Thursday, April 10, 2014

Notes from: MOOCs for Development


Welcoming Intro Ezekiel Emmanuel

- MOOCs 'democratizing' education? (vs? 'socializing')
    - but - access, language, etc

- MOOCs - equalize opportunity for elites in developing countries
    - may widen inequality in developing countries - more for elites, nothing for the rest
   - issues of quality - eg. issue of keeping them engaged etc

- how do get the value to people in the bottom third?
- how do we ensure the materials are genuinely educational

- all this from the context of video production
    - we have no idea how th economics of this will work


Andy Porter - Dean of the Graduate School of Education

    - Zeke brings up the problem of 'the rich get richer'
        - advances in learning tend to create wider gaps
        - how can we use MOOCs to reduce inequalities

    - the challenges don't have to be challenges
        - they don't have to be in English, they don't have to require high reading skills
        - we need to look at 'what is excellence in online teaching'



   
The Advent of MOOCs panel session

Abdul Wahid Khan IGNOU


    - MOOCs - recent, buzzword, etc - critics call it a fad, hype, etc.
    - my bias - MOOCs have a contribution to make, but there are reasons to be careful
        - MOOCs essentially a response to the emerging knowledge society - the value of knowledge increases
        - people used to value wealth but now they value knowledge
    - poor man's version of MOOCs
        - mssive - nobody has defined this;
        - open - a new phenomenon;
        - online - this is where I deviate - in my time we had 'on air' for farmers
            - eg. in support of Green Revolution in India - to address gap between the land and the lab
            - radio + printed support system - has been running for 35 years
            - what is the difference? It targeted a local problem, in a local language, multi-sakeholder, blended learning
    - it is not technology that should determine learning, it should be the learning that determines the tech
        - eg. MOOCs in Bengali, in Hindi, etc
        - you don't want to put a current evaluation against the potential of the technology
        - what made IGNOU possible?
            - massive unmet demand,
            - plus, we began to develop programs that meet the needs of industry
            - encouraged active partnership between public and private sector (eg. 3,500 private sector learning facilities)
        - technology can bring a multiplier effect, but the technology per se is not the action


Bakary Diallo - Rector, AVU

    - pragmatism before popularity - it's hard to make a decision before you know what the future is
        - that said, MOOCs make sense for us in the context of higher ed in Africa
    - the biggest problem in Africa is access
        - need min 12-15 graduates from tertiary education to sustain development
        - so eg. video not currently practical
        - exploring solar power, fibre-optics, etc
    - e-learning is a viable and profitable business in Africa, which is evidence it works
        - 75% of AVU's activity devoted to capacity-building
    - OERs - the fact that the resources are open makes a big difference
        - but how to capitalize on this?
        - additional problem of accreditation - need programs, not courses (MOOPs)
    - Objectives
        - form institutional partnerships
        - develop infrastructure adapted to the African context
       

Mikala Petoki - EPFL - Luasanne

    - MOOCs - in a normal hype cycle
    - future - multiple forms, different blends, features for specific user groups, business models
        - outlook - here to stay
    - key ingredients:  great offering; tech, data, visualizations; know learning more
    - the user at the center - this is about people this is about individuals
        - and the user is not like me
    - the question is - how do we serve *people* in resource-poor communities
        - and how do we serve each of them in the right way
    - opportunities:
        - dissemination - bandwidth, language, and blended configurations
            - eg. EPFL Flying Donkey Drone Challenge
        - academic environment
            - credit and certification, adapt governance, work on regulatory environment, multi-party initiatives
        - content development
            - students have to have the basis to comprehend, and teachers are still at the centre of videos
        - harnessing networks - eg. French-language networks


How does existing technology help MOOCs be localized and learner-centred?
    - intended for massive numbers, but doesn't prevent designing programs for the needs of a specific group
    - add that the blend no matter where allows for a collective learning experience
    - what kind of pedagogy? there is none - it's up to you - there is no pedagogy in traditional university
        - IGNOU - many students appear in competitive exams - even from traditional institutions - using IGNOU materials
        - AVU has two courses for lecturers addressing these issues


