MOOCs and Libraries, a possible combination?

An interesting reflection in the article “Next Steps for MOOCs and Libraries” By Ian Chant, describing how libraries can support and encourage the construction and use of MOOCs.

According to Stephen Downes, libraries were characterized, even in the digital age, as a closed environment, limited to users of the nearby environment (students, teachers, researchers, readers, access etc.)

The author describes four examples from experiences in U.S. libraries:

MOOCs on Public Libraries

To facilitate access to MOOCs and digital resources in social contexts with limited internet access. A Chicago Public Library offers resources that make online learning a viable option: “We are the biggest provider of public technology and wireless access”, “we have the resources people can use to do the homework in these courses.”

Developing own MOOs

Other libraries have developed their own MOOCs as an independent resource or as a complement to face-to-face workshops, allowing students to students to take the MOOC more casually, on their own schedule and at their own pace. In some cases the library build the content and in other cases including content created by partner outside the library.

MOOCs as supplement

At Syracuse University have experienced how the MOOCs could supplement or even replace the standard online courses. These courses offer the ability to follow the rhythm of the student. It offer the option to taking the course for academic credit with the support of a guide.

Building significant MOOCs

A MOOC can be a valuable resource for providing informal learning and helping community learning in a connected environment without worrying whether that learning is officially recognized by the universities.

Week 24: Summarize, assess and contribute

List of links to all my posts for the year

Library of Alexandria

Week 1 – Getting started with Program For Online Teaching class

It’s just my presentation and a description of my own experience about online teaching and my particular expectative with this program.

Week 2: Teaching and Learning Online

Starting with the program readings, and identify the elements I feel would help me to reinforce the way I like to teach. I’m still in the exploring period.

Week 3: Pedagogy and Course Design

I’m going deeper in the study of the book material, the web material taking notes and highlighting.

Week 4: Pedagogy and Course Design II

My try applying a template to the planning of a course session related to Concept Maps. Good exercise!

Week 5: The Slippery Online Syllabus

This week helps me to discover the Online Syllabus one of THE most important documents created for the online class. Really good and useful!

Week 6: Internet Skills, html code and embedded Videos

A practical exercise embedding videos. Not especially new for me…

Week 7: LMS – “to be or not to be”

My first shade of difference with the author (Reading the chapter 6 of Ko&Rossen) in relation to the role of LMS and CMS.

Week 8: LMS – “to be or not to be” (the continuous discussion …)

A good week! because I could see preliminary reinforced my intuitive arguments about the role of the LMS. This post demanded a great effort to express my ideas.

Week 9: trying to catching up…

Taking notes about the reading material, a rather poor reflecting post…

Week 10: open platforms for online courses

Good reading and a good practical week. I discovered a tool (engrade) that I’m using today!

Week 11: Intellectual Property and Accessibility

A post with which I am not satisfied. Probably because the uninspiring reading material.

Week 12: Resources Online

There are obviously weeks that are more or less inspiring. The OER is a topic of special attraction for me. This week I researched several reference websites as expressed in the post.

Mid-year post

A list of links to all your posts so far. It’s refreshing to read this post to identify my personal progress.

Week 13: Creating Class Elements Part 1: Images and screenshots

The activities of this week I gave a good learning in managing my images on Flickr, as expressed in the post content.

Week 14: Creating Class Elements Part 2: Audio and video

A tough week in which I learned a lot. A productive week, as showed in the post.

Week 15: Screencasting and multimedia

Another productive week with building materials with the help of different web tools.

Week 16: Our Students Online

This week included a lot of reading I really enjoyed with. These moments are a good time to analyse and draw conclusions.

Week 17: Classroom Management and Facilitation

Good reading and reflection!

Week 18: The Course (or Learning) Management System

I think it was the week with further analysis and reflection. I Party analysis of the role of the LMS / CMS to project a pedagogic and strategic discussion.

Week 19-Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes

It has been a useful discussion about MOOCs.

Week 20: Educational Technology and Instructional Design

I am very happy with this week. From the discussion on “Educational Technology and Instructional Design”, I’ve developed a particular line of reflection on an instructional design model.

Week 21: Introduction to Online Education Theory

Another week with which I am happy because it allowed me expand on an interesting theoretical discussion.

