Archive for category Reports

Educators’ perspectives on MOOCs

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 11.46.07We have just published an internal report for The Open University. It covers ‘Staff Perspectives on the Value of Involvement with FutureLearn MOOCs’. The report – authored by Tom Coughlan, Thea Herodotou, Alice Peasgood and myself  – continues our series of reports on different aspects of engagement and research with MOOCs.

We carried out interviews with educators, production staff and facilitators who work on both MOOCs and Open University courses. Analysis of these data identified six forms of value that these MOOCs offer to the university.

  1. Innovating course production
  2. Staff development
  3. Visibility and engagement
  4. Improved learning journeys
  5. Research and evaluation
  6. Income generation

In each case, the report identifies both benefits and challenges.

Open University staff can access the full report.

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Innovating pedagogy: China

The Innovating Pedagogy 2016 report. Now in Chinese.

First page in Chinese

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Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy

Report coverThe final report on our study of learning analytics for European educational policy (LAEP) is now out.

Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics: Implications for Education Policy brings together the findings of a literature review; case studies; an inventory of tools, policies and practices; and an expert workshop.

The report also provides an Action List for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and industry members to guide work in Europe.

Learning Analytics: Action List

Policy leadership and governance practices

  • Develop common visions of learning analytics that address strategic objectives and priorities
  • Develop a roadmap for learning analytics within Europe
  • Align learning analytics work with different sectors of education
  • Develop frameworks that enable the development of analytics
  • Assign responsibility for the development of learning analytics within Europe
  • Continuously work on reaching common understanding and developing new priorities

Institutional leadership and governance practices

  • Create organisational structures to support the use of learning analytics and help educational leaders to implement these changes
  • Develop practices that are appropriate to different contexts
  • Develop and employ ethical standards, including data protection

Collaboration and networking

  • Identify and build on work in related areas and other countries
  • Engage stakeholders throughout the process to create learning analytics that have useful features
  • Support collaboration with commercial organisations

Teaching and learning practices

  • Develop learning analytics that makes good use of pedagogy
  • Align analytics with assessment practices

Quality assessment and assurance practices

  • Develop a robust quality assurance process to ensure the validity and reliability of tools
  • Develop evaluation checklists for learning analytics tools

Capacity building

  • Identify the skills required in different areas
  • Train and support researchers and developers to work in this field
  • Train and support educators to use analytics to support achievement

Infrastructure

  • Develop technologies that enable development of analytics
  • Adapt and employ interoperability standards

Other resources related to the LAEP project – including the LAEP Inventory of learning analytics tools, policies and practices – are available on Cloudworks.

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MOOCs: what the research tells us

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-15-27-21MOOCs: What the Open University research tells us recommends priority areas for activity in relation to massive open online courses (MOOCs). It does this by bringing together all The Open University’s published research work in this area from the launch of the first MOOC in 2008 until February 2016.

The report provides brief summaries of, and links to, all publications stored in the university’s Open Research Online (ORO) repository that use the word ‘MOOC’ in their title or abstract. Full references for all studies are provided in the bibliography.

Studies are divided thematically, and the report contains sections on the pedagogy of MOOCs, MOOCs and open education, MOOC retention and motivation, working together in MOOCs, MOOC assessment, accessibility, privacy and ethics, quality and other areas of MOOC research.

The report identifies ten priority areas for future work:

  1. Influence the direction of open education globally 
  2. Develop and accredit learning journeys 
  3. Extend the relationship between learners and the university
  4. Make effective use of learning design
  5. Make use of effective distance learning pedagogies
  6. Widen participation
  7. Offer well-designed assessment 
  8. Pay attention to quality assurance 
  9. Pay attention to privacy and ethics
  10. Expand the benefits of learning from MOOCs

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Innovating Pedagogy 2015

Innovating Pedagogy 2015 coverThis is the fourth in a series of influential reports from The Open University exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. This report represents a collaboration with our colleagues in the Center for Technology and Learning at SRI International, the leading US research organisation.

