Notes from Centre Jacques Cartier seminar on MOOCs, Lyon, France

Summary notes from the conference in Lyons - most of it was in French (except the Tony Bates talk) so there may be some inaccuracies in my notes. 

John Daniel
MOOCs: Comment Sortir du Labyrinthe?

- MOOCs - created in Canada
    - a revolution in higher education
    - an evolution, not a revolution (much like Paris 1968)

- MIT electronics course
    - 340 perfect scores, incl. a 15-year old from Mongolia
    - final exam was "very difficult"
    - but he had to retake the course at the MIT campus
    - the 'MOOC revolution; is that elite universities opted for openness
    - but: universities have not found a sustainable way to fund MOOCs
        - costs: $50K, revenue: 0

- USA - public universities are in difficulty
    1. in 2012 registrations declined
    2. Fee inflation
    3. Middle class earnings not increasing
    4. 46% fee increase in 10 years
    5. Financing down
    6. fees as a proportion of revenue 62%
    7. Fees discount an additional 50% reductoion
    8. Student debt has doubled since 2007
    9. Student loan debt has reached a billion dollars
    10. taux de bebot 17%
    11. 53% of diplomas without employment
    12. parents
    13. 46% of university students do not complete
        - it is not evident that MOOCs will solve these problems
        - doesn't solve budget problems, nor completion problems
        - MIT etc. 'copycat' MOOCs
        - like a stampede
        - xMOOCs

- 2014 - evaluation of MOOCs have started to arrive
    - what do we need?
    - most important - combat les chausane de jeunes
        - it's a generation without employment
        - it's very bad in Europe
    - economists: break down cartels, build bridges between education and work
        - do MOOCs provide the tools for this?
    - 2009 - world congress on weducation:
        - understanding teh demand for higher education
        - new dy6namic: diversity offerings
        - higher ed post-traditional
        - MOOC - subjects relevant to work
            - recognition of success
            - xMOOCs - created respectivity to online learning
                - if it's good for Harvard it's good for us
    - multiplication of MOOC platforms
    - expansion of MOOCs outside North America

- Commonwealth of KLearning
    - MOOC on mobiles for development - started Oct 2013 - V. Balaji
        - 500 subscriptions from sub-sahara africa, etc
        - used multiple-choice tests
- Taylor's Unibversity, KL, Malaysia
    - 2 MOOCs - Entrepreneurship, Emoptional Intelligence
    - influencesd by cMOOCs CCK08
    - they underestimated the response - most people were from the west, looking for an Asian perspective

- Academic Partnerships - MOOC2Degree
    - to now, assisting universities make online degree programs
    - aim - to have them graduate at rates at elast as good as on campus
    - eg. University of Texis Arlington
    - Free+Open for credit
    - the uni gets no revenue from the MOOC, but gets revenue from following enrollments

- Jeffrey Young - Chronicle - "Beyond the MOOC Hype"
    - most people in moocs already had diplomas
    - the demantelement the higher ed
    - eg. OERu - launched Nov 1 2013
    - use OERs to obtain recognized credits - 'aanchor partners'

- France Universite Numeric
- Question of quality
    - Academic Partnership - Guide to Quality in Online Learning
    - structure: reponse to 16 questions
        - concentrates on more structured formss of learning (vs eg. iTunes U)
        - partners: Coursera, FutureLearn, AP
    - but - the university remains responsible for quality
    - studnet perspective, coproduction of students in their education
    - list of elements of quality - eg. course structure, rogor of the exam, etc
    - criteria for students: good tutorial, good tech
    - 2nd Guide - guide to quality in post-traditional higher education
        - new types of recognition, eg. badges
        - challenge: how it can be superior to traditional higher education
    - problems created by the ex[pansion of the term 'open'
        - rapid innovation, less bureaucracy
        - but - no quality assurance, contrecoup
    - a 'quality platform' for post-traditional higher ed
- How to exit the maze
    - put learning at the heart of institutions
    - MOOCs with badges and REL
    - a method for recognizing quality

    - 'open' - George - Courseras, etc. - not 'open'
    - working on policies, etc., to stimulate production of OERs
        - eg. BC - policy to produce and use OERs
    - question of what FutureLearn will say
    - a lot of people use the term MOOc to refer to all online learning

    - on the number of people who already had degrees
        - they are the first to know of the existence of MOOCs etc
        - but now look at eg. FutureLearn students
        - it's normal to see this pattern

Tony Bates
Making MOOCs really useful

- drivers of change

- new skills:
    - knowledge management - how to find, apply & use information
    - independent learning
    - critical thinking
    - IT skills embedded in subject (ie subject-specific IT)
    - modern communications skills - eg how to create a youtube video
    - team work
        - are we teaching to those skills?

