The MicroMasters concept as mixed blessing - first experiences from developing a MOOC program in "Emerging Automotive Technologies"
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continue to be part of the educational landscape. Recently, edX introduced the concept of a MicroMasters program, a series of courses on graduate level that upon successful completion both lead to an own-standing professional certificate and also offer a pathway to credit in a regular master program of the MOOC-hosting university. This paper reports on first experiences of setting up a MicroMasters program "Emerging Automotive Technologies" developed by Chalmers University of Technology. The study uses data from (1) pre- and post- course surveys, (2) activity analytics, (3) performance measures and experiential data from the course developers of the first MOOC in the program. The results show that the additional conditions and stakeholders add new and sometimes conflicting objectives to the MOOC development process that cannot be easily aligned. Nevertheless, the first MOOC of the program is considered a successful start. Compared to traditional MOOCs, the study indicates that there is little difference between the learner populations. On the other hand, the levels of activity were significantly higher throughout the course. The paper concludes that the concept of the MicroMasters program is a mixed blessing with new layers of complexity in the MOOC development process. If managed successfully - the MicroMasters concept can lead to higher quality of the MOOC as well as higher motivation and better learning experiences among the MOOC participants.
Massive Open Online Courses