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sschmoller
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Martin - thanks for this and for your previous post with the completion rate charts. I think that if completion matters then plenty of "up front" clarity about what a particular MOOC will involve will help. In the olden days (late 1990s) I discovered when responsible for the early runs of the non-MOOC Learning to Teach On-Line (http://www.online.sheffcol.ac.uk/index.cfm?ParentID=7f6d8400-59f1-45ae-b10d-03b0b3f97d8b) that having a clear "pre-course assessment" process allowed prospective learners to check properly what the course would involve, and to confirm before signing up that they knew what they'd be letting themselves in for; and were "up for it". Completion rates increased from say 40% to 75% once we'd introduced this stage into the enrolment process. This is the approach that we are taking in the design of a MOOC that I am currently working on called Citizens' Maths (http://citizensmaths.com/) We'll not be able to prevent people just joining - nor would we want to; but we will be encouraging them to engage with a pre-course process as part of signing up.
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Mar 15, 2010
Ian. No, one swallow did not make a summer. The point I was trying to make in a too oblique way is that "learning with technology" is not something that should simply be left to teachers and learning providers to organise. Partly because getting it right - as in Sugata's examples - requires a sea-change in approach that is challenging to commonly held and conservative - that's a small "c" - views about teaching and learning. (To its credit Becta has worked hard to challenging such views.) Secondly some aspects of technology in learning require things to be done at scale for them to work, with funding pooled not delegated. It is for these reasons that I think David Cameron's singling out of Becta is particularly misguided. Seb
More than three years later, via Doug Gowan, the BBC's Jonathan Fildes reports on some of the project's findings.
Two issues strike me. 1. The uptake and spread of all personal and family technologies (from bicycles, to the fridge, to the radio, to mobile phones) is driven by the "life-changing" utility of the devices. As far as I know there was no need for classes or government campaigns to promote their uptake. So, if Government wants to help alter the behaviour of the self-excluded, a good place to start is provision - by Government and its proxies - of useful services using the Internet (and through mobile phones, whose interfaces with the Internet are improving fast). Hence the point of, say, putting a Google Translate button onto Government or Local Authority or school or NHS web sites. 2. Access to the Internet is like access to clean water - you need it to function in a developed economy. So pipework matters. Digital Britain's emphasis on a 2 MB/s Universal Service Obligation is right (as well as being overdue). In impoverished urban areas a challenge is the lack of credit-worthiness (which prevents people from having fixed line phones or cable connections), for which reason public WiFi, and improved 3G coverage (with changed tariffs for accessing it, including pay-as-you-go) are both important. From what I could make of it, Digital Britain does not discuss lack of credit-worthiness, focusing exclusively in the section on the Universal Service Obligation (paragraphs 32 to 42) on technical infrastructure.