Thursday, September 18, 2014

Multilingual e-Learning Course

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where I am attending the "Showcase of  innovative use of technologies in education". The first presentation was about the multilingual course "Engaging India". Of the 11,000 students who registered 4,000 filled in an early survey (which is a high participation rate for a MOOC). About four hundred students passed the course (which is also higher than the typical MOOC).  This was the first edX MOOC offered in two languages, most students used English but those how did not expressed appreciation for it being offered in Hindi. The course also used "badges" (non assessment token rewards). This increased participation rates, but the quality of contributions was lower (students contributing apparently just to get a badge). The most popular topic was mobile phones and storytelling.

Surveyed students valued the videos, readings and tests.  Students also liked weekly introductions and summing up (something I do in my e-learning, but which this course had which other MOOCs do not).

As with other MOOCs the students were typically university educated and mature (not high schools as the proponents of MOOCs suggest). 

The course moderators did not have many disruptive "trolls" to deal with or questions to answer about the course, Most questions from students were about the platform described as "hideous" (I have a student researching how to improve edX). While Moodle forums are often criticised, it appears they are superior to edX.
The ANU College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University proudly offers an event to showcase innovative uses of technology in education. The showcase is being organised by the Digital Learning Project to promote sustainable blended and online learning environments for education programs across the university. It will promote the creative use of online and multi-media resources to enhance the learning experience of our students. The Project aims to develop a community of scholars in which inspired undergraduate and postgraduate students interact with staff in an innovative teaching and learning environment.
The showcase runs until Friday afternoon at the Ethel Tory Centre, Baldessin Building ANU and there is plenty of space for anyone who wants to turn up.

Also, I will be presenting in the "Rolls-Royce Education on a Mini Budget: Using Customised e-Learning Packages" in the "The Shape of ICT Education" stream of the ACS Canberra Conference, 23 September 2014.

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