Week 22: Personal Learning Networks

As I wrote in this post, one of the things that I find particularly interesting is to collect ideas and inspiration from outstanding lecturers, teachers and writers.

Week 23: Presentation

This is my presentation on Week 12: Online Resources.

A summary of my conclusions

  • Although 4-5 hours a week seems reasonable, some weeks I spent a few more hours. In the beginning I didn’t realize how much more time I’d expend in my researches.
  • Although my comments on the blogs of my colleagues often was not what I had wanted, I have improved my writing and I must admit it is very encouraging to receive comments!
  • This program gave me the opportunity to explore different theories, inspiring ideas and experiences.
  • In short, the program has exceeded my expectations.

W20: Educational Technology and Instructional Design

A hard week full of definitions, reflections and summaries. But at the same time, and there’s the key, an entertaining week. This week included subjects of particular importance to the design of learning content and activities with the support of ICT.

Instructional technology

As explained by the definition, the term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory.

But the definition is not what matters most to me. The question surrounding our thinking is how we do to make this technology really helps us to improve education at least in the environment of our work and academic activity.

Clearly, we can achieve great benefits such as:

  • Accessible educational materials
  • Attracting and motivating students
  • Support the development of reading and writing skills

Personally, it helps me a lot to know other experiences, theories, models and recommendations. But what helps me is tracking innovative academic experiences.

Instructional Design

It is a subject that has fascinated me. In the design of any content or learning activity assume a huge responsibility with the goal of improving student learning. But if it does not help?, If you do not have the time and sufficient resources?, If we fail to involve teachers interested?, If we do not consider aspects of prior knowledge, context, time?, To name a few. These questions arise precisely because we are interested in finding answers.

Instructional design models

We have all known at some time models like ADDIE, Dick and Carey and others.

A particularly attractive model is The Backward Design, to assist teachers in designing or redesigning teaching materials to enhance learning understanding. This model and the related conceptual framework: “Understanding by Design” was developed by recognized educators Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. This model is well suited for the academic community and two of their biggest contributions are:

  • The “backwards design” instructional design model
  • The “Six Facets of Understanding”

As I show in my particular slides summary

The backwards design model centers on the idea that the design process should begin with identifying the desired results and then “work backwards” to develop instruction. This framework identifies three main stages:

  • Stage 1: Identify desired outcomes and results.
  • Stage 2: Determine what constitutes acceptable evidence of competency in the outcomes and results (assessment).
  • Stage 3: Plan instructional strategies and learning experiences that bring students to these competency levels.

See you next week!

Week 14: Creating Class Elements Part 2: Audio and video

Catching up …

A week exploring interesting web applications I already knew and had used. Always good to refresh your memory!. The highlight was updating a presentation on Slideshare with a “robotic” voice produced with a free text to speech web software. It was a new learning. Ejeyot was a discovery, simple to use, but in which I repeated several times until I was satisfied with the result.

Week 13: Creating Class Elements Part 1: Images and screenshots

The Ko & Rossen, Chapter 9: Creating Courseware and Using Web 2.0 Tools provide good tips about designing web pages for instruction.

A detail: on page 251, the author is unclear to distinguish the use of sans-serif vs serif fonts.

The use of sans-serif for titles and headers, serif for the body of the text is probably best if you are creating something to be printed on paper.

But, if you’re creating something to primarily be viewed on the computer screen, you are probably better off sticking with a sans-serif font for everything.

I personally use SnagIt frequently to capture images to illustrate learning material and manuals. Although it is a commercial application, is inexpensive and very flexible.

When I need images or photos, I often browse on Flickr because many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license. It’s possible to search content under different type of license.

The use of Mbedr open an interesting opportunity to include annotated images inside didactic material (I’ve learned to annotate one of my own pictures in Flickr!).

Thanks for these tips!

Week 11: Intellectual Property and Accessibility

Copyright, Course Materials and YOU!

The main disadvantage of the reading of this week (Chapter 8: Copyright, Intellectual Property) is that applies to the United States only.

This American perspective needs to be complemented with others perspectives like the European. JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), who drive innovation in UK education and research presents a good analysis about Sharing and protecting your intellectual property in an online environment for educational institutions.

In relation with the accessibility issues, I found a really good introduction to Accessibility by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) describing policies, resources and tools to make the Web accessible.