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Professional Learning MOOC Design as an Instructional Exemplar

#Twitter: 
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Presenter(s)
Jordan Cameron (Kennesaw State University, USA)
Anissa Lokey-Vega (Kennesaw State University & Bagwell College of Education, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 10:15am
Track: 
Open, Global, Mobile
Areas of Special Interest: 
K12
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Asia 3
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 6
Abstract

This team used the design of their MOOC as an instructional exemplar in a course for educators learning how to create blended and online environments.

Extended Abstract

Context

Kennesaw State University's Bagwell College of Education offered The K12 Blended and Online Learning MOOC for the second time in January 2015 with over 3,000 enrollees on day one. The course addressed two instructional objectives aiming to provide learners with the knowledge and skills of effective practice in blended and online learning in the K12 environment. Through this course, the KSU faculty aimed to provide free professional learning to any and all teachers willing to complete the eight-week course.

Problem

During the MOOC's planning phase, the design team learned that K12 faculty, both in the United States and beyond, are learners of varying technological proficiencies with experience in online learning environments ranging from none at all to very high amounts. As such, the team realized the importance of creating a learning environment that would be easy enough for all levels of technology users while adhering to sound instructional design principals and aesthetic guidelines. Moreover, they wanted the design of the course to model effective online design. The "practice what we are preaching and teaching" concept was paramount to the success of the course. Because the instructional objectives of the MOOC dictate that learners understand and implement effective practice in online environments, it seemed only fitting that the design team implement Dick and Carey's instructional design model. According to their theory, "Components such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, and learning and performance environments interact with each other and work together to bring about the desired student learning outcomes." This was most definitely one of the affective goals of the K12 Blended and Online Learning MOOC.

Approach

The team took an approach based on Dick and Carey's model. The instructors were also Instructional Designers with experience teaching in the online environment. Learners were teachers, administrators, K12 technology specialists who train online teachers, homeschool teachers utilizing online resources, and others stakeholders with ties to K12 schools. All the learning materials and instructional activities were created or developed, compiled, and organized according to the same selection principals and criteria the instructors ask the learners in the course to apply to their own design and development efforts. The learning/performance environment was the Coursera MOOC platform, an LMS for MOOCs that provides opportunities for discussion, assessment, and learner progress tracking. Because learners are required to research and evaluate a wide range of LMSs as an instructional activity for the course, it was very important to show the learners as much of the functionality of the LMS as possible. Finally the instructional delivery system was made a uniform as possible so the students would not have to deal with navigational or functional difficulties while accessing information or completing tasks.

Results

The result of these efforts was not only a well-designed MOOC, but one that modeled the principals of good online design for K12 teachers who were learning how to create their own instructional environments in the online world. While the instructional materials and activities of the course provided for the needs of learners and helped them meet the instructional objectives of the MOOC, the design of the course scaffolded that learning by providing examples of exemplary online design. In fact, many of the MOOC participants commented on the course design and its effectiveness as a design exemplar

Lead Presenter

Mrs. Jordan Cameron has an Ed.S. in Instructional Design, a M.Ed. in Information Technology, and a B.S. in English Education. She taught high school English and was a middle school media and technology specialist. Currently, she teaches for the Department of Instructional Technology and is the instructional designer for Kennesaw State University's Bagwell College of Education.

Mrs. Cameron is a 2011 Kennesaw State University Shining Star, the winner of the 2013-2014 Carol J. Pope Award for Distinction in Disability Strategies and Resources (KSU Presidential Diversity Award), and the 2014 Wagner Award Winner for Innovation in Distance Learning Administration (Distance Learning Administration conference). Additionally, Jordan Cameron was the instructional designer and co-facilitator for Kennesaw State University's first MOOC in 2014.