Over the last few years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have had a huge impact on the scale of higher education teaching and learning globally. In 2018, 101 million MOOC learners participated in 11,000+ courses created by over 900 universities in partnerships with dozens of platform providers (Shah 2018). Higher Education institutions are using MOOCs to innovate, experiment with and strategise the future of online learning (Ferguson et al. 2016), (Fox 2016), (Hollands & Tirthali 2014).
The FutureLearn Academic Network (FLAN) connects staff involved with MOOCs at FutureLearn partner institutions, enabling them to share research and explore shared research opportunities. Understanding the impact of MOOCs on learning and learners is one of 12 priority areas recently identified by FLAN members as needing more research (FLAN 2019).
In this panel session, three FLAN members will share their research and lessons learnt from using MOOCs to widen the impact of teaching and learning on specific groups of learners and learning communities: bringing together experts and learners from around the world for citizen science activities for learning, using the FutureLearn approach to digital pedagogy – conversational learning – to support teaching and learning on international, closed and formally accredited courses, and reaching across traditional professional training boundaries to those who otherwise be unlikely to be able to participate in new approaches to team-based training.
• Professor Eileen Scanlon, Open University. Citizen science platforms at the Open University such as nQuire and iSpot have been used in FutureLearn. I will contribute a perspective on the role that such activities contribute to learning science.
• Professor Rebecca Ferguson, Open University. A discussion of the use of conversational learning on an international closed and formally accredited FutureLearn course. The course includes work around Sustainable Development Goal 4 to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
• Dr Daksha Patel & Dr Astrid Leck, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This talk will discuss the design of a FutureLearn MOOC aimed at addressing the global health challenge of trachoma elimination, and an evaluation – using Wenger et al.’s (2011) Value Creation Framework – of its impact on practice for trachoma elimination in endemic countries.
By engaging in this session, participants will gain an understanding of the variety of ways MOOC are being applied in different contexts and settings to widen the impact of MOOC learning in sustainable and positive ways, both in the UK and internationally. They will also gain an introduction to FLAN and its work, and participants based at FutureLearn partner institutions will learn how to get involved with the network. There will be time for questions and answers with each speaker and collective discussion of key issues and challenges.
The session will be hosted by the FLAN steering group.
Timeline (1 hour):
– 5mins: Host: Getting set up and welcomes
– 6mins: Host: Introduction… what is FLAN, purpose and structure of the session, how participants can interact and what they can expect to gain (new ideas and potential for action to promote wider impact from MOOCs)
– 14mins: Talk 1 & QA
– 14mins: Talk 2 & QA
– 14mins: Talk 3 & QA
– 7mins: Host: Review of the session, final Q&As & summary of takeaways/potential actions
– Ferguson, R., Scanlon, E., & Harris, L. (2016). Developing a Strategic Approach to MOOCs. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2016(1). http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.439
– Fox, R. (2016). MOOC Impact Beyond Innovation (pp. 159–172). Springer, Singapore. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0431-5_8
– Hollands, F. M., & Tirthali, D. (2014). MOOCs: Expectations and Reality. Full Report, (May), 211. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-38974-5_11
– Shah, D. (2018). By The Numbers: MOOCs in 2018. Class Central. Dec 11th, 2018. Available at https://www.class-central.com/report/mooc-stats-2018/ [Accessed 2019.03.12]
– FutureLearn Academic Network Plans for 2019. (2019). FutureLearn Partners. Available at https://partners.futurelearn.com [Accessed 2019.03.12]
– Wenger, E., Trayner, B., & De Laat, M. (2011). Promoting and Assessing Value Creation in Communities and Networks: a Conceptual Framework. Heerlen: Ruud de Moor Centrum, Open Universiteit. Available at http://wenger-trayner.com/resources/publications/evaluation-framework/ [Accessed 2019.03.12]