Scalable Course Design in MOOCs?

By November 15, 2017English

We all know that the quality of a course be it a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) or any other (open online) course, highly depends on the quality of the course design. Quality is a highly discussed topic in the literature and I don’t really want to go into it in depth but a very simple way of “measuring” the quality of a course design is by listening to the students the course is made for and the teachers who are teaching and maybe even did design the course. Students’ (dis)satisfaction regarding the design can tell you a lot about the impact certain design choices have on the learning experience. Are the learning goals clear (enough)? Do students feel prepared for the final assignment? How did they experience the support and feedback they received during the course?
Designing a course takes a lot of time, effort and expertise and it remains a difficult task since the design options often seem to be endless. Sometimes the design options are rather limited by the technical possibilities of the platform or the environment.
To get insight into educational design practices in MOOCs and to identify scalable best practices we developed an instrument called ‘Educational Scalability Analysis Instrument’. The instrument is developed to analyse the course design from a qualitative perspective and it can be used by teachers, designers but also the students themselves. It contains 48 items (open, closed and mixed questions) which are divided among five variables:

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Author Julia Kasch

PhD student at the Welten Institute (Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology) of the Dutch Open University. Her PhD project is part of the SOONER project which is about the structuration of open online education in the Netherlands. Within her research she focuses on scalability solutions within Open Online Education regarding several aspects such as support, assessment and feedback methods. She is a member of the ICO research school (Interuniversity Center for Educational Sciences) and her background lies in Psychology and Learning Sciences. After completing her Bachelor (2013) and Master (2014) studies at Twente University, she worked at Bartiméus Foundation, as a researcher on a short term project (8 months). The Bartiméus Foundation provides education for blind and visually impaired children and young people. During her work at Bartiméus Foundation, Julia focused on supporting text comprehension, recall and information search in blind and visually students by adapting text designs.

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