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| Published 21. 3. 2014. 12:24 | RSS

CARNet's first mass open online course (MOOC) held

CARNet's first mass open online course, with over 440 participants, has been successfully completed. The course under the title of "CARNet Moodle MOOC" was available to all those interested free of charge, so in addition to CARNet users, numerous attendants from the entire region participated in the course. CARNet Moodle MOOC started January 29 2014 and lasted for 6 weeks.

The attendants spoke highly of the course so we plan to hold the course for a new group of attendants in the autumn and also develop at least one more mass online course.

The course was intended primarily for teachers on all school levels, but also for anyone else who wanted to learn how to design and make an online course on their own in Moodle, the most widespread open source learning management system. In order to use the possibilities of virtual communication to their full extent, the course offered activities interesting to experienced users of Moodle who shared their experiences at online courses with less experienced users in this way.

The attendants could choose which activities to take part in. Based on this, they could earn one or more of the three badges offered: Attendant, Designer or Distinguished Attendant. Eighty attendants obtained the Attendant badge, over seventy obtained the Designer badge and all of the requirements for the Distinguished Attendant badge were fulfilled by around seventy attendants. It would seem that the possibility of obtaining badges further motivated the attendants to learn, and several attendants obtained all three badges.

The contents of the course were enriched with video material that contributed to a faster acquisition and transfer of knowledge about the Moodle tool. A new method of evaluating the attendants' demo courses was implemented in the course. They were not assessed by mentors as it was done previously; instead attendants assessed each other's courses. The attendants were accompanied by eight mentors who initiated discussions, checked the work of the attendants, and answered their queries. The attendant survey gave an insight to the profile of the attendants. A majority of the attendants are female teaching staff in primary and secondary schools with over ten years of experience in teaching. A somewhat smaller number of attendants were in higher education institutions, but also in commercial companies and public institutions. Around 70% of the attendants were CARNet users, a percentage never before recorded on any open mass online course.

The course evaluation questionnaire, as well as the forum with the same subject, provided us with the attendants’ precious feedback that we will use for the further development of future attendant courses, as well as for the development of mass online courses with other topics. The involvement and motivation shown by the attendants during the course, as well as the general satisfaction they expressed in the questionnaire, was very high, indicating that mass open online courses were the right method of professional teaching for teachers in the field of implementing IT in teaching.