Thoughts about MOOC as an model of engagement for staff development

While participating in the #change11 MOOC, I’ve been considering the model of engagement with MOOCs as a possible for model for engaging staff with technology enhanced learning and teaching.

From an early perspective with my current engagement with the #change11 MOOC there are some key principles of engagement that might be useful.  These principles are:

  • The level of engagement is up to the participant – it’s entirely up to the individual to determine for themselves, how often and to what extent they wish to engage with the discussions that are ongoing at that time. My own level of engagement is not as extensive as others participating in #change11 but as I hope this post attests I’m still able to learn and apply what I have learned so far.
  • How participants engage is entirely up to them. There is very little that is prescribed in these terms, other that subscribing to the daily newsletter which outlines the topics up for consideration.  After that it’s up to individuals to engage as much or a little as they would like.  Blog posts, twitter posts, Facebook and Google hangouts are all out there. The onus is on the individual to find what interests them and participate in whatever way they wish. Obviously, the inference here, is the more you put in the more you can get out.
But above and beyond those two principles, that’s it.  Well that’s not entirely correct, I might summing up George, Stephen and Dave’s model a little too concisely. And a better summation of the principles of connectivism and networked learning underpinning a MOOC can be found here, for example.
But the question I wanted to ask myself was could this model be applied to assisting staff with developing their use of learning technologies in their learning and teaching and how could we foster engagement with the topics and a culture of sharing and would it work in developing a community of practice.
So how could it work?
  1. Set-up 2 meetings per term of particular subject areas of interest to the academic community
  2. Publish agreed schedule of meetings and topics
  3. Email/publicise to interested individuals schedule of meetings.
  4. Distribute ‘principles of engagement’ including agreed hashtag
  5. Collate list of blog post, twitter feeds etc.
  6. Use the newsletter as the facilitation mode for connecting participants with each other’s contributions.
There are some considerations, all familiar to those currently studying on a MOOC but I wonder whether they would be amplified more by the broader spread of digital literacy skills amongst staff at an institution.  Would it end up being, yet again, an amplified arena where the converted are all talking to each other?
I would be interested if anyone else has tried applying the concepts of a MOOC to encourage/facilitate engagement with learning technologies and will see if the idea has any interest from my current institution.


Filed under #change11, Staff Development

2 responses to “Thoughts about MOOC as an model of engagement for staff development

  1. Hi Elaine,
    I’m interested in your development of the MOOC learning strategy to the workplace. From my own experience I would say that familiarity and confidence with the technology underpins activity. As a newbie to a lot of the tech stuff I am often lost as to where to go for what in #change11- I find it hard to drill down to the detail that I seek in a quick enough time frame.

  2. These are great reflections and questions for moving forward. For me, the biggest strength of the #change11 and CCK11 moocs is The Daily newsletter, thanks to Stephen’s gRSShopper platform ( By comparison, I tried to participate peripherally in Edumooc recently and found the Google newsletter more difficult to follow.

    The Daily demonstrates just how dynamic and learner-centred the mooc really is with feeds from all of the platforms used by participants. Even if other platforms are new to participants in your mooc, The Daily helps to bring it all together and is really a connective tissue that keeps the mooc present in my inbox even if other platforms fall to the wayside at times.

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