In this presentation we will give examples of how social media, crowdsourcing activities and other open digital resources can be utilised to encourage more active and collaborative participation by learners in online courses with large sign-ups. Key examples will include:
– The use of online polls before and during courses to promote interest in the course themes, act as ‘ice-breakers’ and kick-start discussion and debate among learners.
– How social media was utilised in a course on physical theatre as a means for learners to share videos and images of their participation in training techniques.
– How a collaborative project between learners to create an online memory board of shared images and other media was utilised as part of a course about World War 1 and perceptions of heroism.
The impact of these different approaches upon learner experience and engagement will be considered, with examples of successes, experiments that fell short, and lessons learned. We will also consider the particular challenges of developing online collaborative learning experiences for a diverse audience with a range of confidence-levels in using online tool.
During this session we will share our stories. But it is also our aim before, during and after this session to use many of the collaborative tools and techniques described to gather your examples of how the power of the crowd can be used to share experiences and generate new ideas for compelling online learning experiences.
 Onah, D. F.O., Sinclair, J., Boyatt, R. (2014) Dropout Rates of Massive Open Online Courses : Behavioural Patterns. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN14), Barcelona, Spain. 7th-9th July, 2014;
Wang, Y and Baker, R, MOOC Learner Motivation and Course Completion Rates (March 30, 2014). Available at MOOC Research Hub: http://www.moocresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/MRI-Report-WangBaker-June-2014.pdf
Christensen, Gayle and Steinmetz, Andrew and Alcorn, Brandon and Bennett, Amy and Woods, Deirdre and Emanuel, Ezekiel J, The MOOC Phenomenon: Who Takes Massive Open Online Courses and Why? (November 6, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350964.