A MOOC ABOUT MOOC MAKING

H. Haugsbakken

Østfold University College (NORWAY)
MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) research has approached MOOC making from two distinct approaches, which we argue creates a knowledge gap in the research literature. On the one hand, MOOC research examines various learning design approaches. On the other hand, researchers analyze the performance of MOOCs by use of learning analytic approaches. This means that we have great research knowledge about course design approaches and online courses as end-products, but little insights regarding the actual development process of MOOCs. In fact, how MOOCs are made, seems to be missing on the research agenda. In practice, MOOC making is often an iterative and creative work process where the main objective is to turn a vague idea about an online course into a complete digital learning experience for the learner. In the process, educators make many critical course design decisions which resolve around learning design, content production, choice of MOOC platform, assessment, outlining pedagogical strategies for online course management. Also, we can observe changes in the role performance of the educator. In a campus setting, the educator is normally the sole responsible for planning and implementation of education. This notion is up for review in online education and online course production. Now, the educator is more and more challenged to collaborate with other persons such as learning designers, learning content producers, platform technicians and learning assistances. With many actors involved, MOOC making and online course management is a collaborative effort. In other words, online course production becomes a complex undertaking and is indeed time-consuming. Also, at universities MOOC making often happens in a campus setting where an educator work with a support team of some sorts.

That said, the goal of this paper, however, is to report on a research and development project that aimed at introducing educators to MOOC making. The MOOC making approach was also innovative. The course participants become an online learner and completed an online course about teaching online, and at the same time, they made an online course they could use as part of their teaching practice. In this sense, the course participants were enrolled in an online course about MOOC pedagogy to learn about MOOC making. The whole online course, which was asynchronous, were divided into two separate online courses with particular learning objectives. In the first part, the course participants learned about particular important approaches to teach online. Platform choice, online learning design, online assessment, content production, teaching and pedagogical management of online courses, and pedagogical and theoretical approaches to how we learn, were main topics. This learning design meant that the learners acquired a theoretical and practical approach to teach and learn online. Also, the first online course relied significantly on formative feedback as the learner completed specific assignments and digital tests with predefined feedback. In the second online course, the course participants applied the theory from the first part and made an online course themselves, by following a streamlined online process. Here, the course participants received ongoing feedback.