Month: February 2016

Moocs their value in the Higher Education sector

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an emerging tool in the educational sector with an estimated 4200 courses available globally and over 35 million registered users to some form of MOOC course (Shah,2015). A MOOC is essentially an online course that can comprise of several online components such as videos, text, forums with other students and quizzes all aimed to develop students’ proficiencies in a given subject (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, 2013). The majority of MOOCS are free and last several weeks with the course structure comprising of weekly instalments to gradually increase knowledge of the given subject. Also certain MOOCs can provide the students the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification from a higher education institution (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, 2013).

To ensure a thorough knowledge of MOOCS, our lecturer advised us to select a MOOC that interested us and actively engage with the course. I decided to select two MOOC courses provided by Coursera.org. Though other MOOC providers are available such as EdX and Canvas Network. The two courses I selected were Business Analytics provided by the University of Pennsylvania and Search Engine Optimisation provided by the University of California since they are both beneficial towards my business degree. I found it initially difficult to engage with the courses since I prefer direct interaction with teachers and fellow students and find that classroom interaction is more stimulating and leads to more critical thinking than would be available on a forum setting. I also found it difficult to concentrate attentively during the online video lectures for a prolonged period since I had easy access to other websites.

After a final review, I believe that MOOCs will be a more prevalent part of higher education due to various factors such as the increase in tuition fees in the United Kingdom potentially deterring part time students from enrolling on courses and monetary restraints imposed on universities affecting contact time between students and lecturers (Shaw, 2015). I also believe more universities will engage with MOOCs since this provides the opportunity to engage with prospective students who may wish to complete a full higher education qualification at their establishment (Swain, 2015).

References

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. 2013. 7 things you should know about MOOCS. EDUCAUSE. Available from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2013/6/7-things-you-should-know-about-moocs-ii. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

Shah, D. 2015. By the numbers MOOCS in 2015. [Online].  Class Central. Available from https://www.class-central.com/report/moocs-2015-stats/. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

Shaw, C. 2015. Dissatisfied students want more contact time with teaching staff. The Guardian, 4 June. [Online]. Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/jun/04/dissatisfied-students-want-more-contact-time-with-teaching-staff. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

Swain, H. 2015. This change will be the end of the Open University as we know it. The Guardian, 20 October. [Online]. Guardian. available from: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/oct/20/open-university-strike-ou-regional-centres-moocs. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

 

 

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How Blogging Helps with Student Reflection

Computer usage has become an ubiquitous presence in education and is often actively incorporated into learning practices. A key method used to integrate computers into the classroom is blogging. Blogging can be defined as an online informal journal or diary where students can frequently convey ideas about the subject content (Bryd, No Date).

This tool is used within the E-Business module I am currently studying and has been a useful study aid. The benefits include our lecturer frequently using blogs as homework and classroom activities to aid us in developing an appropriate writing style for blogging. This was invaluable when commencing the blogs as part of the assessment (Lumos Learning, No Date). They will also potentially aid me when doing revision for the end of year examination. Another benefit of blogging has led me to constructively reflect on the content taught within the lectures and then interpret the concepts into my own language and do further research helping me gain in-depth knowledge of the subject (Couros, 2013). Another advantage of blogging is, if managed effectively by the lecturer it enables group debate within class. It also encourage higher learning, for example in my previous year’s E-Business class, our lecturer would take different segments of each student’s blogs and then reflect upon them during revision sessions. This facilitated engagement from students and led to the group developing more comprehensive knowledge about the subject.

However, despite the advantages outlined above there are some disadvantages associated with blogging. One disadvantage is it can be a time consuming activity which if poorly utilised by the learner can divert attention from fully comprehending the subject content (Sandlar.2009). Another issue could be the student using inappropriate language for their audience so they may not fully comprehend the subject (Keesee.2012). Another issue within blogging is that as the blogs are created by the students then there is a delay in using this information in the class (Keesee.2012).

References

K, Byrd. What is a blog?. No date. [On-line].  Blog Basic. Available from http://blogbasics.com/what-is-a-blog/. [Accessed 22 Febuary2016].

G, Couros. 5 reasons your students should blog. 2013. [On-line]. The principal of change. Available from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/3721. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

G, Keesee. Blog in Education. 2012. [On-line]. Teaching Learning resources. Available from http://teachinglearningresources.pbworks.com/w/page/19919542/Blogs%20in%20Education. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

Lumos Learning. The Benefits of Student Blogging. No Date. [On-line]. Lumos Learning. Available from http://lumoslearning.com/llwp/teachers-speak/the-benefits-of-student-blogging-marisa-adams.html. [Accessed 22 February 2016].

R, Sandlar. Advantages and disadvantages of blogs. 2009. [On-line]. Online Edu Blog. Available from http://www.onlineedublog.com/blogs/. [Accessed 22 February 2016].