OERu 13.10 micro Open Online Courses proposal for action

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Guidelines for micro Open Online Courses and corresponding micro credentials

Aims of the activity (longer term)

Enter aims here …

Objectives of the activity (short term)

  • define “micro”
  • understand how credit can be awarded in an understandable, transferable way
  • understand if/how badges fit into a traditional credit model

Narrative description of what you will do

Create small modules that maintain student engagement and encourage network reuse of byte-sized chunks, but still accommodate the traditional university credit structure.

What inputs are required?

  • Clearly define what is “micro,” and what is a credit
  • how short can it be?
  • to be validly assessed
  • to be worth (at least) 1 “credit” to fit existing university structures
  • can multiple very small things be aggregated (badges?) to make a “credit”
  • If things are happening in the “real world” that include badging and credentialing, we should take it into account. For instance, the Peer to Peer University’s School of Webcraft seems to be well respected in the software industries. How “big” are their learning activities/courses? To the extent their badges etc. are considered meaningful by employers etc., let’s consider how to find a way to map them to formal education credentialing. For instance, this is Pete’s public-facing page on the Mozilla Open Backpack reflecting that he earned the “WIKISOO Burba Badge”
  • how does it fit in a pathway to a credential
  • how is it measured?
  • notional learning hours
  • duration
  • benefits
  • maintain user engagement
  • facilitate reuse of “chunks” to build a “course”
  • some smaller components may be easier to clearly assess
  • collection of understandable learning analytics
  • Three kinds of credentialing to consider:
    • Traditional grading/credit (available to enrolled students)
    • Badges created independently, e.g. P2PU, Mozilla Open Badges…
    • Badges created by/stewarded by the university (non-enrolled students can earn something that will have meaning to the university because it was designed there, and they know what it means.)

Group decisions for this activity including who and when

  • Clearly articulate what is a micro course
  • Share benefits of micro courses Jim, Pete
  • Research references of other instances of “micro” courses
  • point to SCoPE discussion
  • Commit to furthering this discussion on the OERu mailing list Pete, Gail

Summary of SCoPE discussion on micro credentials

To summarise the mOOC guidelines the OERu could think about:

  • Target a mOOC for roughly 4 weeks of learning interaction for cohort based offerings. That would fit rather well assuming approximately 10 hours of study per week which is pretty much in line with what many single-mode distance teaching providers use thus totalling about 40 hours of learning which seems to be the minimum for authentic and meaningful summative assessment. This would not preclude “continuous” or open registration alternatives.
  • The mOOCs should be designed to accommodate a continuum of learner needs, for example learners participating for personal interest who can sip and dip into topics of interest right up to learners studying for formal academic credit.
  • The ability to deliver OERu mOOCs where cohort learners registered for full time study could interact with OERu independent learners including those who are participating for personal interest.
  • Designing OERu mOOCs for reuse in different modalities, for instance, integrated into full-time study on campus plus free OERu learning (parallel mode). Thinking creatively we could also have one mOOC with multiple exit points, eg 1st yr bachelor's degree level, 3rd yr bachelor's degree level and masters degree level moving towards a competency model. These mOOCs could cover the same topics, but the assessment will differ substantially depending on level. (This would not work for all disciplines – but certainly something we could try in subject areas where this could work.)
  • Clearly state prerequisite skills, for example social media skills with student support tutorials to help those who don't have these skills to get up to speed.
  • Partner mOOCs – that is the associate courses required for gaining full course credits should be clearly identified. This means that we must take course credit as the point of departure ensure that when a learner successfully competes the “set” they can get formal credit towards the courses leading to credible credentials.