Higher Education Conference in Amsterdam

Between July 13th and July 15th 2016 the Higher Education Conference took place in Amsterdam. It was a combination of the Special Interest Group on Higher Education of EARLI and the EERA Higher Education Network.

Two paper sessions dealt explicitly with blended and online education. It started with a seemingly promising contribution on MOOCs as a challenge for higher education. Jens Riehemann of the University of Muenster explained his research that focused on reducing the feeling of being one among many others in a virtual crowd as a way to enhance participation. Unfortunately he did not use a real MOOC to investigate this issue but provided students with paper vignettes. A second contribution of Hofmeister (University of Liverpool) questioned the further rubrication of learning outcomes. It was plea for reflective learning tasks that suggest open intersubjective educational relationships . Although not on online learning, the contribution on e-mobility (electrical mobility) of Antje Schilling (TU Braunschweig) provided an interesting design of learning environments. Round tables were uses in a course where 3 to 5 students from different fields of study collaborated on the same project.

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UM MOOC Problem-Based Learning: Principles and Design

Students at the centre! 


Maastricht University (UM) has a strong tradition in Problem-Based Learning (PBL), focussing on small-group learning centered around authentic problems. At first sight, this is in contrast with the large-scale and often teacher-driven set-up of MOOCs. UM is, however, interested in exploring the potential of online PBL and the potential of MOOCs. To gain first-hand experience and to explore implications for UM staff and students UM developed a MOOC about PBL which is designed –as far as possible in the setting of a MOOC- in line with modern learning principles that are also at the basis of PBL: constructive, contextual, collaborative and self-directed learning: Problem-Based Learning: Principles and design. Students at the centre!

A university-wide project team, consisting of 34 people from all faculties, was responsible for this innovative MOOC design. The course is centered around a set of authentic problems organized in three different tracks:

  • The role of the tutor in PBL
  • Designing PBL problems and courses
  • Assessment and organisational aspects of PBL

Participants work in groups on authentic problems in a similar way as face-to-face PBL tutor groups, except that they work online and do not have a tutor.

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MOOC over Blended Learning op FutureLearn en MOOC Café bij SURF

bron: SURF

De MOOC ‘Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started’ op FutureLearn is bedoeld voor mensen die kennis willen maken met de ins & outs van blended learning. Wat verstaan we onder blended learning? Wat zijn de voordelen? Welke leeromgevingen, tools en (open) leermaterialen zijn beschikbaar? En hoe ontwerpt u blended onderwijs? De MOOC loopt van 7 maart tot en met 10 april 2016, en is opgebouwd uit vijf weken. Reken per week op ongeveer 3 uur studietijd voor het bestuderen van de online content.

MOOC Café: leren van en met elkaar

Uiteraard is iedereen vrij om de MOOC in zijn eigen tijd te volgen. Voor mensen die de online cursus liever met collega’s van andere Nederlandse onderwijsinstellingen volgen organiseert SURFacademy een MOOC Café. Tijdens 3 face-to-facebijeenkomsten is er ’s ochtends ruimte om de content van de MOOC te bestuderen, voor het geval u daar niet in uw eigen tijd aan toe bent gekomen. In de middag bespreekt u de theorie samen met andere deelnemers, hoort u een praktijkvoorbeeld van een Nederlandse onderwijsinstelling en vertaalt u de theorie vervolgens naar de Nederlandse context en uw eigen onderwijsinstelling. Als u de stof van de MOOC liever in uw eigen tijd bestudeert kunt u ’s middags aanschuiven.

Voor meer infortmatie: SURF Academy MOOC Café