Some of these stories are told in this presentation drawing on the experiences of the 12 MOOC Project at the top-ranked University of Cape Town (UCT). The Project provides two interesting examples of educators developing courses with explicit open and community orientations. The “Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion” course aims to provide capacity building for teachers, educational stakeholders and parents in low resource environments through bringing together communities to focus on inclusion of children with disabilities in schools. The “Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation” course works with a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) to present principles and practical actions for anyone in a civic community to become a social innovator.
Both these courses are offered on major global MOOC platforms – Coursera and Futurelearn – but also have local audiences and local impact as goals. The content and teaching examples are aimed at less traditional MOOC audiences such as people working in schools and NGOs. Some strategies used in the design of the courses included different ways of presenting content, with audio as well as video, transcripts and notes, The courses sought to co-create the content with representatives of the intended community. For the course on social innovation, the head of a social enterprise was one of the educators who partnered with the academic team in defining the course content, which allowed for co-ownership. In the inclusive education course, several NGOs contributed content and materials to the course.
In both cases, the course materials were released under a CC-BY licence with the explicit intention that these materials would be re-used and shared. Sharing and re-use in multiple contexts and interesting ways has been apparent with the educators receiving requests for materials in multiple formats and for different purposes. Examples include teachers and educators using selected materials for professional development, presenters re-using resources for their on-campus classes as well as instances where study groups have formed informally with a facilitator. Community engagement has ranged from informal uses of one or two pieces of content to whole-course use in concentrated bursts (“binge MOOCing”). Examples of re-use have also included shifts across geographic boundaries with re-use evident in other developing contexts. Re-use and reconfiguration of the MOOC materials and take-up in varied contexts by the community of users has been a meaningful outcome for the course academics, who are pursuing further variant course and open offerings.
These cases indicate that open and online offerings can and do serve access and open agendas.
Castillo, N. M., Jinsol, L., Zahra, F. T., & Wagner, D. A. (2015). MOOCs for Development: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities. Information Technologies & International Development, 11(2), 35-42. Retrieved from http://itidjournal.org/index.php/itid/article/viewFile/1396/517
Shah, D. (2016). Monetization over Massiveness: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2016. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-12-29-monetization-over-massiveness-breaking-down-moocs-by-the-numbers-in-2016