Costs & Benefits of MOOCs


Clara Ng - Coursera

    - model - what are the costs, and what are the opportunities that offset them
        - universities - costs (course production $50L-$200K) plus faculty time (400 hrs median)
        - learners - mostly costs time, as MOOCs are mostly free
    - sustainable ecosystem requires understanding of value creation
        - cycle where universities create value for students, students create value for universities
        - Coursera value for students: the education, which we provide for free, and the credentials, which we earn revenue
            - identity-verified certificate - using photos and biometric assessment of typing pattern
            - certificate track - $30-$100/course - averaging 1.2% conversion up to current avg of 2.4%
                - driven by demand from employers
                - also driven by improvements to user interface
            - total $4M revenue thus far
    - specializations - sequence of courses
    - project-based learning - social impact (Scott Plous, Wesleyan Uni) - contest (how to live compassionately for 24 hours)
    - value for learners
        - free courses
        - translated content
        - mobile access
        - social learning and community building

Michele Rimini - OECD

    - economic models
    - OECD's ambition to become a 'Global Inclusive Policy Network'
        - aid assistance
        - OECD strategy for development
            - small-set of global goals, evidence-based policy
            - PISA for development - universal method for measuring educational success
        - knowledge for inclusive innovation and development
            -evidence on impacts of innovation
    - CERI (Center for Educational Research and Innovation)
        - research on evidence-base of OER - 'Giving Knowledge for Free'
        - future work on Open Higher Education (OERs and MOOCs)
        - (definitions, MOOCs and OERs)
    - differences between MOOCs and OERs
        - license, OERs open, MOOCs usually copyright
        - length: OERs any length, MOOCs full course
        - OERs mainly for teachers, MOOCs mainly for students
        - OERs flexible, MOOCs rigid
    - business models
        - donations - private funding, public funding, VC funding
        - institutional enlargement - eg. MIT's OCW, EdX
        - freemium - content for free, market prices for premium services
        - advertising, sale of personal information
        - professional training, courses licensed for training needs
   
Juliana Guaqueta - International Finance Corporation (World Bank)

    - to help private entities develop jobs, tax revenues, etc
    - huge growth of private institutions - a piece of the equation worth supporting, much more effective
    - strategy - increase reach and impact - systemic approach, develop skills & enhance employability
    - 50% of what we do is in Latin America, because theire governments are more open to private sector participation
    - gaps in access to education
    - organizational types of MOOCs
        - private for-profit (Coursera, Udemy)
        - university consortium (EdX, FutureLearn)
        - government-sponsored (FUN/France)
    - Business models
        - B2C space - fee that students pay (eg Udemy, fee set by instructors, Coursera, fee for certificate)
        - B2B side - employee training, philanthropy, data analytics, licensing fees, academic programs online
    - IFC's thinking - emerging market take-up, key enrollment driver, exist
        - dev impact: access to HE alternatives, employability and LLL, increase knowledge base, innovation in education

- Question of whether education is a public good or not
    - concern that education has become a public good without public support
    - cost of production is high, but the market is based on the low cost of reproduction
        - concern about how to generate revenue - where does public funding come from
        - beyond this question: the practical question is, what sort of business models are we comfortable implementing
        - costs of rerunning courses are low, so we encourage institutions to rerun the course
        - knowledge is more and more more commoditized
            - but the resources will never replace full-fledged education, but somebody has to pay
    - (I'm from MIT) - my courses are on OCW, the costs of keeping OCW going are well beyond those of the first foundations
    - (OAS) - facilitated teacher education - we are really lagging behind compared to OECD countries
        - is theer a model in a developing country doing PD for teachers
    - what's the revenue-share between Coursera & Universities? - 15% going to university

Cooperative Model?
    - is really present in OER - OER does not need to find a sustainable business model, just needs a value network
   
