ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Posts Tagged ‘MOOC

In the BizMOOC project we will create three pilot MOOCs. Last week the project team met in Cardiff at Open University (OU). After doing research and collecting a lot of data for the MOOC book – which went online at the end of February – we are now thinking about our MOOCs. During the partner meeting we had a one day workshop about learning design for MOOCs together with experts from OU – Martin Weller and Ruth McFarlane.

In a sub-group five partners (FH JOANNEUM, AVL List,University of Economics Krakow and Hasso-Plattner-Institut) will develop a pilot MOOC focusing on business key competences.

The learning design word wheel

It was interesting that the experts of OU suggested that we start with the learning design word wheel of Open University and think about ‘meta-aspects’ of our MOOC. Should it be innovative, or demanding, or professional or supporting? This question was a hard one, how can we start to think about this meta-aspects without already knowing the content, the target groups, …

But they forced us to do it their way! As we will build a business MOOC I expected the group to decide for a ‘professional’ MOOC. But in a vivid discussion we chose the word ‘supporting’ which I like very much. In all my learning programmes I aim to support learners. As sub-words we agreed on ‘confidence’ and ‘encouragement’.

If you are interested in the learning design word wheel you can use it at OU website. It’s free to use but probably you have to register before.


In the second step we were invited to think about our learners and develop profiles. We had to find a name for our students, define the age, we discussed nationality, sex, occupation, educational background, experiences and motivation for the MOOC, as well as their study skills, strengths and weaknesses.

During the discussion we learned a lot about our future students and we got to know each of the team better as well. Christian from HPI created small avatars for our mooc / mock students which were fun.

Activity planner

The next step: we started to discuss learners’ activities in our MOOC. Should they be assimilative, finding and handling information, communicative, productive, experiential, interactive/adaptive or assessment tasks?

Ruth gave us this nice booklet to work with but of course you can find the information online as well. Also this task was not that easy because we had to find a common understanding about the meaning of the different activities and then agree upon the best mix. Of course we didn’t agree and the individual estimations about time spent on the different activities were different.

Real planning

In the last part of the workshop we started with the real planning of the MOOC weeks. Also this time Ruth provided a very useful excel sheet, which I didn’t find online and therefore cannot share in this post.

The first page in the excel sheet gives an overview of the MOOC based on the weeks. For each week we had to think about its title, a short summary and the learning objectives. Furthermore we had to estimate the hours our learners will spend in this week.

The next pages show the individual weeks. During the weeks we had to define the activities (communicative, productive, … – as mentioned above) and they are implemented (in a discussion, a document, a video …). Furthermore we had to decide how much time the learners should / would spend on each activity. The sum of the time spent on all activities in one week should add to the hours planned for this week.

Of course we didn’t finish all the planning in Cardiff but we built a useful basis for our future work on the MOOC design.


I’m experienced in developing MOOCs (for example and we developed a small MOOC how to create a MOOC. Nevertheless the learning design workshop, provided by Open University, was very helpful and I learned a lot. Mainly the approach of OU supported us – the team members of the BizMOOC – to get a common idea about our MOOC. In addition the very structured design was helpful to really work on the MOOC and produce the first week.



Nearly a year has passed since my last post about MOOCs in February 2016.

I have not been lazy in this year and I haven’t stopped thinking about MOOCs. For example:

  • In May 2016 together with Jenny Mackness I presented our work about Visualising structure and agency in a MOOC using the Footprints of Emergence framework at the tenth International Conference on Networked Learning in Lancaster.
  • I was and still am involved in two European MOOC projects led by my university: the AtLETyc project and the BizMOOC project.
  • In September, during the partner meeting of the AtLETyc project we decided spontaneously to create a small MOOC within a month to provide the partners with the MOOC experience on the one hand and to let them work on content for MOOCs on the other hand. If you are interested take a look at the AtLETyc MOOC camp.
  • And I did some really great MOOC learning in Matt Silady’s Comics: Art in Relationship MOOC. Because drawing Comics takes a lot of time I have spent less time writing about MOOCs ….

