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Monday, April 20, 2015

6 Tips for Creating a 'Mini' MOOC

"There are ways to allow your institution to experiment with online courses, even if they're not intended to be "massive." An online program manager shares advice." according to Dian Schaffhauser, Senior Contributing Editor.

Not every school is ready to run a massive open online course through one of the larger platforms like edX or Coursera — and maybe that's not what's needed anyway. Sometimes instructors simply want to dabble in order to understand something better. Case in point: the University of Michigan Dearborn. This institution with 9,000 students is considerably smaller than its sibling, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which has 50,000 students. Whereas the Ann Arbor campus was one of the first schools to sign on with Coursera in 2012, the Dearborn campus hasn't yet answered the call to develop courses for the MOOC platform.

Elizabeth Fomin, program manager for Dearborn's College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Online Program, is immersed in all kinds of work at the university related to online learning and emerging technology. She also teaches courses in visual communication and Web technology. In a presentation at the recent CT Forum conference in Long Beach, CA, Fomin shared the lessons she has learned in helping her campus try out a MOOC initiative without waiting for an invitation.

Contract Negotiations May be Quicker...

Photo: Canvas Network

To set up her first MOOC, Fomin filled out a short form that asked her for name, title, e-mail, school and proposed course. Then she received a phone call from somebody at Canvas Network asking what her timeline was. "Less bureaucracy, more learning," is what the site promises. That was all she needed to do — almost. 

The Canvas Network site also states, "Your institution's own approval process is all you need to get started." And that's where the troubles surfaced in Fomin's efforts. Because Canvas collects data on students and their engagement with the course (which is shared with the institution too), the company wants a signature on a two-page memorandum of understanding. That same agreement also gives Instructure permission to put the institution's logo on its site and spells out termination rights and cost if the provider plans to charge for the MOOC.

Source: Campus Technology