- credit-based online course - steady 10% increase pa, compared to 1-3%
- quality standards - has a list of 25 quality standards
    - process-focused
    - most are completely unknown to teachers online
        - esp. those going into MOOCs

- Ontario experience
    - 85-95% completion rates (about 5% less than in-person)
    - most of these institutions use best practices

-standards vs innovation
    - tried & true, we know they work, but only in a fixed conext
    - more risky, and needed
        - MOOCs = a massive innovation

- blended & hybrid learning
    - now, tends to be a 'flipped' classroom
    - problem: students don't watch the lecture before the class
    - but you can do more - send students out to find material, & then return to classroom
    - raises question: why get on the bus?

- mobile learning - future of online learning
    - affordances - things you can't do in the classroom - eg., go out and do stuff
    - in developing countries - cheap phones
    - costs $2 to download an 8 minute Youtube video

- OER - licnesed with CC - "protects the rights of the faculty member"
    - open access mandate - vs publishers charging to publish
    - but they're not courses
    - you don't have open course designs

- Sims - web 2.0 - etc.
    - from a pedagogical perspective, this is the most important element of all
        - students find stuff, the content is out there on the internet
        - why create it if it's already there?
        - assessment through e-portfolio

- MOOCs - how much do MOOCs address those issues?
    - started with cMOOCs, evolved to xMOOCs (knowledge transfer)
    - easy to access, minimal costs, high-quality content
    - "nobidy would expect to take an exam after watching the history channel"
    - all for MOOCs if they are not designed to undermine HE system

- But - massive non-completion rates - but if they're not after a qualification, who cares?
    - lack of student support
    - difficult to assess
    - poor online pedadogy
    - massive hubris - the president of Carnegie Mellon says, "there's no research in online learning"
- MOOCs in content - open learning 40 years online learning 25 years
    - but the research encompases 1,000 journals
    - the xMOOCs are all driven by computer science
    - MOOCs fine for non-formal university education
        - but if they want to do for-credit they have to account for the reserach

- Three basic of online learning
    1.  teaching, pedagogy - I have to transfer knowledge - or, is knowledge constructed?
        - lectures are a terrible way to teach - but MOOCs do this
        - they don't transmit 21st century skills
        - (explanation of 'knowledge is constructed')
            - how do you push them beyond the surface to the deeper knowledge?
            - it's not experiental knowledge, it's abstract learning
            - 'scaffolding' to move from the known to the unknown
            - to develop skills, students need to practice, and get feedback on skills
            - the instructor becomes more of a guide than a facilitator
            - on a massive skill, knowledge as transmission is easy, but knowledge as construction is hard
                - that's why MIT won't give credit - students don't get the "magic of the campus"
    2. learner support
        - to get the ttype of knowledge, students need structured activities
            - reserach, discuss, evaluate, do
            - instructors' online presence critical
                - knowing someone is out there is a huge motivator
                - needs high level of expertise
    3. cost
        - for a fully online masters program - full cost recovery per-course payment
            - course development 13 percent
            - delivery 36 percent
        - learner support is the really expensive part of online learning
            - MOOCs - high development costs - $100K+
                - maintenance - $30K
- Suggestions for better MOOCs

    1. pedagogy
        - design so students evaluate, apply develop high level skills
        - faculty as teaching cosnultatnts - oversee learner support
        - monitor peer-to-peer learning following bets practices

    2. learner support
        - increase faculty online presence - eg. text or video clips
        - judicious 'massive' online intervention in discussion/assessments
        - greater use of well-trained adjuncts (not TAs) supervised by faculty
        - computer modeling of scaffolding
            - how can we take students from the known to the unknown

    3. redistribute & rethink costs
        - get away from development & production
        - put more into learner support
        - do MOOCs have to be free? $10 puts a lot of money in
        - could you outsource learner support (w/ link to quality controld, learner accreditation)
        - identify high-cost areas and seek quality computer-solutions to address these?
            - but we've been working on AI for a long time
                & all we have are baank tellers and voice-mail trees
        - get students to find & apply information
        - get students to demonstrate learning through multimedia and assess

- MOOCs are not the answer
    - xMOOCs are driven by technology: lecture capture
    - deep learning requires knowledge construction

    - we need a more market-driven approach to teaching tech/choice
        - what do employers need?
        - what do individual students need?
    - all teaching will incorporate digital media
    - rethink campus experience
        - describes commuter campus in TO (York?)
        - maybe we should engage them with hybrid learning
        - the biggests de students at UBC were final-year students

- Will MOOCs democritize hugher ed
    - elite campuses for the rich, MOOCs for the rest?
    - will MOOCs have anything to do with overall income inequality?

