Collaborative MOOC Design: Insights and Lessons Learned

Beirne, Elaine, Brown, Mark and Nic Giolla Mhichíl, Mairéad (2021) Collaborative MOOC Design: Insights and Lessons Learned.


MOOCs are not new but the on-going pandemic has seen dramatic increases in MOOC creation and enrolments (Shah 2020). Designing, developing and implementing a MOOC can raise a number of challenges relating to pedagogy, resources, and logistics, which can be further accentuated when collaborating with others. This presentation will reflect on the design and implementation of two collaborative MOOC initiatives in the area of digital upskilling for specific cohorts (i.e. higher education students and those in cultural or creative industries) and report on the key lessons learned.

The first initiative is a MOOC entitled, A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner, developed by a team of experienced online educators and researchers in Dublin City University’s (DCU) National Institute of Digital Learning (NIDL) in collaboration with the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the DCU Students Union. This MOOC responds to the challenges faced by students who began or continued their higher education online this year as a result of Covid-19 and aims to support these students in becoming effective online learners. The first iteration launched on the FutureLearn platform in September 2020 and attracted over 6,400 enrolments. The second initiative is a series of MOOCs being developed by a consortium of eight European partners as part of the Erasmus+ project, DigiCulture. The MOOCs in this series are aimed at individuals and groups in the cultural and creative sector and focus on the development of digital skills relevant to their needs.

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