ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Why cope14?

Posted on: März 4, 2014

In Autumn 2013 we started to work on our own MOOC – in this post I want to explain why we decided to create a MOOC, how it will look like and what our objectives are.


2004-05 Siemens wrote about connectivism, an approach which tries to explain how today’s learning processes are organized. 2008 Siemens and Downes started the first MOOC – which was a purely connectivist MOOC (a so-called cMOOC) and tried to give the learners the opportunity to learn in an open, chaotic, rich way – with emergent learning aspects as well. My first MOOC was the change11 MOOC, the „Mother of all MOOCs“ which with it’s 35 weeks gave me an incredible learning experience.

2011 American elite universities discovered MOOCs, Sebastian Thrun of Stanford University changed the pedagogical approach to a more traditional way of teaching (content, mostly via videos – examples, selftests, peer review – online exame), his xMOOC “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” attracted more than 160.000 learners.

In 2012 and 2013 many different MOOCs emerged, The New Yorker claimed 2012 as „Year of the MOOC„.


In 2013 the MOOC hype decreased because the abundance of materials, interactions, ideas in a MOOC were too much for many learners. MOOCs had many many dropouts and didn’t reach the respective target groups (a large part of MOOC learners already had a master degree or more). For further discussion of MOOC learners and dropouts see the proceedings of eMOOCs2014 (research track 2-168, experience track 170-293).


Online moderation and open learning

After experimenting with „mini-moocs“ in 2012 and 2013 I wanted to combine an open, connectivistic approach with the moderating and monitoring competences of my team. I wanted to create a MOOC which is open, which contains abundant materials, ideas, questions and some tasks – but where learners are supported in their learning processes nevertheless. My ideas about how this could work are summarized at the cope14-website.

I went to look for partners at my university and succeeded in finding a colorful mix of personalities for the MOOC. We are creating a hybrid MOOC with open materials and learning possibilities around „Competences of global collaboration #cope14“ – but where learners  who are not confident to share their products and their reflections openly with others can join closed online communities (in facebook and google+) which will be moderated as well.

Objectives of cope14

With our MOOC I want to check if monitoring and moderating activities can help hundreds of learners to feel safer in our MOOC environment and therefore to be able to engage with others more intensively and share their experiences more openly.

At the moment I’m discussing cope14 with teachers of my university and of other universities as well. I want to convince them to send their students into the MOOC and to give them 1 ECTS for participating in the MOOC. In cope14 the students are free to learn what and when and with whom they want – they should experience emergent learning processes. They can use a nickname and are not traceable by their teachers. If they want to get a badge the moderators will check their online activities. I want to investigate if MOOCs can be integrated into formal classes and if it works to combine traditional university learning with connectivist approaches.

Teachers who want to send their students in cope14 are welcome 🙂

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