What is a MOOC?

MOOC is short for “massive open online course.” While MOOCs have recently received a great deal of attention, the idea has been around for some time. The original MOOCs, now dubbed cMOOCs (connectivist), were all about being open, transparent, connected, and collaborative. More recently, a new breed of xMOOCs have gained popularity. These MOOCs are focused on serving very large numbers, hundreds of thousands, of users. As such, they often have less facilitation and peer collaboration, and some have been criticized for their lack of openness.

DLMOOC aspires to serve thousands of participants and yet to still be collaborative and connectivist. To do that, we will rely on the community that we build, and we hope you will be a part of that.

When is this MOOC being offered?

This course will begin the week of January 20, 2014 and will continue through the week of March 27, 2014.

Is there a syllabus for this course?

Yes, you can see the syllabus here.

What is Deeper Learning?

According to the Hewlett Foundation, deeper learning is an umbrella term for the skills and knowledge that students must possess to succeed in 21st century jobs and civic life. At the heart of deeper learning is a set of competencies students must master in order to develop a keen understanding of academic content, while applying their knowledge to problems in the classroom and on the job. The deeper learning framework includes six competencies that are essential to prepare students to achieve at high levels:

  • Master core academic content
  • Think critically and solve complex problems
  • Work collaboratively
  • Communicate effectively
  • Learn how to learn
  • Develop academic mindsets

What is “DLMOOC: A open online learning experience for educators about deeper learning” all about?

Our intention is to offer just a taste of some of the practices that help lead to deeper learning. Additionally, we will attempt to actively model practices that lead to deeper learning rather than simply discussing.

Who is the intended audience for this course?

The MOOC is aimed at teachers, school leaders, and other educators interested in encouraging more deeper learning in their schools and classrooms. Although the course is aimed at school practitioners, others may benefit from the course as well, and we anticipate participation from people working on policy and in foundations involved with deeper learning pedagogy. We welcome students and parents to this MOOC as well.

What are the elements of this MOOC?

While we want to be flexible and able to make changes on the fly, we have plans for the following:

  • We will host a live online panel discussion each week on Monday at 4:00 pm PST (00:00 GMT).
  • We will host an interactive discussion each Thursday at 4:00 pm PST. The interactive discussion will make use of protocols for looking at student work and discussing educator dilemmas.
  • Additionally, we will be suggesting readings and videos relevant to each week’s topic.
  • Finally, there will be a number of suggested activities that involve doing something and discussing what you did with other participants in the MOOC.

Will I get some kind of formal credit for completing this course?

No, but we hope that you will learn a lot by participating in this experience. We will also have a badge that you can apply for upon completion of the course.

Who is behind this MOOC?

The Deeper Learning MOOC is a collaboration between High Tech High Graduate School of Education, MIT Media Lab, Peer 2 Peer University, and the Deeper Learning Community of Practice. This project is generously being supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Raikes Foundation. More information about our team is also available here.

How big will this course be?

We do not know, but we are confident it can be really influential and innovative in education. As we are building on previous work done by P2PU and MIT Media Lab, we know that we have the infrastructure in place to manage large numbers of participants. One of the questions we are trying in to answer with this MOOC is “How is it possible to facilitate deeper learning experiences for a large number of participants in a primarily online format?”

What is Deeper Learning 2014?

Last spring, Deeper Learning 2013 (DL2013) was hosted at High Tech High in San Diego, CA. About 350 educators gathered together for a couple of days to share strategies, to make new connections, and to develop new ideas. When it was over, we knew we had to do this again! DL2014 will be held March 26-28, 2014 in San Diego. You can learn more here.

What is the connection between this Deeper Learning MOOC and DL2014?

This experiment is about developing the intersection between an online experience and a face-to- face experience. The Deeper Learning MOOC culminates with the face-to-face DL2014. We will be taking advantage of the gathering of many terrific educators at DL2014 to broadcast elements of DL2014 to DL MOOC participants. We will be encouraging participants in DL2014 to participate in the MOOC as well.

I signed up, but did not receive a confirmation email. What now?

Turns out, some combination of browser/javascript/pop-up blockers interfere with the sign-up form. Most likely, if you have not received a confirmation email, the sign-up did not go through at all. Please try disabling the blockers, or try a different browser, and sign-up again (don’t forget to enable the blockers again afterwards). If you still don’t receive a confirmation email, please let us know at dlmooc AT deeper-learning DOT org and tell us which email address you registered. We’ll take care of you! Sorry about the inconvenience. Fortunately this only affects a tiny number of people. (We know that’s no consolation!)

Who can I contact if I have questions about this?

If you don’t find answers here, you can contact us at dlmooc AT deeper-learning DOT org.

6 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Pingback: Top Stories: The New Year 2014! | CUNY Institute for Education Policy

  2. I’m interested in taking this class. I couldn’t find the times. Can I participate whenever? Is it recorded? Or do I need to be on line at a certain time?

    I’m an adult ESL instructor. Will there be some discussions about helping adult learners learn how to learn in and out of class?

    • Most of the course activities can be done whenever you like. There will be two live sessions a week, but they will also be recorded so you can watch later. See http://dlmooc.deeper-learning.org/how-does-this-dlmooc-thing-work/ for more on how the course will work.

      We will have some discussions on adult learners, though the focus will be more on youth. However, many of the readings and videos will be applicable to adult learners, and there are others enrolled in the course who are interested in adult learners. We encourage folks to form small groups to explore topics of specific interest to them.

      If you decide to participate, make sure to sign up on the main page so you get our weekly emails.

      DLMOOC is flexible, and we hope you’ll participate in whatever way makes sense for you!

    • Often these confirmations go into folks’ spam folders.

      Also, all of our content is posted openly (no registration needed) on this site. We also cross-post the weekly emails here and on G+ and Twitter.

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