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Diversity brings opportunity

Here in EMMA we have learnt a lot in our first year of operation and top of the list is that providing MOOCs in multiple languages from lots of different providers can be really challenging as well as exciting. But it also provides a lot of opportunities as we move into the next phase of development and start to offer the EMMA platform to other potential MOOC providers in Europe. Meanwhile the current round of MOOCs are doing well and we are about to launch our new May offer which will include the first Open Wine University offered by the University of Burgundy as well as a new MOOC from University of Naples Federico II on Cultural Heritage, Social Innovation and New Citizenship. We are also busy preparing for the eMOOCs conference in Mons in May where we will be on a joint stand with the other leading European MOOC initiatives ECO, OpenupEd, MOOCknowledge and HOME – come and meet us there!

Survey on Student’s Expectations results confirms that EMMA value proposition goes in the right direction
by Chiara Ferrari, IPSOS, Italy

In our October issue, we discussed how the EMMA partnership is developing insight into how learners interact with the platform and what they expect to gain from the wide offer of MOOCs now available.

As our readers might remember, several of the unique features offered by EMMA were the subject of questions of particular interest for partners: one of them being the multilingual approach supported by the Automatic Speech Recognition and Machine Translation for audio and text material included in MOOC courses and provided by the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV).

For students enrolled in the October MOOCs, this is a positively attractive feature, as more than one half of them declare they are willing to take a course in English – 36% as a first choice and 48% as a second option – although their native language is mainly Italian or Spanish (54%).

The fact that all EMMA MOOCs are regularly administered in the original language and in English therefore represents an opportunity both for the partnership to widen the reach of the offer and for learners to practice a specific language while learning.

EMMA’s unique value proposition rests also on a variety of tools which allow students to combine materials from different sources, to create their own learning portfolio. This is why courses have been specifically selected as clustering around a discipline or topic: learners will thus be able to select content from different courses and build an individual course book, in this way they can design their own personal learning path.

Here again the results of the survey support the partners’ idea of offering a Personal Learning Environment: actually 36% of the students surveyed confirm that they will take this opportunity, by selecting and combining content coming from different courses and different teachers.

Now that the spring round of MOOCs has started, more insights are coming in about learners, courses and the platform and its features: we’ll share more of this in the next issues of our newsletter: stay tuned!


EMMA paper selected for flipped classroom presentation
at eMOOCs 2015


The eMOOCs2015 conference has selected the paper “Supporting language diversity of European MOOCs with the EMMA platform” by Francis Brouns and Marco Kalz from the Welten Institute of the Open Universiteit and Nicolás Serrano, Jorge Civera, and Alfons Juan from MLLP of Universitat Politècnica de València for a flipped classroom presentation. In the month running up to the eMOOCs2015 conference, this paper along with 4 other selected papers will be discussed in a pre-conference MOOC “ConfX: EMOOCs 2015 Open Conference”. This MOOC is not only open to the eMOOCs2015 conference participants, but will also be open to the public.
MOOCs are by definition open and tend to attract participants from all over the world. In our paper we argue that this means MOOCs have to be multilingual and multicultural in order to meet the learning goals of the participants. We present the automatic machine translation service that is being developed in EMMA as a means to translate MOOC contents, as a possible solution to generate subtitles for videos in the native language and in English, or in other languages.

To trigger discussion and interaction in the MOOC, we put forward the following statements to participants:
  • Designing MOOCs to be multilingual and multicultural is feasible
  • Automatic translation allows learners to make use of MOOCs as multilingual sources for learning
  • Human intervention is needed to improve the quality of automatic translation
These questions are provided to challenge participants into forming an opinion and providing their feedback. Hashtags for this MOOC are #flip #eMOOCs. The link to this MOOC will be soon announced on the eMOOCS website.

Start: 4 May'15
L: Italian/ English

Start: 4  May '15
L: Italian/ English
Start: 14  May '15
L: Italian/ English
>>all moocs

the Third European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit
- Mons , Belgium -

Expanding Learning Scenarios
- Barcelona, Spain -

29 - 30 October 2015
EADTU Conference
Call for abstracts
submission deadline: 1 May 2015
- Hagen, Germany -

EMMA MOOC on Computer-supported inquiry with high school students

Tallinn University set up and ran their first MOOC “Computer-supported inquiry” on EMMA in recent weeks. This MOOC is mainly aimed at high school students and aims to prepare them for conducting inquiry projects, which is one of the requirements for graduating from high school along with 3 compulsory national exams. This course aims to enhance the students’ knowledge and experience on data collection and analysis methods in order to conduct inquiry tasks in school or university settings. Teachers, who are supposed to supervise inquiry projects at schools, were also welcome to participate in this course. This MOOC lasts for nine weeks and is quite practical in nature. Participants are expected to work with real data sets, perform different data analysis techniques, interpret results and monitor other participants’ tasks weekly.  Read more.

Recording webinar: Exploring different video formats in MOOCs

The recording of the Media & Learning webinar “Exploring different video formats in MOOCs” which was held on 9 April, is now available here. One of the speakers was Deborah Arnold, partner in EMMA, she talked about the approach her multi-media support department takes at the Université de Bourgogne to produce MOOC-specific videos. The second speaker was Annemarie Zand Scholten from the University of Amsterdam, with more useful tips to make effective video for MOOCs based on feedback from her students. Watch the recording.  

EMMA Summer School announced

The European Multiple MOOC Aggregator (EMMA) is happy to announce the EMMA Summer School, taking place from 4-11 July on the beautiful island of Ischia in Italy. The summer school is aimed at anyone interested in setting up and running a MOOC on EMMA. View the programme here or read more

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