MOOC Study Club Summary

The idea behind MOOC Study Clubs was to develop a new and innovative pedagogical approach which would be tested to identify best practices for open and flexible learning, virtual mobility and innovative learning methods thus contributing to the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems.

The study club in case of the DESTINY project is linked to developed online modules (MOOCs) and encourages interaction between learners and teacher/trainers in order to increase efficiency of online courses for mass participation.

The topic of individual MOOCs is based on the previously conducted research on labour market needs research and takes into account local context of each university partner.

The MOOC study clubs were delivered using a different approach across the four HEI involved:

Staffordshire University

An instructional design and pedagogical model was adopted. It included support for students via email, learning material available via the mobile MOOC app or through the web. The delivery mode was a mixture of face-to-face and via the app. Self-learning was encouraged by the content of the MOOC.

The objective was to pilot the Health MOOC prepared by the Staffordshire University pathway team. The expected learning outcome was to gain insight into the fitness of purpose of the MOOC design including the structure and content. The target group were learners on access to an HE Social Science pathway at Newcastle-u-Lyme College.

Participation and success rate was achieved as expected. Destiny UK partners Carl, Sue and Jonathan attended the clubs regularly, and gained a useful insight into the pilot MOOC.

Knowledge and competences were gained and developed. This can be summarised as success in the use of Google Slides converting health content into small chunks of MOOC material and overall success in having the implementation on the Moodle platform.

The learners fed back that they were satisfied with the pilot design and content. They particularly liked the small consumption approach and access via smartphone. Knowledge and competencies gained and developed were evidenced by the study club discussion which introduced appropriate vocabulary and further pointers to information regarding resilience. The group felt they had got something practical from the MOOC.

DOBA University

After 3 weeks of online activities MOOC participants could decide to attend a face-to-face workshop or an online webinar at the end of the MOOC (after gaining theoretical knowledge). The study club was run by a professor specialised for team work and group management.

Study club complemented the MOOC with experiential learning and actual teamwork activities (role plays, simulations) as well as reflection.

Students at DOBA from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia were the target group, although participation in the study club was optional.

All attendees successfully completed tasks in their virtual teams although activities were not graded. Attendees found contents about teamwork very interesting and instructive. Especially they were satisfied with practical orientation given during the session.

Technological Educational Institute of Crete

The registered students met for an hour every week with the responsible teacher to answer their questions. The online format of the module is supported by blocks in order for this communication to occur between all the registered students. Online quizzes released at the end of each session evaluated students understanding and allowed the responsible academic to evaluate them. The course has a hybrid nature, since the online lectures are accompanied by face to face lectures where lecturers from the industry are invited. Self-learning is encouraged by the content of the MOOC.

The Study club piloted the educational MOOC program for optical fiber technology by the TEI of Crete team. The goals were to introduce the fundamental knowledge in fiber optics and applications.

Registered students and teachers found the whole process quite challenging. The language is an issue (especially regarding the accent). The students found it helpful to be able to watch the videos prior to the lecture and during the face to face sessions to be able to solve any enquiries.

University La Laguna

The study club was integrated with the MOOC delivery in the form of weekly face-to-face online tutorials with teachers and professionals via Skype.

The aim of MOOC is provide the basic tools through which to correctly communicate with other people. Encouraging the importance of approachability and enthusiasm in the workplace and providing the keys to successful teamwork and conflict resolution has been the goal of this project. Also, making students aware of the importance of these elements with regards to professional development and to encourage them to put them into practice. The aim of the study club is to complement the MOOC. Providing information and feedback about the importance of transversal skills in the work environment, particularly skills in interpersonal communication, enthusiasm and friendliness and teamwork. To guide and to inform about academic training according to the professional interests of the students.

Students of tourism degrees, tourism graduates and other students from the Universidad de La Laguna attended the sessions.

Students thought the course was well organised and the contents were clear. They did not have problems to follow the course. In particular, they valued positively the automatic evaluation.

 

To summarise, each partner has developed different models of MOOC and consequently also MOOC Study Club. All the models have been adapted to local needs based on the research on labour market needs. Models have been configured differently for each of the four experiences, depending also on partners’ infrastructure and strategy.

All MOOC Study Clubs were integrated into the implementation of partners’ MOOCs. Different models or delivery formats of MOOC Study club were developed to accommodate different needs of target audiences across partner universities, with feedback from students shaping the success of the study club and its relevancy to the MOOC learning experience.

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