In the future my dealing with MOOCs will get more intensive as we will build one MOOC for athletes with useful knowledge for them with respect to the time after their sports career and another MOOC to provide business key competences to whoever may relate to.

In the BizMOOC project a common body of knowledge was collected which resulted in 14 discussion papers about MOOCS and online education, MOOCs initiatives, MOOC types, MOOC quality and MOOC pedagogy, drivers behind MOOCs, recognition of learning in MOOCs, business models for MOOCs, MOOCs and human resources, and useful online material for the BizMOOC.

Furthermore in the BizMOOC project we investigated needs and gaps with respect to business people, people in Higher Education and the society as a whole. I find the society survey on MOOCs very interesting. And I’m a little bit sad that according to this report face-to-face rather than online courses are still preferred by participants. There are so many amazing online courses out there in the web!

At the upcoming partner meeting in Cardiff this week we will work on the concepts for the three Pilot MOOCs focusing on life-long learning, business key competences and innovation & creativity. We will create a cMOOC, an xMOOC and a Hybrid-MOOC. I’m looking forward to our training session with Martin Weller, whom I got to now at the #change11 MOOC.

At the moment I’m sitting in this wonderful garden enjoying a splendid day in the Lake District. I’m told that normally it’s raining here all the time so I’m very lucky to experience already the third day of sun in the companionship of Jenny Mackness.


Of course we didn’t only walk and cycle and eat and chat – but were engaged in a profound discussion of our presentation about the footprints of emergence at the Networked Learning Conference in Lancaster – improving and finalizing it as well. Jenny believes that we could have invested more time and could have been more focused on the topic of our presentation but I’m confident about the power of emergent learning and our wandering around in the real landscape and in our inner landscapes.

Chatting with Jenny means to share experiences, to discuss believes, to get new ideas for collaboration, to get new books to read … and as we mostly meet online these face-to-face days are very valuable.


Jenny likes to learn in MOOCs and it seems that if she starts a MOOC she will finish it as well – which is not true for all the MOOCs I learned in. As I was in love with the Change11 MOOC (and did finish it!) my ideal MOOC would be an open and challenging cMOOC as well. But when I convinced people of my university that we should develop and offer a MOOC to get experiences about its potential and opportunities I had to acknowledge that nor our students nor my teacher colleagues would profit from a pure cMOOC.

Therefore we went for a hybrid design in the case of our Competences for Global Collaboration MOOC (cope15) with a weekly structure, learning materials including videos by experts and 2-3 tasks by week. Nevertheless I fought for a design as open as possible which challenges the learners by offering a lot of learning opportunities, encouraging them to look for further information about the topics and sharing them with other learners. And I gave them the opportunity to draw a footprint of emergence in the last week of our MOOC to reflect their learning process.

In preparing our paper Jenny and I investigated the footprints of the learners and the design footprint of the MOOC. We perceived a certain success of the design intentions and we liked the attitude of the learners engaged with the footprints. Of course further work analyzing footprints of emergence and relating them to learning scenarios and to individual learners has to be done.

In knapp zwei Wochen, am Dienstag, dem 10. Mai werden Jenny Mackness und ich auf der 10. Networked Learning Konferenz über den Einsatz der Footprints of Emergence erzählen.


Die Networked Learning Konferenz in Lancaster ist eine bedeutende E-Learning Tagung mit hohem theoretischem Anspruch, was mich als Praktikerin etwas unter Druck setzt. Sie findet alle zwei Jahre statt. Im Jahr 2000 war ich bereits einmal dort und sprach über Networked Learning in Applied Science Education. Diesmal steht die Tagung unter dem Motto Looking back – moving forward, gar nicht so unterschiedlich von der Thematik unseres heurigen 15. E-Learning Tages im September, bei dem wir die letzten 15 Jahre kritisch reflektieren.

