Taking ‘Teaching Online’ from a closed course to an open one

Our course on Teaching Online has been running as a closed online course for many years, but on 10 March it will start running as our second open online course, joining First Steps in Learning and Teaching, which started its third run on 17 January.

The tutor team (Greg Benfield, Marion Waite, and I) are currently working through the differences between the closed and open versions of the course, deciding which activities will work in a course where we might have large and varying numbers of participants, and how that makes different pedagogical and technological demands from the closed course, where we’ve had smaller and more predictable participant numbers. Some of our existing activities and resources look like they will translate well, others need some adjustment to work in this new setting, and others will be new to this run of the course.

Like all other open online courses, whether massive or otherwise, there’s an element of experimentation in our course design, using what we know about online learning in general to find out more about how it works in open courses. There’s also a feeling that we’re testing the waters for the faculty-based MOOCs that the university will soon be offering – seeing what we can do with the ‘Brookes experience’, and within the limits of the specific technology we have available.

One of the things ‘openness’ means in this context is that many different levels of participation are possible, from dropping in to read up on one particular topic, through to attending webinars, participating in online discussions, and submitting work for assessment (the course is accredited for 10 M-level credits, for which a fee is charged).

Find more information and sign up here: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/online/online_tutoring/ .

About the author

Elizabeth Lovegrove

Liz works in OCSLD developing, supporting and teaching on online courses. She also researches and teaches in the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies.

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