MOOCs as Provisions in Graduate Education for Future Professional Development

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Jakobsdottir, Solveig
Bjarnason, Grimur
Gunnarsson, Kristinn H
Kristofersdottir, Dora D
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)

In this study, we report the experiences of embedding MOOCs in a graduate course on distance education at the University of Iceland - School of Education 2014 and 2016. Students evaluated MOOCs and their participation. The participants in 2014 were 17 and in 2016 23. They signed up for a MOOC of their own choice most for the first time. In the spring 2016 a phone survey was conducted with the 2014 participants (77% participation rate). In addition students from the 2016 cohort (57% participation rate) completed an online survey. Students were mostly positive, experience was described for example as fun, interesting, and a new way of learning. However, some mentioned that the courses they took were too easy for comfort, included “parrot learning”, that the learner environment lacked a personal contact and was non-comparable to f2f courses. Workload during the project varied and may have been too little for some students. About 81% felt that taking a MOOC had benefitted them: Directly in their work for review or learning something new; to experience that form of learning; ideas for future practice; some had already started using what they learnt, in their immediate practice. About 85% thought it likely they would sign up for MOOC courses in the future. About half of each group had signed up for at least one other MOOC. Many were interested in Icelandic MOOCs as students (70%), teachers (54%) or designers (36%). It worked well to embed MOOCs into a university course with opportunities for f2f meetings and requirement for group work in relation to the MOOC participation. There were indications that the experience opened doors or gave graduate students ideas in relation to their future or immediate teaching practice and professional development. More attention is needed to work load. Language is an issue and development of open online courses should be considered at the national or local level open to particular language groups that can include more relevant content for the participants. // Paper ID 308

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC),Higher Education