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Friday, June 20 • 10:30am - 11:00am
CON11.05 – Transforming MOOCs into Engaging Educational Opportunities: Lessons from an Experiment (Room A333)

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In the fall of 2013, the University of Alberta offered its first MOOC, Dino101.  The MOOC was taken simultaneously by 22,000 people around the world, as well as 450 University of Alberta students.  Of the University of Alberta students, 400 students took the MOOC under the same conditions as the world-wide audience, but sat a midterm and final exam in person.  Fifty University of Alberta students took the MOOC in conjunction with an in-class experience that also included field trips and active learning.  The MOOC was declared the third best MOOC ever offered and met or exceeded all Alberta Education standards for effective learning.  It also has one of the highest completion rates of any MOOC ever for the 22,000 world-wide audience, and one of the highest passing rates of any University of Alberta course for those 450 students.

The MOOC development started in 2012, with brainstorming and the development of a team of content experts.  Although most MOOCs are simply recorded lectures, the University of Alberta chose to design this course from best principles of instructional design, including constructive alignment of pedagogy, learning outcomes and assessment.  High levels of interactivity were deliberately included.  However, numerous problems and challenges were encountered as the MOOC developed, both from the instructional and production sides.  Significant new territory at an institutional administration level was also unveiled as the MOOC moved closer to fruition.

In this presentation, both the research performed and the results of developing this new practice will be shared with conference participants, followed by discussion amongst all participants.  The results are surprising and they will validate, as well as raise questions about, some of the commonly held paradigms of post-secondary education.


Friday June 20, 2014 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
A333 McArthur Hall

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