Jenny Mackness  lernte ich 2011 online kennen und schätzen. Wie ich liebt sie im Netz ihren Blog und twitter – oder zumindest sind das die Medien, durch die wir hauptsächlich in Kontakt sind. Der Austausch mit Jenny beflügelt meine emergent learning Prozesse – immer wieder regt sie mich zu neuen schrägen Aktivitäten an (etwa gerade eben verlockt mich ihre Beschreibung, wie sie Comics zeichnete) oder wir treffen uns in denselben Online-Lernräumen.

2014 hielt sie gemeinsam mit Roy Williams die Keynote an unserem 13. E-Learning Tag, in der die beiden über ihre Erfindung der Footprints of Emergence sprachen. Damals – in Graz – traf ich sie zum ersten Mal persönlich und nächste Woche fliege ich nach Lancaster zu unserem zweiten persönlichen Treffen. Ich freue mich schon sehr auf unseren Austausch und gemeinsame Spaziergänge.

In unserer Präsentation auf der Konferenz (siehe Abstract) werden wir von der Verwendung der Footprints of Emergence im Rahmen des Competences  for Global Collaboration MOOC erzählen- siehe Jenny’s Blogpost über unser Vorhaben. Die Visualisierung des MOOC-Designs als Footprint of Emergence war überaus nützlich für die Diskussion im Projektteam, das advanced assignment in Woche 6 sollte die Lernenden dazu verführen mit einem Footprint den eigenen Lernprozess im MOOC zu reflektieren. 49 TeilnehmerInnen beschäftigten sich mit der Methode und erstellten einen Footprint.

Ich bin schon neugierig auf die Konferenz, auf networked learning 2016 und freue mich auf einen spannenden Austausch.


After my sabbatical of six months and the possibility to enhance the ‘life’ factor of my work-life balance by traveling, improving a foreign language, enjoying very impressive wonders of nature I’m back at work.

And : the most import topic in these first weeks of work are MOOCs.

In the first week of the NRC01PL MOOC I dealt with opposite terms:

  • design versus environment – slides 16 – 20 of Downes presentation ‘beyond instructional design
  • instruction versus learning –  Aras Bozkurt very useful blogpost 
  • personalized versus personal – in the openedx platform there was an intense discussion about these two aspects in a learning environment

I recognized how much I prefer the environment metaphor, learning instead of instruction and personal decisions instead of a personalized framework. At the moment I enjoy the freedom in this MOOC and that ideas and thoughts can emerge without constraints. I love it to scan the #NRC01PL tweets and to react.

And I believe that it is easier to learn in this MOOC if you are ‘elderly‘, with high IT skills and good understanding of English (Personal Learning MOOC Survey 1). I realize that my students with a different background (and age) (but better English) have many good reasons to struggle with open learning scenarios based on connectivism and emergent learning.


Bahia Lapataia – Tierra del fuego

Before Christmas I got the message that I successfully completed the Social Network Analysis course of Lada Adamic, Univ Michigan on Coursera. So it’s time to discuss my footprint of SNA14.

The course was a typical Coursera MOOC with videos, articles, weekly homeworks and an exam of 2 hours at the end. I discussed the SNA14-MOOC in a previous post. About 2 weeks after I finalized the MOOC I created a footprint of my learning experience asking myself how prescribed or open I experienced the learning process in the SNA14-MOOC.

footprint of emergence consists of four clusters. In the „open/structure“ cluster I’m looking at the learning experience from a certain distance, in the cluster „interactive environment“ I’m discussing how learning took place in the MOOC, and how emergent learning was supported by the framework. The cluster „agency“ challenges me to discuss my own learning development and in the cluster „presence/writing“ I’m reflecting how it was possible to bring myself into the SNA14-MOOC.

Reflecting the Social Network Analysis MOOC

A first view at the footprint tells me that I like it. The footprint has open parts – in the clusters openness/structure and agency – whereas especially in the cluster learning environment more prescribed values of the factors prevail.

