MOOC UTILIZATION IN BLENDED LEARNING: PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A SMALL UNIVERSITY UNIT

P. Linna, K. Ahonen, J. Multisilta

Tampere University of Technology (FINLAND)
Previous studies have taken into account the fact that university education is changing rapidly. Teaching is globalizing, the free supply of education (online) is expanding, and there are new teaching methods such as flipped learning. The Pori unit of the Tampere University of Technology (TUT/Pori) started a gradual transition to blended learning methods in the fall of 2013. During this three-year period, a variety of implementation methods and technologies have been tested. (Linna et al. 2016a, 2016b, 2015)

The main purpose of this paper is to find solutions for small university units to utilize Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and find a strategy for using them. The paper introduces the extended MOOC utilization model. The aim of the model is to increase the use of MOOC courses in degree programs, in continuing education (e.g. MBA programs) as well as in companies. The paper also aims to discuss and find solutions for utilizing MOOCs for international exchange students.

Several research methods have been employed. The MOOC utilization model is being researched and developed from many different perspectives: degree program, continuing education, companies, and also that of the university consortium. There are several projects covering all these perspectives. The MOOC topic has been approached in several different ways, pre-identifying, selecting, and mapping materials of MOOCs, by participating in MOOC courses, teaching on a MOOC course, and workshops have been held for companies as well as for teachers. MOOC courses are being piloted in many different ways in the degree program, but the aim is also to conduct the pilots with enterprises. The research results have been presented at several workshops and seminars to obtain feedback.

This paper presents an extended MOOC utilization model. The model improves flexibility in learning, which is especially necessary for adult education and companies. For companies, the model allows for problem-based training and rapidly reactive training. In addition, the model reduces training costs and increases international training as well as contributing to language skills. This paper results were collections of ideas and visions, producing the unit’s own MOOC collection for Finnish degree students and international exchange students alike. The research challenge is to assess MOOC distribution platforms and the future plans of MOOC course producers regarding pricing and free use of materials, which may have a significant impact on the use of the model.

References:
[1] P. Linna, T. Mäkinen, and H. Keto (2016a). Utilizing MOOCs in the development of education and training programs. MIPRO, 2015 Proceedings of the 39th International Convention. Accepted.
[2] P. Linna, H. Keto, and T. Mäkinen (2015). Towards Blended learning: A Case Study. MIPRO, 2015 Proceedings of the 38th International Convention. IEEE, pp. 685-689
[3] P. Linna, F. Cameron and J. T. Tanttu (2016b). Experiences with Blended and Flipped Learning in University Mathematics Courses - Case Study. Edulearn 2016. Submitted.