Interactive Massive Open Online Courses to revolutionise education, university says
First two rolled out last March; six new ones this year plus more being planned
TAYLOR’S University said it is launching a series of new, interactive Massive Open Online Courses (xMOOCs) that would give young learners access to customised Taylor’s classes anywhere, at any time, for free.
Taylor’s University, which rolled out the first two MOOCs in Malaysia and Asia in March 2013, is introducing six new MOOCs, it said in a statement.
These range from entrepreneurship, bio-sciences, business skills, mobile computing to culinary knowledge, with no admissions requirements. All the MOOCs are offered through a platform known as OpenLearning.com.
Speaking at the MOOCs launch, Taylor’s University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said explained,
“As a university that values excellence in teaching and learning practices, we have embarked on initiatives that make use of the e-learning platforms,” said its Vice-Chancellor and president Professor Dr Hassan Said.
“MOOCs are a natural extension of our e-learning initiatives. The courses not only make learning interactive, but interesting for today’s generation who appreciates flexible learning,” he said.
Taylor’s said its MOOCs are categorised as xMOOCs because they promote two-way communications through discussions and forums between the students and facilitators. In another words, students can obtain immediate feedback on their progress as well as share ideas and experiences with other students.
“Taylor’s MOOCs are ‘mini’ courses designed to offer a taste of what students may experience in a university’s programme; they are not re-creations of Taylor’s undergraduates programme,” said Hassan.
“What sets Taylor’s MOOCs apart from other courses in Malaysia would be the dynamic and interactive delivery method to support a more meaningful learning experience,” he claimed.
In addition, Taylor’s University said it sets its MOOCs apart by incorporating authentic Asian and Malaysian content with the aim of building of a learning community locally. The university has also opted to use Asian speakers for its MOOCs and even incorporated the latest crowd-funding concept for a real-life learning experience in one of its latest MOOC courses.
The newly launched MOOCs range from five weeks to 27 weeks in duration, and learners will review the lesson in the form of video, PDF or PowerPoint slides; they will also participate in course activities such as forums, classes discussions, quizzes or practices, in order to receive a certificate of completion.
“All that’s required of students is an Internet connection, along with time to read, watch instructional videos, work on problems and discuss the material,” said Hassan.
The first two pilot MOOCs – Entrepreneurship and Achieve Success With Emotional Intelligence, led by Taylor’s School of Engineering – were launched in March 2013 and conducted over a period of 14 weeks.
Taylor’s inaugural Entrepreneurship MOOC had a total of 2,337 sign-ups from participants globally, of which 600 successfully completed the module. The completion rate is four times higher than the global average completion rate, the university claimed.
The launch of Taylor’s University’s inaugural MOOCs in March 2013 led the university to design new and improved courses.
“Another primary goal in offering MOOCs is to give our faculty the opportunity to explore new delivery methods through the use of technology,” said Hassan.
“It has been exciting to observe how creatively faculty members teaching our first two MOOCs have reached out to both local students and learners around the world,” he added.
The six new MOOCs cover Biosciences – Journey To The Cell; Wonderful Style of Food and Beverages Around The World; Engineering Future Innovation and The Future of Humankind; Mobile Game Development With Game Salad; A Business Journey With Caffeine Café; and Global Entrepreneurship.
More will be rolled out in phases over the next six months. For more information or to enrol in any of the Taylor’s MOOCs, visit www.openlearning.com.
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