Bates (2014) cited a video presentation by Dr. Rory McGreal, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate and the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources, in which McGreal suggested some steps that can help faculty and instructors to approach the issue of innovative online teaching in a systematic way, including:
- Being clear on the problem you are trying to solve
- Working in a team
- Applying technology appropriately to address the problem to be solved
- Evaluating and disseminating your innovation
- Providing greater flexibility for students as a new mantra
It is clear from the review of the M4D course that its instructional team had intuitively followed the steps outlined by McGreal. A primary goal for the M4D course was to determine how best to use MOOCs to serve the development needs of resource-poor communities of learners — those at the “bottom of the pyramid” (Prahalad & Hart, 2002). Course outcomes and feedback from students indicated that an M4D goal was achieved, and that students were constructive with their feedback and suggestions for improvement.
The team also conducted the M4D course with a view to better understanding the dynamics surrounding the design, delivery and support issues in delivering MOOC-style courses. Their aim was to develop solutions and action plans that would support the primary goals for the course and lead to improvements in practice in subsequent iterations of the M4D.
It is in the spirit of the M4D team’s general goals that the following recommendations are offered.