This is how I evaluated my learning experience in the SNA14-MOOC:

Cluster Open/structure

  • I valued the factors risk, liminality and ambiguity rather highly. There were too many different topics to learn for me and I felt a high risk to drop out. The contents were very rich, there were the models of SNA themselves but furthermore a lot of reading material in the fields of biology, sociology, food, commerce, … and I needed my mathematical background to understand the theory, – therefore my high value for the liminality factor. And what and how to proceed in the SNA14-MOOC was ambivalent with regard to the use of data in simulations who didn’t work accurately, with ambivalent homework questions, with no clear hints how to learn for the final exam. Also the factor self-correction has a high value as I had to develop my learning strategy during the SNA14-MOOC and I was changing my learning strategy for several times.
  • The values of the factors in the cluster „Interactive environment“ were mostly near or in the prescribed zone. I didn’t experience that the Coursera environment was flexible, that the system adapted to us learners or that there was the possibility of co-evolution. Nevertheless there had to be a large trust towards us learners that we will proceed successfully in our learning processes.
  • In the cluster „agency“ with regard to the factors  self organization“ and „autonomy“ I was on the edge of chaos. For me it was a big challenge to include learning in the SNA14-MOOC into my every day business also because I needed more time than the recommended 6-8 hours per week. Furthermore until then I didn’t have a strategy how to learn via videos and I don’t like videos for learning. So I had to overcome my feelings and develop a new approach (in the end I wrote an extensive script). On the other hand in this MOOC I didn’t have possibilities to negotiate the outcomes or to adopt different identities.
  • I was challenged by solitude and contemplation in the cluster „presence/writing“ as I felt alone and missed the community (my values for FIN-frequent interact and networking and Net-network encounters were very low as well).

Summarizing my footprint I’m astonished about it. As the SNA14-MOOC was a classical xMOOC with a strict pedagogical approach I expected a footprint with factors mainly in the prescribed zone whereas my footprint is a rather open one. In my process of creating footprints of emergence at the moment I believe that the footprints depend much more on the person who created it than the learning environment. And in the Social Network Analysis course – a closed xMOOC – I succeeded to learn in an open way.

But what about analyzing footprints to get feedback about the learning design if they mainly depend on the learners ??

In den letzten Wochen beschäftigte mich die Fragen, wann lernen meine Studierenden, wann lerne ich “wirklich”?

Was verstehe ich nun unter “wirklich” lernen? Ich sage gerne auch “tief” lernen dazu. Unter “tief” lernen verstehe ich persönlich den Zustand, wenn ich mich mit einem Thema länger und mit unterschiedlichen Quellen beschäftigt habe, wenn ich in die Materie eingetaucht bin. Dazu gehört auch die theoretische und praktische Behandlung: ich versuche also Modelle zu verstehen und ich wende sie in praktischen Beispielen an. Am Ende dieser Auseinandersetzung mit einem Thema habe ich dann das Gefühl etwas wirklich gelernt zu haben.

1. Mein Lernen im SNA-MOOC

Verstärkt aufgetaucht ist diese Frage in meiner zweiten Woche des Coursera Social Netzwork Analysis (SNA) MOOC – siehe dazu auch meinen Beitrag Learning in one of Coursera’s xMOOCs. Nach einer Woche Video schauen und einem erfolgreichen Test der 1. Woche hatte ich plötzlich das Gefühl rein gar nichts von dem Stoff der ersten Woche verstanden zu haben.

2. Master-Studierende im Online-Lernprozess

Der Frage begegnet bin ich wieder in der zweiten Präsenzwoche von Masterstudierenden im ersten Semester. Nach wochenlangen Online-Phasen, die inhaltlich durch Videokonferenzen aufgelockert werden, interessierte mich, wie “anwesend” die Studierenden bei diesen Videokonferenzen während der Online-Phasen waren – sie konnten in der Videokonferenz mit Fragen aktiv sein, den Lifestream ansehen, das Video nach der Session ansehen und das Protokoll verfassen bzw. lesen – und wie viel sie davon inhaltlich mitnehmen, also wir “tief” sie gelernt haben.

