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EMMA preparing for new MOOC wave in 2016 with lots of new providers

EMMA partners met in Valencia in December to review progress and talk about the final phase of the project. The platform continues to be improved and the number of MOOCs that have been or currently are available is now up to 25. Plans to integrate new providers are advancing well and EMMA is focusing now on the support of new EMMA MOOC providers for the next round of MOOCs. EMMA is delighted to have the University of Urbino on board for an exciting MOOC starting (in Italian) already on Monday 25 January: Coding in your Classroom, Now!
EMMA partners are also busy reviewing the exploitation plans for the project in the post-funding phase. Pierre Dillenbourg already raises some interesting points around collaboration between MOOC actors and sustainability in this newsletter, plenty of good tips for EMMA! Enjoy reading!

What could European MOOC actors build together

darco janssenby Prof. Pierre Dillenbourg, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne

How to build synergies between the European universities that produce MOOCs? How to add partnership with the other actors (MOOC platforms, the multiple European associations/networks of universities, the EU Commission, etc.)

This question emerged in the very first EMOOC event in Lausanne, in 2013. At that time, this debate was perhaps premature, since most actors were producing their first MOOCs. Even the institutions that had experience in online education, such as the national open universities, had not yet a good understanding of the potential of MOOCs. This phase of exploration is now probably over. Some universities have produced more than 30 MOOCs, and European institutions together must have a catalogue of a few hundreds MOOCs, running either on EU and US platforms. This growth naturally generates expectations: could we turn a mosaic of MOOCs into consistent curricula? Europe has a unique opportunity to build such curricula, Bologna. If we could connect the MOOCs to the ECTS systems, which is running efficiently across the continent, we would produce a fantastic educational ecosystem. Europe has other assets for developing this system, such as multiple cultures and publicly funded universities.

Over the last months, we have discussed this vision with several MOOC-producing universities. All of them were very positive about this collaboration, and yet, we have not yet started implementing cross-European Bologna-compatible MOOC-based curricula. There are indeed several pitfalls on the road. A major obstacle is the development of assessment methods that are sufficiently cheat-proof to give ECTS credits to MOOC finishers, the same credits as for on-campus students. Another difficulty is that the production of MOOCs has so far been bottom-up, and it is not easy to turn a sparse collection of MOOCs into a consistent curriculum: they need to be aligned in terms of contents, target audiences and (perhaps) platforms. The third pitfall is the diversity of strategies across universities: some MOOCs aim at smoothing the transition between high school and university, some target for professional skills that give an immediate added value of the job market, some MOOCs aim to demonstrate academic excellence for attracting top students, etc.

However, I am optimistic. None of these issues is intractable. For instance, if each European university would run proctored examples on its campus, this would create a network of over 800 testing centers on a rather small continent. It is however more reasonable to start small and develop incrementally a network of MOOC-sharing universities. This debate will certainly dominate the year 2016 during MOOC meetings. It will certainly be a central point of discussion of the fourth European MOOC Stakeholders meeting (EMOOCs2016) which will be held in Graz from 22 - 24 February. 

Pierre Dillenbourg is one of the keynote speakers at EMOOCs 2016.

New EMMA MOOC: Coding in your Classroom, Now!    

When we face a problem or have an idea, often we intuitively know the solution but we are not able to formulate an operation that can work in practice. Computational thinking is just that: the ability to imagine and describe a process that will lead to a solution. Learning how to express ideas, by using code, will help us to formulate complex thoughts, and moreover computational thinking provides us tools to support imagination and creativity.

This MOOC is aimed at teachers who look for tools to start coding with their students, but everyone interested can join! The course is both ambitious and simple, it introduces computational thinking in the classroom through coding, using intuitive and fun activities that can be offered directly to students. During the MOOC you get help from peers and the teacher to develop your own classroom coding activities.

Coding in your Classroom, Now!

Start: Monday 25 January 2016
Language: Italian
Duration: 13 Weeks

>>>Enrol in this MOOC


Data Science and Social Research 

International Conference
- Naples, Italy-

22 - 24 Feb 2016

EMOOCs 2016 conference

Fourth European MOOCs stakeholders summit
- Graz, Austria -

Media & Learning 2016
Enriching learning through media education and media literacy
- Brussels, Belgium -

4 - 7 July 2016

Summer School in Sociologies of Education
- Naples, Italy -

>> all events


Start: 25 January '16
L:  Italian

>> all MOOCs


What are your drivers to run a MOOC?

Taken part, run, or produced a MOOC? Take the MOOC survey or pass onto interested colleagues and let's see how we're all using them within Higher Education: This survey aims to understand the effects of MOOCs on institutions in the following areas: impacts that production of MOOCs are having within Institutions, the process of how MOOCs are being implemented and drivers and rationale for producing MOOCs The survey is open until end of January, more information here

OEB talking about the future of MOOCs

The 21st ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN Conference, the largest global conference on technology supported learning and training for the corporate, education and public service sectors, was held in Berlin from 2-4 December 2015. Blended learning and MOOCs occupied a key focus at the conference and one of the hot discussion topics was ‘verification’ and how to harness technology to ensure successful credentialing of online courses. EMMA was present at OEB 2015, sharing a stand with universities of Naples Federico II and Plymouth. The stand showcased their successful innovative projects, including, the first Italian MOOC platform and ENACT, an online game designed to improve negotiating skills. Read more.

Wow! Europe embraces MOOCs

EMMA was at the HOME conference in Rome, on Monday 30 November. Home is one of EMMA’s sister EU-funded projects, working to develop and strengthen European collaboration on MOOCs. The event was by invitation only, and included leading exponents in the field of MOOCs and online education in the European Higher Education Area. Participants submitted position papers beforehand in diverse thematic areas, including Regional MOOC initiatives; Media coverage; Selecting a MOOC platform; Business Models and Pedagogical Approaches. Read more.

>> all news

Evaluation is a problem for MOOCs, as Universities still have the monopoly on credentialing. We need to invent a new form of evaluation for MOOCs that reflects the way we study on MOOCs, which is more about commenting, annotating and recommendation.

Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor Paris University 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle

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