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On Thursday 25 November, Kathy Pugh (edX Vice President of Education Services) and Remy Mansfield (edX Education Program Manager) sat down with members of the HKU Working Group on MOOCs and the EPSU to discuss MOOC development – past, present and future. Kathy, spearheading Education Services globally for edX, enthusiastically explained how edX has been consistently strengthening its position in China. Remy, who was already known to the EPSU as the face of edX training webinars, announced that he would be assuming the role of HKU’s edX Programme Manager and spoke about some exciting developments on course design and new features of the platform.

Firstly edX is preparing to roll out mobile device support which will enable learners to take their studies with them as they travel. Kathy and Remy also spoke of improvements in the learner experience for those based in China, such as consolidation of the video-delivery process which should enhance the Chinese learner experience and has the potential for opening up the platform. In addition to the learner-focused innovations, edX also pointed to how they will be streamlining the video production process for MOOC developers, good news for all of those involved in video production for courses. The EPSU took advantage of this great opportunity to discuss other potential improvements to the platform with Kathy, such as increased flexibility of activity types and more interactive exercises. A fruitful discussion ensued, leaving all parties positive about the developmental roadmap.

All in all, a positive discussion that was good for edX, good for HKU and great news for our online learners.

A post from the e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU)

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Message from Working Group on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

ONLINE REGISTRATION

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Abstract
During this discussion, Mariel will dig into the motivations for faculty creating MOOCs and the value of courses to faculty and students. She will share major lessons that Coursera as a company has learned from faculty, and how Coursera is using these lessons to adjust its platform. Finally, she will highlight some general best practices and areas for innovation and experimentation in MOOCs.

Speaker: Ms. Mariel Reed
Coursera Partnership Manager and Co-Founder of Lean In Beijing
Time: 5 Dec 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Venue: 230, 2/F, Knowles Building

About the speaker
Mariel Reed manages Coursera’s university partnerships with schools in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She has many aliases; she’s known as “Mari” in English, 李曼玉 in Mandarin, and “Mad Dog” from her pirating days on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She was raised by the sea but after studying International Politics at Georgetown University, she headed to teach and trace the Silk Road in Xinjiang, China, through Princeton in Asia. From there, she navigated the international philanthropy and health education landscapes from Beijing and cut her teeth as a community builder. A co-founder of Lean In Beijing, she’s passionate about women’s empowerment. She has deep faith in the power of education and the development of people, and is excited to be at Coursera helping to push the boundaries of what is possible in education around the world.

ONLINE REGISTRATION

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Message from Working Group on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

red

Abstract
In this discussion, Mariel will offer reflections and lessons about the things she cares about most: the development of people and the US-China relationship. She will share how these themes have shaped her experiences as an educator, community-builder, and start-up employee across Washington, D.C. to Xinjiang, China, to Beijing, China, and finally to Silicon Valley.

Speaker: Ms. Mariel Reed
Coursera Partnership Manager and Co-Founder of Lean In Beijing
Time: 5 Dec 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Venue: G.02, Ground Floor, Central Podium
All students are welcome

About the speaker

Poster Download

Poster Download

Mariel Reed manages Coursera’s university partnerships with schools in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She has many aliases; she’s known as “Mari” in English, 李曼玉 in Mandarin, and “Mad Dog” from her pirating days on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She was raised by the sea but after studying International Politics at Georgetown University, she headed to teach and trace the Silk Road in Xinjiang, China, through Princeton in Asia. From there, she navigated the international philanthropy and health education landscapes from Beijing and cut her teeth as a community builder. A co-founder of Lean In Beijing, she’s passionate about women’s empowerment. She has deep faith in the power of education and the development of people, and is excited to be at Coursera helping to push the boundaries of what is possible in education around the world.


In a highly-engaging seminar organised by Information Technology Services, Professor Jeff Haywood (VP, CIO & Librarian, University of Edinburgh) shared his experiences, lessons learnt and predictions relating to MOOCs and university education.

Professor Haywood began his talk by outlining where digital education was at ten years ago: mainstreaming virtual learning environments (VLEs); employing learning activity management systems (LAMS) as a main model for course design; integrating e-portfolios into teaching and learning; and underpinning reflections of the use of technology with the ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ rhetoric. Since then, there has been a substantial explosion in online applications and identities, evidenced by the open educational resource (OER) movement and the leaps in interconnectivity of people and information. No wonder then that MOOCs have entered the educational arena alongside a range of other innovations and paradigms such as gamification, virtual worlds, e-textbooks and adaptive learning.

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Professor Haywood explained that these technologies and approaches are likely to move through a ‘hype cycle’, and that perceptions and actualisations of MOOCs, like other innovations, are likely to shift over time. It was therefore incredibly interesting to hear about how MOOCs are being leveraged at the University of Edinburgh to, amongst other things, build institutional reputation as an early adopter, explore new pedagogical ‘spaces’, share development experiences, and increase the university’s reach. With 16 MOOCs built and 19 MOOCs under construction, the University of Edinburgh has drawn on a huge amount of data to reflect on ways in which learners are engaging with this online environment and forecast probable MOOC developmental pathways. A few of these pathways could include: MOOCs being integrated into the university curriculum; MOOCs as an auto-cohorted group study; or MOOC content and curriculum taught by another college, university or tutor as a small private online course (SPOC).

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Professor Haywood closed the seminar by taking a step back and proposing the question of what the ‘traditional’ university will look like in the coming years. The growth of technology-rich teaching and elearning environments which include on- and off-campus components for a broad range of learner types appeared to be a key theme in this discussion. Many thanks to Professor Haywood for sharing his valuable insights and we look forward to future collaborations!

A post from the e-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU)

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