Recommendations for Refinement

1. Infuse assessement activities into the course, or into future MOOC initiatives. These should be both formative (at intervals) and summative (at the conclusion of the course). Assessment activities should be determined prior to launching the course and should be included in the description of the course. Grading criteria, if applicable, should also be defined and available to participants in advance.

2. Embed a needs analysis prior to launching future implementations of the course. Early registrants may provide information which will aid instructors to align their expectations of the course with those of learners. Refinements may then be feasible prior to the start of the course.

3. To scale or not to scale. The MoM course attracted 2,344 participants and the M4D course offered in the fall of 2013, which involved the same organizing institutions and similar instructors, drew 2286 participants. Although active participants numbered fewer than actual enrolment in either course this may have been a blessing in disguise. Considering the emphasis placed by the development team on instructor presence online, the handful of instructors would have had far greater commitments to interact if there were more active learners. Preparing for such occurrences relative to scale should be included in the design of a MOOC. At what point might too many participants compromise the quality of interaction? Weighing the merits of enrolment growth and manageability relative to supporting adequate communication and assessement should also be considered. This also factors into the extent of marketing.

4. In future offerings of the MoM course, considerations for adding topics/content on quality assurance and on the application/training nature of COL/IIT-K MOOCs should be considered. As a common criticism among participants was the repetitiveness of content, better complementarity between video lectures is advisable.

5. Explore reasons for participant fluctuation in postings, or consider monitoring postings in future course offerings. The data revealed a drop in posting to Video lectures followed by a spurt of postings to Video assignments. Subsequently there was a drop in postings to Video assignments as well. Reasons for this occurrence are unclear, but may have been rooted to the novelty of the Video assignment just as participants became less enthusiastic, or busy, with viewing and commenting on Video lectures. The occurrence raises more questions than possible answers. As such, greater attention to participant behaviour during the course may serve to make changes, as the MoM design team demonstrated well in other areas during the delivery of the course.

6. Consider mechanisms to provide automatic updates to participants (e.g., email notification) when new information is available such as announcements of new participant postings.


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