- Q on 21st century skills
    - learning history by doing the things that hostorians do
        (example - groups, etc - he changed his teaching method)


Anick Suzor-Weisner

Agence  Universitare de la Francophionie
780 members, 6 institutes, HQ in Montreal

FOAD - Formation ouverte a distance
CLOM - Cours en ligne ouvert et massif
FLOT - Formation en ligne ouverte a tous (portail Ocean)
TICE - Technologie de l'information et de la communication pour l'education

- will guve a short history of MOOCs
- and talk about how to integrate them without fanaticism

22 years of online learning
    - 1st francophone digital campus - 1991 Dakar (Senegal)
    - FOAD - support for universities in the south
    - AUF - support for southern universities:
        - grants to institutions
        - bursaries
    - project management MOOC - 300 people, certification in Dakar and Ougadougou
    - collaboration with FUN (France University Numerique), RESCIF (formations d'ingenieurs), Ocean

Campus Numeriques Francophones (CNF)
    - 44 cnf - 22 offer southern university campuses

3 volets (flaps)
    1. creation of FOAD for employability
    2. creation of CLOMs - MOOCs
        - using the FUN platform
    3. Creation of a masters in TICE faavoring hybridization

Principles: sharing of competences, partnering, networking
    - reinforce the competences of the south
    - evolve teacher pedagogies
    - develop scientific content in french
    - support international influence (rayonnement) of institutions from the south
    - open the university to new publics
    - contribute to the resolution of the problem of massification of higher education

Some signals from Canada, USA
    - Coursera, global learning Hubs
    - Georgia Tech, $6,600 MSC in computer scuence, in MOOCs, partner with Udacity
        - AT&T is donating $2M to get the program going
    - the Thrun article in which he recants...
        - San Jose not as selective as Standord...
        - blaming the students because they're poor
        - the MOOC was not adapted to their target market

Etudes des formations hybrides (Richard canal, J.F. Lancelot, et al)
    - IFIC - Institute de la francophonie pour l'ingenerir - created by AUF, located in Tunis
        - 3 categories of students:
            1. tourists - not engaged
            2. attendees - they do the work but are not completely involved
            3. those who manage their own projects - who are deeply engaged
    - formation de formateirs et Recherche
    - EdX only platform supported by FUN (RECIF launched by the EFPL uses Coursera)
        - when Coursera hosts courses, it tracks all the students, Coursera gets all the data


Round Table
   Tony Bates, John Daniel, Richard Hotte, Anick Suzor-Weisner

- some pedagogical cultures are strangers to each other, eg. presentational and distance learning
- communities of practice were a failure - one can create the community but not the practice

- Daniel - I don't pretend to be a mooc taxonomist
- Bates - it seems to me that MOOCs represent a step backwards
    - online discussion forums - were nice because everybody could participate
    - MOOCs - trying to create a central nexus for thousands of people
        - question for MOOC - how do you group people together? maybe by themselves eg. all in Lyon
        - in a credit-based course, takes a long time to form groups themselves,
            - so they just get placed in groups
        - my first course 1500 students in 1988 - put them together & it was chaos
        - the other way - students don't come into a group, you just link them
        - it comes back to, what is the purpose of a group, what are the skills

- about communities of praactice, please expand on the reasons for success or failure
    - success - community about programming
    - a community emerges from a need
    - I saw colleagues trying to create communities of practice
        - the focus was on gathering people then trying to animate them
        - it didn't work

- Daniel - case at OU where it was concluded for a communiy of practice to exist, it had to be an experiment
    - just letting people chat won't lead to a community of practice

- Collaboration of online learning
- Bates - long history of trying to get universities to collaborate, that fail
    - eg. Canadian Open University
    - most successful - online universities Australia
    - no reason not to do it with MOOCs but it's hard to get unis to collaborate
- Anick - nothing stops a MOOC - we are going toward certification
    - topics we can include, some modules north, some south, etc
- other guy - it is difficult to export MOOCs
    - we talked about our social justice web course, that is pretty much a MOOC
    - one student asked where the assessment is - answer, it is everywhere
    - teaching is kind of a handicraft - same course, different teacher = different course

- Q - different model - chorale MOOC, making different experts collaborate on the same object; it would be interesting to have experts collaborate in one MNOOC

- A - Bates - there is the model of OERu
    - it's up to each university whether to accept another's courses
    - it has to go through the Senate, and is very difficult
- Daniel - OERu seen as challenging because it undermines their cost structure

3 questions about engineering
- what is the maximum size for opedagogical quality
- what importance do we give to engineering MOOCs?
- can re reduce cpsts without reducing quality by using MOOCs?

