For districts considering incorporating MOOCs, Leslie Conery, interim chief education officer at ISTE, recommends learning from each other. “Look for other districts using MOOCs with their students and discover the best strategies for leveraging these resources,” she says. Here are three tips to find success with MOOCs.
1. Train teachers. Encourage teachers to start by taking MOOCs on their own. Discuss with teachers ideas for incorporating MOOCs into the classroom, and listen to their ideas. Talk with other districts about how they have made it work.
2. Ensure students have proper skills. To make the most of widely open online learning opportunities, students must know how to communicate verbally and in writing, work in groups, think critically, and develop their own ideas and projects, Conery says.
3. Ensure that courses are safe and secure. As a general rule, “MOOCs used by colleges and universities for credit award and attainment do not create internet hazards for us,” says Marcy Raymond, principal of eSTEM Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. “We can monitor and open the site without worry that the student will be exposed to dangerous or inappropriate content.” To make sure, teachers should always take the course prior to implementing it with students, and parents should be allowed or encouraged to take the course with their children if they choose, Raymond adds.