MOOC day: the best-laid schemes #edcmooc


Thanks to cathleen_nardi for this image – her entry for the week 3 competition. Click to favourite this and others!

I mentioned course development and how that worked for us in terms of time commitment in an earlier post (How long did it take you?). I thought at this point it might be useful to follow this up by saying a few things about how we organise our teaching time on this MOOC – I get the sense a few of our participants are curious about this. Partly this is prompted by MB Wall’s question in the forums about ‘instructor compensation’ and how that’s managed in our case. As Jen made clear in her response, Hamish, Christine, Jen and myself are all full-time academic staff (faculty) here at the University of Edinburgh. Jeremy is a full-time PhD student who is researching MOOCs and open education. We all teach on the MSc in Digital Education, and all conduct research in various aspects of education and the digital, so we’re doing our MOOC teaching alongside multiple other tasks. The course does not employ any teaching assistants, though some of our Masters students are contributing to the discussions.

The way we’ve organised ourselves since the MOOC opened, is by each having ‘MOOC day’ – a working day on which we take responsibility for monitoring the discussion forums, and making the blog post here. We’ve also divided up responsibility for each weekly announcement, and seeding the discussion forum with a few questions – we take a week each. This works neatly as there are five of us!

However, that’s not to say this tidy division is absolute – we are all monitoring the twitter feed and the blog posts every day (including weekends and evenings), and we are all dipping into the discussion forums most days too (though we aren’t systematically looking at the student created social spaces – Facebook, G+ and so on). We’re doing this on an ad-hoc basis, but because we are a well-established team and we know how each other works, we feel fairly confident that our coverage of media is reasonably good. However, we know that “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft agley” (see here for translation!) so we’re talking regularly to each other about how things are progressing and whether we need to be adapting what we do.

Sian Bayne



6 thoughts on “MOOC day: the best-laid schemes #edcmooc

  1. one of things I like most about this mooc is your transparency about process and rationale – this is what i understand by ‘open’ education actually, and I think your team is a great example of it – it inspires me to be more ‘open’ about my own teaching practice with my students. I do a weekly summary on my class blog, but I haven’t to go so much into the whys and hows of my practice… I am going to this year, thanks to your model 🙂

  2. Thanks for the kind comments cathleennardi and epurser! @makgregory, we haven’t yet discussed this together but I suspect we’d all be willing to team teach another MOOC (I’m not sure it’d be much fun alone). It’s been a lot of work to do, but that has been more than rewarded by the creativity and energy of the work being done by the participants on EDCMOOC.

  3. I concur with @epurser – the transparency of process has been refreshing.

    And as someone team teaching in a totally online faculty development course, I like your adopted idea of MOOC Day. Mulling that one over.

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