Richard - repsonse is the same -  any training must be developed as a system
    - it has to be thought through originallu - knowledge, assistance and the course
    - courses are submitted to the pedagogical board
    - it takes a year to build a course
    - it's difficult to imagine doing this in ever-changinbg MOOCs
Daniel - no limit to size
    - when it becomes a million, it becoems really difficult from an administrative point of view
    - it's possible to add groups and tutors indefinitely - but it has costs
    - need either a computing solution or bigger groups to reduce the need for the tutors
Bates - instructional design - successful courses have strong ID process with a team working
    - traditionally, it can take 9 months to design a course (you can design for those numbers)
    - demand exceeds supply - there's no question of layoffs, etc - but MOOCs are not an easy cheap solution

Questions related to the quality of MOOCs - what are the 3 characatreistics of a perfect MOOC?

Answer - Daniel - depends on whether I am the teacher or the learner ;)
    - interesting topic - eg. 'Flat Mind'
    - following a MOOC with a friend would intterest me
    - it would be interesting to see MOOCs as a means of making DL on a massive scale
Bates: designed by downes by not taught by him
    - non-credit not for diploma
    - a topic that you can't find information on elsewhere
Richard: identify the target audience - if we design courses for everybody, what will be inside?
    - identify the time spent on themes
    - the means to deliver this well

Bates - the more I hear of this discussion the more I think we shouldn't let universities anywhere near MOOCs
    - eg. measles - wouldn't a Red Cross MOOC about measles become that much more useful?
    - MOOCs would be idea to bring the public into policy discussion
    - thewhole idea of taking a massive could for credit seems wrong for me
    - doesn't mean it's good just ebcause stanford and MIT do it

Q - do you think the existing model of MOOCs would help people to find jobs?
Anick - I would be worried about the credentials of someone who followed a MOOC and did not get the same social comprehension as a student
Richard - there are pedagogical cultures recognized and others not recognized  - in computer science, our students are much better. Why? They use the tools that they learn about. They have to communicate with computers while learninbg the programming language. We forget that everyone has their own community.
Daniel - among the millions in my courses there are examples of people with successful job interviews - but what proportion? MOOCs may be right for young people but not for older people.
Bates - xMOOC - could not get you a job?
    - can cMOOCs - no, they help you in your current job
    - can online learning get you a job? yes

Q - millions of peoploe take moocs - following economics, the value of a MOOC credential will decrease
    - if the aim is massification, what would the resulting value be?

Richard - in West Africam I see university boards in panic about not having enough positions for students
    - we can't be afraid of the massification

Daniel - two parts - 2025: 100M+ students in state universities through regulat enrollment
    - in Africa,how do we do this?
    - the private sector will find the answer for this - it is going to answer the need
    - the private sector is beinbg ignored by NGOs - it has to change
    - everybody - i8ncl. the private sector - has to be considered on the same level
    - eg. University of Phoenix

Anick - there is a geograophical answer. Have enough people locally with the low-level certifications, and maintain them locally.
    - World Bank realizes higher education is necessary, not just literacy
    - we are far from saturation
    - I also think we cannot do without the private sector
Bates - we should start with the problem, not the solution
    - we have huge demand for education around the world, but not always university education
    - no easy solution to these problems - wrong to think of MOOC as the one solution
    - connection bewteen development problems and educational problems
        - collecting taxes, that can be a problem in many countries
    - worst thing to do is to come up with a cheap 2nd best solution for developing countries

I would remark that I am fascinated by the appeal to the private sector whenm their contribution is to make things more expensive

The problem
    - education or empowement?

Q - MOOCs not a pedagogical tool - they are a tool for uni presidents to differentiate themselves
    - they are about distinctiveness and promotion for the university
    - universities will be investing less and less into MOOCs
    - what can we learn about MOOCs for the post-MOOC era that is ahead

Daniel - Harvard did a service by showing MOOCs were not a second-tier business

Richard - Many MOOCs are a pedogical experiment
    - challenge to model of one teachier teaching one course in one university
    - xMOOCs are going to disappear - but there is hope cMOOCs will remain
Bates - how can computer scientists help us scale up - but for that computer scientists have to be more humble
    - like organizing groups on a large scale, very quickly, such that they gell
    - some elements of assessment - don't like computer-marked essay writing, because it doesn't work very well

Assessment - Daniel - 155 years ago - University of London - did only assesment - 5 nobel prozes
    - but we're sory of drifting back toward that (assessment-only)
    - but the one-professor model is very deeply rooted
    - but in the US there is an emphasis on learning outcomes
    Private sector - high costs - because pub sector such high cost
    - it all depends - it depends on what kind of learning you want to assess
        - eg. knowledge construction - hard to separate - because it's a cycle
        - I was lucky to have small university classes
        - for some levels you will need that - but not for all levels
   Richard - I don't see how we could decouple assessment from learning
        - assessment takes place in specific paces - int eh course, in projects
        - it's very integrated
    Anick - in Paris metro there's a startion called "maison des examens"
        - continuous assessment is important


  1. Great notes, Stephen. I'm glad you were able to stay awake! I wasn't


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