Open University of the Netherlands (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 5678-5686
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The problem and context:
With the hype around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) one issue that has not received yet sufficient attention is pedagogies within MOOCs. The discussion has predominantly been on the distinction between xMOOC applying more instructivist approach and cMOOC based on connectivism. While such a debate is useful on a general level, it is not particularly helpful on micro-level, that is how the learning activities should be structured to foster effective, efficient and enjoyable learning. Research also indicates that such a dichotomous, ‘either-or’, categorization obscures variation and richness of the pedagogic approaches applied. Another matter is that the discourse on MOOCs learning designs has been replaced by a discussion on the affordances of technological platforms.
Within the Hands-on ICT project we designed a MOOC course that must be about teacher training, applying ICT tools, implementing creativity, emphasizing on learning-by-doing and using the Moodle platform. In this paper we report on the learning design approach utilised.

The Approach:
Based on a systematic literature review across various data-bases and findings from a pilot course we identified Learning Design Studio (LDS) and First Principles of Instructional Design (FPID) as two approaches that could potentially address the challenge described in the previous section. Both approaches, however, were adapted to reflect the purpose of the Hands-on project. Learning Design Studio (LDS) re-conceptualizes the traditional idea of teacher training as it puts the teachers in the position of collaboratively identifying an educational challenge, generating innovative solutions to it and evaluating their effectiveness and efficiency. LDS is the course format of the Design Inquiry of Learning (DIL) pedagogic approach. The Design Inquiry of Learning cycle includes the following phases: define an educational challenge, analyse the context, review past innovations and apply insights to the new project, conceptualise a solution, prototype and evaluate.
Apart from DIL our interpretation of FPID included the following instructional design approaches: problem-based learning , cognitive apprenticeship approach, cognitive flexibility theory and four component instructional design model.

The solution:
One issue with the original concept of LDS is insufficient support for the students in terms of concrete methods and techniques as how to investigate, ideate, prototype and evaluate. Our approach implements some of the methods and techniques of the modern software engineering design such as contextually inquiry interview and writing persona for investigating the context, visioning, storyboarding, paper prototypes, and digital prototypes for prototyping, and, evaluation scripts, walkthrough-with- think-aloud and usability questionnaires for the evaluating. There is also support for the idea generation as a number of creativity techniques and a creative problem solving set up are proposed. The students are encouraged to explore information about the methods and techniques to reflect upon and share it with their fellows.
Learning design, teacher-training, creativity, ICT, MOOCs.