Tracking how learners learn in different contexts

MOOCs and International Development

 
Papa Youga Dieng - OIF

    - overview of Organisastion internationale de la francophonie
        - strategic plan 2005-2015 - support for education
        - projects - www.examen.sn  www.ifadem.org    rel2014.mooc.ca
    Issues and perspectives
        - shortage of qualified teachers - between 40% - 60% in many African countries
        - Low access to electricity and connectivity in poor countries
            - MOOCs support professional development
            - MOOCs for crosscutting issues
            - can generte OERs to be disseminated by paper, radio, etc
    - recommendations
        - increase access to technology
        - build capacity in universities and teacher colleges
        - explore mobile technology and alt energy

Sandra Klopper - University of Cape Town

    - can speak of Anglophone but not francophone Africa
    - Africans are consumers rather than producers of MOOCs
        - from Africa material is produced that goes into others' MOOCs
    - MOOCs and development challenges in Africa - other priorities
        - showcase African knowledge and expertise
        - resource, social and development initiatives in Africa
    - Resource implications in the development of MOOCs
        - major costs, expertise required - cf University of London report on mOOCs
        - governance and strategy

Steven Duggan - Microsoft


 - how do we deliver personalized learning
    - Do your students like school? mostly - 'no'
        - the current modalities are failing everyone
    - tech - Khan reached 216M students with 36 teachers
    - the ability to learn doesn't just appear with availability
    - modern schools: need to teach collaboration, communiocation, problem solving
    - show don't tell (then he plays a video)
    - new forms of learning need new forms of measurement
    - what are the big challenges in education?
        - #1 - literacy - we need books, readers, coaches, etc.,
        - there are 7K languages, most of which have < 100K speakers
        - almost a third of illiterate students live in illiterate homes
    - MS - has created free tools - lit4life.net
        - anyone can create a book with text, images and audio
        - can be distributed on smart phones (16K texts on a phone)
        - we can provide assessment, because we know when they have finished a book
    - what does success look like?
        - the class of the future won't look like a space age class of today
        - the classroom is a recent inveention
        - what we will have before that class will look more like apprenticeship
        - personal learning - but this has to be available to both developing & developed would

Comments

- 20 years for now - the need for higher ed people will double, the need for teachers will tripple

- what is success - students success in life, in employment, in (?)

- the need to keep teachers in the loop, to keep parents in the loop
    - response (Duggan) the point isn't to replace teachers or schools
    - (Dieng) problem of teachers without training, and low pay for teachers
        - also - even if tech isn't essential for training, it creates incentive

- the notion of democratic MOOCs

- how to balance effective MOOC vs sustainability issue
    - (Duggan) the key issue is how to create more content
    - (echo of same comment from Udemy)
    - the question of what there is to learn from these communities

- copyright and content issues - and support for open licensing



Surprises - Economic Models

    - we didn't hear about the institutional impact of MOOCs
    - no space around the ethical dimension
    - missing in business models session - link to developing countries
    - missing - division between public & private universities
    - maybe more of a stakeholder analysis - but with a comparison between drivers
    - looking at institutional involvement - to what end?
    - what does 'free' mean - not just access, but price, and participattion

        - MOOCs, ODLs
    - no discussion of the flipped classroom model
  

Thoughts


    - 'democratization' - getting people into jobs, etc (India - 500 million people need employment skills)
        - question of how much is a production problem and how much is a distribution problem

    - how much of this economy depends on creating scarcities rather than responding to them
        - issues of licensing
        - 'giving knowledge for free' vs 'creating knowledge'

    - democratic MOOCs - vs? what leads us closer to meeting needs of developing world

    - & education isn't a 'delivery problem' so much as a creation problem
        - we need to get away from delivering learning

    - what is 'massive' - group vs individuals vs network
    - what is 'success' - able to do vs able to know (direct challenge to PISA)
    - connectivist model - linking community & OERs
    - community-based economic model
        - the hard part isn't creating content,

No society has ever been built on the sale of education
No society has ever been built without education

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