Unleashing the potential of MOOCS
The technological development the world has witnessed in the past decade has forced us to rethink ways in which we offer education-related services. MOOCs – Massive Open Online Course – have been particularly interesting as students all over the world – and irrespective of financial background – can freely gain access to perspectives offered by world class lecturers at any hour of the day or night. Tomorrow – May 15 – is the starting date for the second round of UiO’s MOOC entitled “What Works: Promising Practices in International Development”. You are welcome to join!
Educational institutions all over the world are increasingly realizing the benefits of online courses where anyone with an internet connection can access high quality instruction through a MOOC. Two years ago, our University offered Norway’s first international MOOC entitled, “What Works: Promising Practices in International Development”. It was the brainchild of Dan Banik, Professor of Political Science and Research Director at our Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM). This MOOC, which entails collaboration with Stanford University in addition to featuring academics from Malawi and China, has been updated and condensed into a new 3-week course that will be offered by the University of Oslo starting Monday 15 May. World-renowned scholars such as Francis Fukuyama and Stephen Krasner in addition to our own Gro Harlem Brundtland are featured in the course. I encourage students and faculty interested in the topic to register for this free course at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/what-works/
I am particularly pleased to note that this MOOC will be offered parallel to a regular course. Thus, while students enrolled in SUM4026M will watch most lectures online, they will in addition have several interactive sessions with Dan in class. They will also appear for a written exam, which will provide study credits. Such “blended classrooms” are exciting in that they offer regular students the opportunity not just to interact with their fellow classmates on campus but also with thousands of other learners spread all over the world.
I was honored to be a part of the first UiO MOOC, and look very much forward to being part of this new and updated version that we are offering again this year. Dan and his colleagues at SUM have also developed a What Works Community website that serves as a hub for news on what is working in development and poverty reduction, including on-going research on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I encourage you to visit the above-mentioned resources and become a part of a truly global community of learners and educators.
Universities should be stewards of our intellectual, scientific and cultural legacy but should also give a voice to future generations. The SDGs require that we think anew when we structure our educational programs and reach out to our collaborative partners. With their MOOC and other initiatives, SUM is successfully stepping up to this challenge.
One of my previous blogs on SDGs:
Other MOOCs from the University of Oslo:
- Introduction to Norwegian
- Academic dugnad: joining forces for inclusion
- Music moves: A new MOOC from UiO
An overview: http://www.uio.no/studier/evu/
One of my previous blogs on MOOCs: