Curtis J. Bonk: MOOC presentation at BETT 2013

The Bett 2013 show is an event which enables educators to discover new approaches, the latest products and practical guidance for improving and enhancing learning in schools, universities and businesses.

In his energetic presentation (“Taking leadership in mystery of MOOCs and the mass movement toward open education”) at the show, Curtis J. Bonk (Professor of Instructional Systems Technology in the School of Education at Indiana University) talked about the “mystery” of MOOCs. Professor Curt is a popular conference speaker with several books in the area of emerging technologies for learning. 

You can find some of my notes from that session below:

Professor Curt expressed his concern that most of the attention focused on MOOCs is putting an emphasis on marketing and not pedagogy. Moreover, he said that, although only a small percentage of MOOC participants actually finish a course successfully, that is a small percentage of a huge number. In other words, this is a life changing technology, offering huge potential for accessibility and opening the world for learning.

Professor Curt’s #15 MOOC Leadership Principles:

  1. Be first – pioneer, be innovative
  2. Offer something novel or distinct
  3. Take risks
  4. Rethink courses, assessment, students, certification etc.
  5. Form symbiotic relationships with other institutions
  6. Offer incentives for participation
  7. Collect testimonials from students and experts
  8. Set bold, audacious goals
  9. Set newsworthy records
  10. Generate media attention
  11. Build on your strengths and niche areas
  12. Don’t make rash decisions
  13. Be proactive in addressing concerns
  14. Give something away
  15. Ask questions – what is the purpose, who is the audience, alumni, strategic planning

Professor Curt’s #15 MOOC Types:

  1. Alternative admission system, hiring MOOC
  2. Just in time skills
  3. Theory or trend driven – experiment with a MOOC before making the official module
  4. Professional development
  5. Loss leader – a starter, beginner’s course
  6. Degree or program qualifier or system bottleneck – supporting weaker students
  7. Personality MOOC – offered by famous or distinguished individuals
  8. Name branding MOOC – offered by sponsors
  9. Good will MOOC – for the public, opening up learning
  10. Interdisciplinary MOOC – collaboration across disciplines and practices
  11. Recruitment MOOC – for companies
  12. Conference MOOC – extend a conference or seminar online after it’s ended
  13. Rotating, reusable, repeatable MOOC – make it a “green” MOOC
  14. Oral history MOOC – crowd sourcing users to tell their side of the story
  15. Remedial course MOOC

Professor Curt’s #13 MOOC Business Plans and Models:

  1. Advertisers underwrite courses and degrees
  2. Small and flexible application or enrolment fee
  3. Course assessment fee
  4. Certificate fee
  5. Enhanced course fee – for the online, eLearning bit
  6. Option for university credit
  7. Company sponsored
  8. Percent of first year salary
  9. Sell or lease courses
  10. Share revenues – professors, universities, companies
  11. Free entryway course
  12. Charge fee for student data
  13. Design hardware, software, services for MOOCs

Professor Curt’s #11 MOOC Instructor Guidelines:

  1. Plan out your course, prepare, your reputation is on the line, be thick skinned
  2. Designate feedback providers and tasks – peers, practitioners, experts
  3. Offer ample feedback in week one – retention rate goes up if you do
  4. Alternative forms of feedback – machine,volunteer, self, peer, alumni
  5. Gather geographical data
  6. Form groups and social supports
  7. Combine sync and async instruction
  8. Arrive early for any sync sessions
  9. Allocate ample Q&A time
  10. Share resources
  11. Personalise where possible

Additional Resources:

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