Monday, 7 October 2013

Story Behind My Engagement with University of Reading MOOC

In one of my previous Blogs I talked about Planning and Creating a MOOC. The first MOOC offered by University of Reading is Begin Programming: build your first mobile game. Despite wanting to blog about our MOOC I had to be abide by an embargo on publicizing too much information before the launch event. Since the FutureLearn launch event was held 18th September now I am free to blog about our MOOC, Begin Programming: build your first mobile game.
We had submitted our MOOC Systematic Review to IRRODL and shared it within the University among our colleagues. Actually it was Prof. Shirley Williams who initiated this sharing and discussion. At the same time the University was interested in MOOCs and because everyone now knew that we had an interest on MOOCs we got the chance to get closely involved in the University's MOOC work. Several departments/schools within the University were interested in offering MOOCs but with strong leadership of Prof. Williams the School of Systems Engineering team got the chance to go ahead with the first MOOC.

Then came the painful task of creating content, which I along with Dr. Karsten, who is the lead lecturer in our Begin Programming MOOC did. We had various templates to fill in, create content, get involved in the quality assurance process and so on. We met at least twice a month, I think, to monitor the progress and the back stage content was developed. All the time Shirley was there with us providing guidance. Then we started the video shooting. Luckily for us Luke Micallef in the Digital Development team at the University came to our aid. With the University venturing into MOOCs, he became the dedicated Open Online Course Developer at the University and we got lot of help from him. Karsten was great in front of the camera and you can see that from this course trailer. Almost all the scenes were videoed in front of a green screen as you can see here. Luke did all the nice graphics etc to make these videos.

So this is our MOOC team from the left it is Prof. Shirley Williams, Luke Micallef, Myself and Dr. Karsten Lundqvist.

(Official Group Photograph: UoR Begin Programming MOOC team)

FutureLearn is still in its Beta stage. Since launching MOOC on 18th September within a day our Begin Programming MOOC has hit the target and now the we are offering registration for 2014 to people who could not get registered in for 2013 run. Now we are looking forward to meeting our MOOC participants and facilitating their learning from 28th October 2013.

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