bass B.M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.
Becher, T. and Trowler, P. (2001). Academic Tribes and Territories: intellectual enquiry and the cultures of disciplines (2nd edition). Buckingham: Open University Press/SRHE.
Bycio P., Hackett R.D., Allen J.S. (1995). Further Assessments of Bass’s (1985) Conceptualization of Transactional and Transformational Leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology 1995, Vol.80, No. 4. 468-478
Land, R. (2004) Educational Development: Discourse, Identity and Practice. Maidenhead: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.
Meyer J. H. F., Land R. (2003). ‘Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge 1 – Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practising’ in Improving Student Learning – Ten Years On. C. Rust (Ed), OCSLD, Oxford.
|Affiliation||University of Bath|