Posts Tagged Open online learning

Funded studentship opportunity – researching MOOCs at the OU

MOOC educator poster

The Open University is advertising six Leverhulme doctoral scholarships in open world learning with a closing date for applications of Monday 9 March 2015. These are full-time, fully funded studentships, leading to a PhD.

One of the named topics is ‘Educator roles in open online courses‘ and the description is:

“What roles do educators play in massive open online courses (MOOCs)? How can they be most effective in supporting learners to achieve their learning goals? In these open online settings, teaching is carried out by a team of educators, including academic lead, course presenter, moderator, facilitator and the learners themselves. These roles are still being developed, and there is a pressing need to identify evidence-based good practice. The successful candidate will use data from a range of MOOCs to answer the questions above, and will have opportunities to work with the FutureLearn Academic Network, an international team of MOOC researchers.”

If you are interested in applying, you need to provide a short research proposal explaining how this area fits the overall theme of Open World Learning and how you intend to conduct research on the topic selected. See the website for more specific details about applying.

When putting together an application, you may find it useful to take a look at these two papers: Taking on different roles: how educators position themselves in MOOCs and Innovative pedagogy at massive scale: teaching and learning in MOOCs.

 

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Motivation and Online Learning

Brainstorming at the design charette

Brainstorming at the design charette

January 8-10, I was in  Boston, where I represented The Open University and FutureLearn at a ‘design charette’ on motivation in online learning networks. This event was hosted by the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with PERTS at Stanford University and the Raikes Foundation.

I haven’t attended a design charette before – these events are intensive, hands-on workshops that bring people from different disciplines and backgrounds together to explore the design of something (in this case online learning networks and, more specifically, MOOCs). The aim is to identify  the visions, values, and ideas of the relevant community, allowing community members to  collaborate to create innovative solutions.

Jared Stein describes how the event was organised, and there’s a report on it here from Tim Vogelsang and Thieme Harris.

I enjoyed my first experience of speedgeeking – individuals sit in different areas of the room, and talk to three or four people for a few minutes. On the signal, each group moves on to the next presenter. In 45 minutes, it’s therefore possible to hear a brief presentation from, and ask questions of, around ten presenters. This is a fairly intense experience for the presenters, cramming everything they want to say in a kind of extended elevator pitch, and repeating ten times. A downside is that the presenters don’t get to hear each other – but overall the format allows for a lot of introductions to be made, and gives you the chance to cover a lot of ground very quickly

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