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Wednesday, August 12 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Creating Community in an EFL Teacher Ed MOOC

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Effective teacher training aims at creating a community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991), where participants feel comfortable sharing ideas with and learning from each other. Teachers can build community relatively easily in small classes. A massive open online course (MOOC) with 20,000 participants is more of a challenge. This session will demonstrate how an English language teacher training MOOC was structured and delivered.

From the outset we wanted to build a cMOOC, a connectivist MOOC (Downes, 2009), which we interpreted as an online course where participant interaction would be fundamental. Besides the cMOOCs roots in collaborative learning and constructivism, we saw participant interaction as the key to overcoming the challenges of the "massive" part of the course: the many different backgrounds, ages, prior teaching experiences, and kinds of training our anticipated audience would be bringing to the MOOC.

We will demonstrate how the course developers chose different elements in the Coursera platform, including videos, discussions, different kinds of quizzes, and peer grading. And, perhaps just as importantly, we discuss the changes we implemented to the second and third iterations as a result of instructor experience, user surveys, course evaluations, and Coursera analytics.

Finally, we will explain how these instructional elements were combined with informal communication options like contests to foster a sense of community and shared purpose. Results and implications for others with an interest in taking or creating a MOOC will also be offered. Participants will be invited to describe their experience with MOOCs, sharing what has worked and what could be improved.

avatar for Jeff Magoto

Jeff Magoto

Director, Yamada Language Center
I'm the director of the Yamada Language Center (YLC) at the University of Oregon. I've been a language teacher for 40 years, but lately most of my time is spent talking to, watching, mentoring, and advocating on behalf of teachers. YLC is a technology and pedagogy resource center... Read More →

Wednesday August 12, 2015 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
CGIS Knafel K050 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA