We were delighted to host yesterday in UPF Barcelona the FutureLearn Academic Network meeting, with the theme “The Educator Experience”. The meeting was co-organized by FutureLearn, the UPF Center for Learning Innovation & Knowledge (CLIK, directed by Manel Jiménez) and the Learning Technologies research team that I coordinate within the Interactive Technologies group at the UPF ICT Department.
The event started with an inspiring keynote by Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh, who explained Edinburgh’s developing MOOC strategy, including producing 64 online Masters courses.
Dr. Lisa Harris and Nic Fair explained how they are integrating MOOCs intoUniversity of Southampton practice from a perspective of education and research.
Dr. Rebecca Ferguson, from The Open University, presented an very interesting analysis about what the research of FutureLearn’s UK partners tell us.
PhD Students from the Open University (ShiMing Chua,Tina Papathoma) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Kalpani Manathunga,Ishari Amarasinghe, Kostas Michos) presented their ongoing research around analyzing and enhancing social learning in MOOCs and how educators learn how to teach in MOOCs.
And Manel and I gave an overview of the MOOC research carried out at UPF essentially in the context of the RESET project and the DTIC Maria de Maetzu strategic program on Data-Driven Knowledge Extraction.
There was also a Skype discussion with the participation of Ester Oliveras (UPF), Sarah Cornelius (University of Aberdeen), Sarah Speight (Nottingham), Pierre Binetruy (Paris Diderot) moderated by Mike Sharples about what have been the experiences of educators on FutureLearn courses, and how can these be improved.
All in all it was an enriching event, with interesting ideas and discussions about the role of MOOCs to achieve educational impact, to accelerate the educational technologies strategy within the institution, for educational research, and as research methodology. See #BarcelonaFLAN in twitter! And pictures in Flickr!