InnovaT MOOC ends with over 1300 participants in Latin America and Europe
“This MOOC took place at a time when all universities were forced to move to emergency online teaching in which participating professors were able to share their learning and concerns regarding this new teaching-learning model,” says Carlos Alario, coordinating professor of the MOOC.
As part of the “InnovaT” project, the InnovaT MOOC was completed in 2020, designed and developed collaboratively by Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUAS), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences (FHJ), with a variety of instructors and guests with extensive and proven track records in innovation in teaching and learning processes.
This first MOOC exceeded expectations in terms of the number of participants, with over 1300 participants enrolled, mostly university professors from Peru and Chile, in addition to other Latin American and European countries. Of the total, 20.2% completed the course, a percentage that is well above the average for this type of platform, which is around 5-10%.
The course was based on six topics related to educational innovation: how to be an innovative teacher; design thinking, co-creation and innovative games; exposure; interaction; project-based learning; and innovative assessment systems and portfolios. Of these, the one that attracted the most attention was “interaction,” according to the final survey completed by the participants.
The MOOC, which was available online on edX’s “Edge” platform, coordinated by UC3M, was developed at a complex time for professors, who required new guidelines for their virtual classes. “It is important to highlight that this MOOC took place at a time when all universities were forced to move to emergency online teaching in which participating professors were able to share their learning and concerns regarding this new teaching-learning model,” says Carlos Alario, coordinating professor of the MOOC.
In this line, he highlights the participants’ active engagement, who interacted constantly through the platform, “the course’s discussion forum was highly active, with fourteen threads of conversation, including discussions about how to generate an effective learning environment during a pandemic, how to be an effective teacher, how to encourage critical thinking and creativity, among others,” says Alario.
One of the objectives of the course was to create participatory work dynamics, in which the instructors presented a variety of content and exercises for each topic. From there, several discussions were guided by the instructors, and others were created by the participants themselves, who at the end of the course were able to design an innovative curriculum based on the knowledge acquired, which was evaluated by their peers.
“The MOOC was a collaborative learning experience, which was enriched not only in terms of the methodologies learned from our teachers, but also by the contributions of our colleagues. This learning for virtual environments enabled me to learn more about video editing and the use of digital tools to make the sessions more attractive for my students,” said Juana Huaco, professor at Universidad de Piura, Peru.
The teachers also valued learning new methodologies such as design thinking, co-creation and innovative games, “during this semester I have used many of the technological tools contained in the MOOC, for interaction as well as for motivation and communication. Of the tools, I highlight whiteboards such as Jamboard and Lucidchart, the complete range of Google Docs for collaborative work, and other interaction platforms such as Kahoot, Flip Grid, among others. On the other hand, regarding the next semester, I am already planning to use project-based learning, following the guidelines presented in the MOOC,” says Gerardo Madariaga, professor at Universidad Católica San Pablo in Peru.
Like Professor Madariaga, other teachers have already indicated that they are incorporating the new knowledge, “the MOOC has helped me a lot; in addition to learning new tools, to project improvements in my teaching activities. In this sense, together with the new policies that my university has implemented, I am incorporating the tools that InnovaT gave me in course design, which allow me to work with like-minded foreign colleagues, in innovative courses to reach students at the international level,” concluded Santiago Peredo, professor at Universidad de Santiago de Chile.