Es hat mich beeindruckt und erstaunt, dass die Studierenden meistens mehr als 100% anwesend waren (also z.B. in der Videokonferenz waren und danach das Video angesehen hatten) und es hat mich überrascht, dass trotz dieser hohen “Anwesenheit” niemand über 80% der Inhalte “mitgenommen” hat.

3. Anwesend sein

In einem nächsten Schritt versuche ich nun die Daten der Studierenden meinen Lerndaten gegenüber zu stellen:


In der Grafik links kann man die hohe Anwesenheit der Studierenden ablesen, auch meine “Anwesenheit” während der SNA-Wochen (rechte Grafik) war mit 60-90% recht hoch. Unter Anwesenheit verstehe ich in Bezug auf meinen Lernprozess die Auseinandersetzung mit den Videos, das Durchspielen der Simulationen, die Verfassung eines Protokolls (nach den 8 Wochen verfüge ich nun über ein 70-seitiges Skriptum zum Thema Social Network Analysis) sowie die Durchführung der Hausübungen und Erreichen von zumindest 80% der Punkte in jeder Woche.

4. Inhaltlich etwas mitnehmen 

Nach der Erhebung der Anwesenheiten fragte ich die Studierenden nach ihrem Bauch/Kopfgefühl, wie viel sie von den Videokonferenzen inhaltlich mitgenommen hätten. Am Ende des SNA-MOOC stellte ich mir dieselbe Frage, wie viel ich von den MOOC-Wochen mitgenommen hätte, wobei ich zwischen drei Zeitpunkten unterschied: meine Wahrnehmung während der 8 Wochen, während des Lernens für die schriftliche Online-Prüfung in Woche 9 und nach der Prüfung am Ende von Woche 9.


Wie bereits weiter oben erwähnt, irritierte mich anfänglich, dass die Studierenden angaben, zwischen 50-80% inhaltlich mitgenommen zu haben – nach den unglaublich hohen Anwesenheiten habe ich mir hier mehr erwartet. Mir ist bewusst, dass diese Zahl subjektiv ist und auch der Gruppendynamik unterliegt. Es ging mir auch nicht darum genaue Kriterien festzulegen, um diese Zahl überprüfbarer zu machen, sondern mir war der der subjektive Eindruck wichtig.

Interessant wurde es bei meiner eigenen Reflexion. Während der MOOC lief, hatte ich das Gefühl trotz geringerer Anwesenheit in Vergleich zu den Studierenden, vergleichbar viel an Inhalten mitgenommen zu haben. Während ich dann für die Prüfung lernte, relativierte sich diese Einschätzung rasch, als ich merkte, wie viel ich trotz Auseinandersetzung mit dem Stoff nicht mehr wusste. Nach der Wiederholung und nach vermutlich erfolgreicher Prüfung erhöhte sich dieser Wert wieder ein bisschen.

5. Vorläufiges Fazit

Nach der Beschäftigung mit diesen Daten und den dargelegten Ausführungen frage ich mich, ob das Ergebnis zwischen 50-80% an Inhalten “mitzunehmen” nicht ein respektables Ergebnis sei.

Allerdings merke ich, dass ich damit in Bezug auf meine SNA-Kenntnisse nicht zufrieden bin, und ich mich über Weihnachten dem praktischen Teil der SNA widmen und versuchen möchte, durch Analyse meiner Social Networks mittels Anwendung unterschiedlicher Modelle ein vertieftes Verständnis des Themas zu generieren. Gelingt das nicht wäre der Besuch eines anderen inhaltich ähnlichen MOOC oder der Besuch des selben MOOC eine weitere Möglichkeit.

In Bezug auf meine Studierende habe ich sie bereits ermutigt ihre 100-prozentige Anwesenheit kritisch zu hinterfragen und Mut zur Lücke aufzuweisen. Und ich überlege, wie ich sie dabei begleiten kann, sich in der ersparten Zeit mit den Inhalten weiter auseinanderzusetzen, um tiefer in die Themen einzutauchen.