AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | MOOC

Isidro Maya Jariego

I’m Isidro Maya Jariego, Associate Professor, Social Psychology Department of the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain). I’m participating in a project to promote the adoption of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) for improving the quality of education of universities in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine. OpenMed is an international cooperation project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education programme of the European Union.

Throughout project implementation, we observed that higher education institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face problems of massification, and occasionally cover large areas or rural extents of difficult accessibility. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and digital media allow facing these types of difficulties; at the same time, they offer opportunities for educational innovation.

This allowed us to observe the adjustment and incorporation of the project into four different national contexts.

Lessons Learned:

The degree of internationalization of the university is a good indicator of readiness to adopt OER and OEP. Universities that are bicultural, use a second language in teaching, have bilateral agreements with other universities outside the country, have a culturally diverse teaching staff or receive and send students in academic exchanges, tend to be more receptive to the incorporation of open educational resources.

During implementation of the OpenMed project we realized that participating universities and teachers were characterized by having a more international character than other local universities and teachers. Internationalization indirectly reports about readiness to adopt OER. It seems to be a self-reinforcing process: international experiences predispose for the incorporation of OEP and the incorporation of OEP contributes to the university’s internationalization.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320024153_Localising_Open_Educational_Resources_and_Massive_Open_Online_Courses

Hot Tip: Focus on organizational dynamics and local relevance. In southern Mediterranean countries there is usually a greater distance to the authority of the teacher, and the cohesion and harmony of the group have greater weight than the individual interests, in comparison with Europe and North America. However, beyond these cultural peculiarities, we have learned that organizational factors are key. Institutional constraints in each university (e.g, textbook use policies and incentives) are determinants of the likelihood of content reuse. On the other hand, in the reuse of content it is also opportune to incorporate locally relevant examples connected to local needs.

Hot Tip: Prevent exclusion of more local universities. Local universities that are less internationally connected, run the risk of being excluded from the processes of educational innovation and the incorporation of open education practices. These are universities somewhat disconnected from the elite of higher education institutions in the country. It is a high-risk group in terms of accessibility to quality education, which requires specific actions.

Rad Resources:

The OpenMed project has produced useful resources for planning to implement or evaluate a MENA region program:

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello, my name is Kim Manturuk and I’m the Program Evaluator at Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology. I get to evaluate a lot of interesting projects related to teaching and technology, but one of my biggest jobs is to evaluate Duke’s Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCs).

MOOCs are free, non-credit classes offered by universities and other institutions to anyone in the world. Since 2012, Duke has developed over 30 classes that have amassed over 2 million registrations. It’s my job to evaluate how well students in these classes are learning what the instructors want them to learn.

To accomplish this, I send out a lot of surveys – over 2 million surveys (and counting) in less than 3 years! When I started this project, I would be lucky to get 5% of people who registered for a class to fill out the pre-course survey, and the post-course survey response rates often hovered around 1%. It’s practically impossible to say anything evaluative with a 1% response rate, so I tried a lot of different things to get more people to fill out surveys. Some worked and some didn’t, but I learned several good lessons along the way.

Lesson Learned: When sending a survey to an online class, sign the email invitation with the class instructor’s name (with permission, of course). People are more likely to respond when the invitation comes from someone they know and respect.

Lesson Learned: Avoid sending surveys on Mondays when they are more likely to be ignored or accidently deleted during the first of the week email cleaning. It is better to send surveys from mid-morning on Tuesday through Friday.

Cool Trick: Tell people in the survey invitation how many questions they will be asked and how long it will take. I set it up so that students are asked just ten questions and then they are automatically brought back to their class.

Hot Tip: Be thoughtful about what demographic questions you ask in online classes. In some cultures, questions about race or gender are considered confusing, intrusive, or even offensive.

Rad Resource: Would you like to take a free class from Duke University? Visit our list of classes at https://www.coursera.org/duke. And if you do register for a class, be sure to fill out the course surveys!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating DEOET TIG Week with our colleagues in the Distance Education and Other Educational Technologies Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our DEOET TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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