NCSS MOOC Launches with 1400 Teachers

MOOC LogosOn Monday, June 22 the National Council for the Social Studies began its first MOOC with a free 15 module online course on Improving Historical Reading and Writing. After emerging as an educational phenomenon in 2008, a growing body of research has examined Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). Recent data from 68 open online courses showed overall participation in MOOCs has remained substantial and growth rates are steady. Further, teachers made up thirty-nine percent (39%) of these MOOC students, which bolsters an argument put forth by Seaton that residential college courses are less likely than MOOCs to attract teachers of the topic, as the cost, time commitments, and geographical constraints are likely to be burdens. In contrast, MOOCs offer nonbinding exploration and content that may be repurposed for a teacher’s classroom.

ImpHRW Badge

In a TED Talk that has been viewed more than 800,000 times, Agarwal (2013) argued that massively open online courses have the potential to reimagine education with: (a) active learning; (b) self-pacing; (c) instant feedback; (d) gamification; and (e) peer learning. The NCSS MOOC helps to leverage its members’ expertise and direct these elements in improving teacher professional development in History-Social Studies. In creating MOOCs for professional development assets, the NCSS can fulfill a need that is not being met by schools or districts and help teachers stay current with their content knowledge and pedagogical trends.

15 Mods

So far in the first 24 hours of the course, there have been over 8,600 page views, 400 participations and 144 discussions started. Teachers are connecting with each other and proceeding through the course at their own pace. It will be interesting to see how those numbers increase by the end of the summer.

References

Agarwal, A. (2013, June). Why massive open online courses still matter. Technology Education & Design. Monterrey, CA. Accessed at http://www.ted.com/talks/anant_agarwal_why_massively_open_online_courses_still_matter/transcript?language=en

Ho, A. D., Chuang, I., Reich, J., Coleman, C., Whitehill, J., Northcutt, C., Williams, J. J., Hansen, J., Lopez, G., & Petersen, R. (2015). HarvardX and MITx: Two years of open online courses (HarvardX Working Paper No. 10). Accessed on April 2, 2015. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2586847

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s