Next Generation MOOCs: Perspectives from the Learning Sciences

A Lecture Series on the Prospects and Possibilities of Massive Open Online Courses

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have taken higher education by surprise, some courses with over a hundred thousand registered students. Now that the first wave of MOOC courses has been offered and analyzed, what will the next generation of MOOCs look like?

Next Generation MOOCs is organized by Dr. Yasmin Kafai and Dr. Susan Yoon of Penn GSE's Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division with generous support from the University of Pennsylvania Office of the Provost, the Penn Graduate School of Education, and C4 Learning Sciences.


Past Lectures

The Open Learning Initiative - Wave 2

Candace Thille, Senior Research Fellow, Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning; Assistant Professor, The Graduate School of Education at Stanford University; Founding Director, Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University
April 25, 2014
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Graduate School of Education
Room 203
3700 Walnut Street
University of Pennsylvania
Watch the Video


Abstract:
Using intelligent tutoring systems, virtual laboratories, simulations, and frequent opportunities for assessment and feedback, The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) has been creating and evaluating open web-based learning environments for over ten years. The OLI environments also serve as a laboratory for fundamental research on learning. This talk will discuss how the OLI makes use of expertise from cognitive and learning sciences to produce high-quality learning environments, how the environments are collaboratively built by teams of faculty from multiple colleges, and how studies of student use inform both the next iteration of the environment and the underlying learning theory. It will present examples from OLI courses and discuss results from several OLI learning effectiveness studies. It will also discuss findings from recent MOOC research in the Lytics Lab and describe the next phase of OLI at Stanford University.

Candace Thille is a senior research fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning and an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. She is the founding director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and at Stanford University. Dr. Thille serves as a redesign scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation; as a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education; on the Assessment 2020 Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine; on the technical advisory committee for the Association of American Universities STEM initiative; and on the board of directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She served on the U.S. Department of Education working group, co-authoring the National Education Technology Plan, and on the working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology that produced the Engage to Excel report.


Design and Development of Project and Case Based MOOCs in educational technology and games

Eric Klopfer, Professor, Director, Scheller Teacher Education Program, and Director, The Education Arcade at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
April 14, 2014
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Graduate School of Education
Room 200
3700 Walnut Street
University of Pennsylvania
Watch the Video


Abstract:
Teaching pedagogy and design through MOOCs provides a series of unique challenges including modeling good pedagogy online, fostering constructive feedback, and facilitating collaboration.  These are the challenges that we face in developing and delivering a series of short (5-6 weeks long each) MOOC modules on the design of educational technology, games and the ultimate goal, which is the intersection of the two - educational games.  The modules that we are developing are all project-based courses, in which the course leads up to a final project (a design document or game), which itself will serve as evidence of course completion.  The weekly units are based on documentary style case studies of design of products and projects, rather than lectures, and are  supported by online interactive tools for development. The question is in what ways can we enhance learning and produce better student projects in a broad audience.  Challenges that we face include how to encourage productive collaboration, feedback and learning in these environments. 

Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. Klopfer's research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The games that he works on are designed to build understanding of scientific practices and concepts as well as critical knowledge, using both mobile and web-delivered game platforms.  In the realm of simulations, Klopfer's work focuses on students understanding complex systems through, and connecting computer programming with scientific practice, critical  thinking, and real-world issues. He is the co-author of the books, "Adventures in Modeling", "The More We Know, as well as author of "Augmented Learning." Klopfer is also the co-founder and on the board of the non-profit Learning Games Network (www.learninggamesnetwork.org).


Improving Diversity and Preparing Teachers: Dealing with the Limitations of MOOCs 

Mark Guzdial, Professor, College of Comupting, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 12:00-1:30pm
Silverstein Forum
Stiteler Hall
207 South 37th Street
University of Pennsylvania
Watch the Video

 The current generation of MOOCs have significant limitations in meeting important needs, especially those in computing education. Computer science is overwhelmingly male and white or Asian. Only one out of twelve high schools in the United States has a computer science teacher. While MOOCs began in computer science and many MOOCs teach computer science, they are even less diverse than face-to-face CS classes, and high school teachers are in the demographic least likely to complete a MOOC. We have been developing mechanisms for addressing these problems, so that we can meet the needs of computing education to diversify and prepare teachers, on-line and at large scale. We use subgoal labeling to improve learning from videos, low cognitive load activities for learning programming, and a schedule-negotiate approach to pacing on-line courses. 

Mark Guzdial, is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on learning sciences and technology, specifically, computing education research. He has published several books on the use of media as a context for learning computing. He was the original developer of the "Swiki" which was the first wiki designed for educational use. He serves on the ACM's Education Council, and is on the editorial boards of the "Journal of the Learning Sciences," "ACM Transactions on Computing Education," and "Communications of the ACM." With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award.  He was also the recipient of the 2012 IEEE Computer Society Undergraduate Teaching Award.


BIG OPEN ONLINE COURSES: SCALING UP PARTICIPATORY LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

Daniel T. Hickey, Associate Professor and Director, Learning Sciences, Indiana University
Monday, January 27, 2014, 12:00-1:30pm
Silverstein Forum
Stiteler Hall
207 South 37th Street
University of Pennsylvania
Watch the Video

An innovative open online course on Educational Assessment was offered freely to up to 500 students by Indiana University in Fall 2013 via Google’s Course Builder platform.  This presentation will show how this “BOOC” scaled up interactive features that had previously been refined in a conventional online course.  Reflecting situative theories of cognition, learning was contextualized using “wikifolios,” a current text, open educational resources, networking groups, and peer comments, endorsements, & promotions.  Learning was assessed via reflections and conventional exams. Success was motivated and acknowledged via open digital badges containing detailed evidence of participation and learning.  The presentation will also (a) describe the experiences of the subset of students who completed the course for credit, (b) summarize participation, outcomes, & evaluations, and (c) describe how these features are being further streamlined for use in massive courses with thousands of students. More information is at www.RemediatingAssessment.blogspot.com  and a “sandbox” version of the course is at https://booc-stage.appspot.com/course.

Daniel T. Hickey is an Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University and a  Research Scientist in the Center for Research on Learning and Technology. He completed his Ph.D in Psychology at Vanderbilt University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Performance Assessment at Educational Testing Service. He uses design-based research methods to study situative approaches to assessment, motivation, and accountability in technology-based learning environments. He is currently leading the Digital Badges Design Principles Documentation project with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, and the Big Open Online Course project with the support of Google.