This year, the focus is on:

  • Crossover learning (connecting formal and informal learning)
  • Learning through argumentation (developing skills of scientific argumentation)
  • Incidental learning (harnessing unplanned or unintentional learning)
  • Context-based learning (how context shapes and is shaped by the process of learning)
  • Computational thinking (solving problems using techniques from computing)
  • Learning by doing science with remote labs (guided experiments on authentic scientific equipment)
  • Embodied learning (making mind and body work together to support learning)
  • Adaptive teaching (adapting computer-based teaching to the learner’s knowledge and action)
  • Analytics of emotions (responding to the emotional states of students)
  • Stealth assessment (unobtrusive assessment of learning processes).

You can download the report at www.open.ac.uk/innovating

 

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Innovating Pedagogy 2014

Cover of Innovating Pedagogy 2014Innovating Pedagogy 2014 has just been published and is available as a free download. It is the third in a series of reports I have co-authored with colleagues at The Open University that explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world. While many of these are enabled by technology, these are not reports on new gadgets, but on new ways of teaching and learning.

This year’s report focuses on

  • Massive open social learning
  • Learning design informed by analytics
  • Flipped classroom
  • Bring your own devices
  • Learning to learn
  • Dynamic assessment
  • Event-based learning
  • Learning through storytelling
  • Threshold concepts
  • Bricolage

One of my favourites is learning through storytelling. Of course, this is not a new pedagogy. Writing up an experiment, reporting on an inquiry, analysing a period of history – these are all examples of the use of narrative to support learning that have been used for hundreds of years. However, the use of technology opens up new possibilities. We are increasingly able to create virtual story worlds in which guided exploratory learning can take place. A storyline can also be used to build engagement and provoke discussion in massive open online learning, or in other learning environments where participants spread across the globe build a narrative together. This is an example of technology opening up new possibilities that allow us to expand our use of a tried and trusted approach to teaching and learning.

Postscript December 2014: Ida Brandão has produced a short video of this year’s report.

Postscript February 2015: The report continues to generate interest, with Tweets in different languages appearing, being retweeted or favourited every day or so.

Tweets about Innovating Pedagogy 2014

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Beyond Prototypes

Report coverI co-authored the Beyond Prototypes report, which provides an in-depth examination of the processes of innovation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL). The report sets out what can be done to improve the process of moving from academic research and innovative prototypes to effective and sustainable products and practices. In doing so, it shows that technological development is only a small part of the picture. Significant and lasting TEL innovation requires long-term shifts in practice. These shifts are not confined to the classroom or training environment; they require alterations to many different elements of the education system. In order to make these shifts, different communities and groups need to work creatively together over time, so policymakers and funders should plan for engagement with teams able to initiate, implement, scale and sustain long-term innovation.
Referencing the report: Scanlon, E., Sharples, M., Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Fleck, J., Cooban, C., Ferguson, R., Cross, S. and Waterhouse, P. Beyond Prototypes: Enabling Innovation in Technology-Enhanced Learning. Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Programme, London, http://beyondprototypes.com/ 2013.

Key insights summarised:

TEL involves a complex system of technologies and practices. In order to embed significant TEL innovation successfully, it is necessary to look beyond product development and pay close attention to the entire process of implementation.

Significant innovations are developed and embedded over periods of years rather than months. Sustainable change is not a simple matter of product development, testing and roll-out.

TEL innovation is a process of bricolage. This process includes informed and directed exploration of the technologies and practices required to achieve an educational goal. It involves experimentation to generate fresh insights, and a creative use of available resources. It also requires engagement with a range of communities and practices.

Successful implementation of TEL innovation requires evidence that the projected educational goal has been achieved. Reliable evaluations must be carried out; their findings must be disseminated and acted on. Methods of evaluation are required that can be applied to processes of innovation and to institutional change, as well as those that can be applied to shifts in technology usage.

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