THE STORY OF A MOOC
The global MOOC development initiative emerged ahead of the normal rigorous evaluation that accompanies education design and delivery in higher education. Many questions about purpose and quality remained at start-up, and still remain, unanswered. To answer these questions, Athabasca University created an AU-MOOC Advisory Group. One objective of the Advisory Group is to support those interested in constructing an AU version of a MOOC; MOOCs aligned with our mandate to remove barriers to learning and engage/recruit learners we may not have otherwise engaged.

Learning to Learn Online responds to both: the need to carefully examine the structure and substance of MOOCs and provide an experience to those who may not yet feel ready for a formal engagement in an online course.

The first run of Learning to Learn Online was held from March 9 to April 13, 2015 through the Canvas LMS. The remainder of this site describes the evolution, experience, and preliminary findings of this inaugural run; read on to review the design and outcomes of this unique MOOC.


INVESTIGATION
2008cMOOC designed by Seimens and Downes. AU faculty instruct and graduate students receive credit.
2011-2013xMOOCs emerge from Stanford, MITx, EdX, Udacity, Coursera, Canvas, FutureLearn.
Mar-Apr 2013Because the MOOC initiative emerged ahead of the normal rigorous evaluation that accompanies design and delivery in higher education, many questions remained unanswered. Athabasca University convenes an AU-MOOC Advisory Group (AUMAG) to review this phenomenon. Its objectives:
  • Create and provide an expert, evidence-based assessment of, and a critical, academic, and practical voice on, MOOC issues to local, national and international networks.
  • Determine direction regarding the assignment of credit for individuals who participate in MOOCs outside AU.
  • Support those interested in constructing an AU version of a MOOC, where such an endeavour will continue our mandate to remove barriers to learning and engage/recruit learners we may not have otherwise engaged.
  • Observe, document, measure, analyze and disseminate our MOOC experience.
Oct 20, 2013Research in collaboration with Gates Foundation is announced: www.moocresearch.com
PLANNING
Dec 12, 2013AUMAG agrees to offer a public course on becoming an online learner, with no credit and at no cost.
Jan-May 2014AUMAG hones topic idea, audience focus, MOOC platform, and budget requirements.
Jun 2014AU Executive group approves topic and budget.
Sep 2014AU-MOOC initiative underway as Project Manager JoAnne Murphy and Project Assistant and Instructional Designer Iain McPherson approach the course development phase. The project timeline is established and the LMS (Canvas) contacted to discuss the course offering, dates of delivery, and LMS deadlines/timeline. A course start date is set for February 23, 2015. Six weeks later, the course start date is revised to March 9, 2015 to allow for adequate development time.
DESIGN
Sep-Oct 2014MOOC Team works on course objectives, syllabus, design ideas and a course title. AUMAG participates in finalizing these documents and decisions.
Oct-Nov 2014Decision reached that course will be called Learning to Learn Online (LTLO).
Oct 20, 2014Course proposal is submitted to Canvas for approval; Canvas MOU negotiations with Athabasca University are settled by the end of November 2015.
Nov 4, 2014MOOC Team and AUMAG meet to discuss course instruction, activities, assessment, enrolment, certificates and pre-course survey.
Nov 13, 2014Team presents the AU-MOOC project to AU community via live webinar. There were approximately 35 attendees.
Nov 2014Web specialist/graphic designer Dan Wilton is added to the LTLO design team.
Dec-Feb 2015Development of course content and instructional design.
Jan 2015Canvas is provided with a course description and brief instructor biographies for an ad for the MOOC on their homepage. First review by LMS provider, Canvas.
Jan 12, 2015LTLO opens for registration on Canvas website.
Feb 9, 2015LTLO Team meets with AUMAG to discuss the research aspect of the AU-MOOC project.
Feb 23, 2015Final course review by Canvas.
ACTIVE
Mar 9, 2015Learning to Learn Online launches on the Canvas platform.
Apr 13, 2015Course ends.