The buzzword MOOC causes in Europe both, praise and criticism. MOOCs provide to everybody a unique opportunity to enjoy higher education services for free, without having enrolled in a university, and have greater potentials to building up a digital knowledge-based society.
However, only about 5% of enrolled learners are able to complete a MOOC. Why? The fact is: learning via MOOCs requires additional transversal skills from learners, such as the ability of self-regulated learning, analytical and research skills, and advanced digital competence.
The vast MOOC attendees seem simply not prepared for open online learning formats due to missing competences needed to benefit from such type of studies.
The MODE IT team believes these competences should be acquired by learners already during their formal studies. The innovative MODE IT solution is: to integrate MOOC-based teaching and learning approaches into higher education curricula! Formal students should learn via MOOCs and increase in this manner not only their subject knowledge, but also train the ability of lifelong learning!
From August 31 to September 11, 2020 MODE IT team has implemented a training for instructional designers and pedagogical support staff from project partner institutions.
This training aimed to boost skills and competences of instructional designers linked to the design, development and implementation of MOOCs and MOOC-based courses, and was an integral part of the project.
Due to COVID-19-related risks, the training was delivered completely online and represented a mix of synchronous live-sessions and asynchronous learning activities. The training sessions were implemented using the Moodle platform and Adobe Connect software provided by Kaunas University of Technology.
The workload of the entire training was equal to 35 hours and covered all the activities related to the successful completion of the training, such as participation in the live sessions, performing asynchronous learning activities and assessment tasks.
Training sessions were delivered by internal experts from MODE IT team (Mr Cengiz Hakan Aydin, Professor at the Open Education Faculty of Anadolu University, Turkey, and Mr Ramunas Kubiliunas, head of study programs Software systems at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania), and by invited external experts with wider experience with MOOCs design and delivery (Mrs Irina Otmanine, senior MOOC advisor and instructional designer at the University of Cote d’Azur, France; Mrs Carmen Holotescu, Director of Center for Open Education and Blockchain at the University "Ioan Slavici" of Timisoara, Romania).
The training consisted of 5 modules, which were:
1. MOOCs: orientation and foundations
2. Online course design
3. Online learning materials and technologies
4. Interactive learning and assessment materials
5. Quality of MOOCs & integration of MOOCs into formal learning
Here you can view and download the training agenda.
The training contributed to attaining two main goals of the project:
First, trained instructional designers were prepared to provide pedagogical and technological support to academic staff at their home institutions when designing and delivering MOOC-based classes (IO3 of the project).
Second, trainees are now expected to jointly design and implement a MOOC for academic staff on how to create and deliver MOOCs and MOOC-based courses (IO2 of the project).
The IEEE EDUCON conference provides a global forum for academic, research and industrial collaboration on global engineering education. Due to the current pandemic situation the conference, originally planned to take place in Porto, Portugal, happened from April 27 - 30, 2020 through online collaboration tools.
MODE IT was represented in the IEEE EDUCON conference by Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, on the 30th of April 2020. The MODE IT presentation dealt with a MOOC-based innovative instructional approach for curriculum design, and took place in a session dedicated to ongoing projects fostering new approaches to Engineering education.
The MODE IT project has clearly gained even more relevance considering the current pandemic situation and that raised a lot of interest from the conference participants. The corresponding Q&A has in fact extended far beyond what was originally planned with participants wanting to know more details on the project implementation, on the formal integration of online tools in traditional teaching practices and on the possibility of collaboration with the project.
The MODE IT conference paper can be found in the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education conference (EDUCON) proceedings (pp. 1844 - 1847).
In fact, 3rd of April 2020 was supposed to be spent by MODE IT team in Eskisehir, Turkey, for conducting the 2nd transnational project meeting. Due to Corona crisis, we switched to an online meeting supported by Zoom.
As one would expect, all the discussions were dedicated to how to efficiently work on the project under new circumstances. MODE IT staff are the main drivers of digital transformation at their home universities. The challenge now is to combine this unpredictably increased workload with the project activities.
At the same time, MODE IT partners are quite optimistic: MODE IT approach towards integrating MOOC-based pedagogies into higher education curricula is exactly the solution, which their home universities can greatly benefit from and grant the desired course flexibility and openness to their students in times of Corona! Blessing in disguise, as one would say! This gives an additional motivation to actively pursue the project goals.
MODE IT at the Online Workshop Digital Competences for Open Education
On 6th of March 2020, MODE IT project was presented at the online workshop Digital Competences for Open Education. As every year, this International Workshop is organized by Politehnica University of Timișoara (MODE IT partner), through the e-Learning Center with the support of the EDEN and IEEE associations, during the Open Education Week 2020.
Open Education Week is an event promoted by the world association Open Education Consortium, with the purpose of presenting the opportunities offered by open education and the results of its integration in all forms of education.
During the workshop, practical examples of the use and integration of OER (Open Educational Resources) and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in higher and secondary education with case studies at European level, from Germany, Lithuania, Great Britain, Croatia and Romania were presented.
Moreover, this workshop is part of the series of activities dedicated to the anniversary of the first century of higher education in Timișoara, Politehnica 100. Congratulations to this jubilee from the MODE IT family!
Getting started: MODE IT kick off meeting in Bielefeld!
On 11th of November 2019, the project partners of the Erasmus+ project MODE IT from Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and Germany met for a kick off meeting in Germany (Bielefeld). In this first exchange, the project steps and the tasks of the individual project partners were defined more precisely.
Further international meetings will be held at the partner institutions in the coming years. From the beginning of 2020, the partners will present the project in more details on this website.
The creation of this website has been partially funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2019-1-DE01-KA203-005051. Neither the European Commission nor the project’s national funding agency DAAD are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of this website.