You may have seen the article in this week’s Observer, which talks about MOOCs and mentions the Edinburgh courses running through Coursera. You may also have seen that the MSc in E-learning team are teaching a MOOC on ‘E-learning and digital cultures’ at the end of next January.
We’ve had a couple of queries about how the MOOC is different from the full ‘E-learning and digital cultures’ (EDC) course, which you currently have the option of signing up for. Here’s how!
1. The MOOC version is at first year undergraduate level
2. It doesn’t carry any credit
3. It covers similar themes to the first weeks of the full course, though in less depth
4. It has peer assessment, not tutor-marked assessment
5. It’s only 5 weeks long
6. It’s…massive (currently around 25,000 people signed up)
One of the things we’d like to do with the EDC MOOC is to explore ways of linking MOOCs with more ‘mainstream’ distance courses. So students signing up for the full EDC course will have the opportunity to help us run the MOOC during the first few weeks of semester. We thought our students would relish the opportunity to be involved with MOOCs as teachers: the intention is to give those on the full course the chance to engage in the MOOC as teaching assistants in a structured and time-limited way, for one or two weeks of their time on the course.
This is a chance to experience from the inside what ‘massive’ might mean for education and for digital culture, and to experiment a bit with your own MOOC teaching. There probably won’t be another chance to do this coming up soon, so anyone who is interested in MOOCs might well want to consider signing up for the full course for next January.
If you’re not especially interested in MOOCs don’t worry – EDC will still be primarily focused on exploring all that’s most interesting for education in current movements in digital culture. This is the programme’s only ‘open’ course, and one which gets exceptional feedback from students (One student reported, “I can honestly say this is the most fun I’ve ever had on a course. Ever. I’m simply loving every minute of it.”) : )