- Self-directed learning, through personalizing your experience by identifying your own goals, selecting among a rich array of resources, and deciding whether, when, and how to engage in discussions and activities to further your own learning and meet your goals.
- Peer-supported learning, through engaging in online discussions, reviewing your colleagues' projects, rating posted ideas, recommending resources, crowdsourcing lessons learned, and participating in twitter chats and other exchanges appropriate to the individual course.
- Job-embedded learning, through the use of case studies, classroom and school related projects; developing action plans; and other activities that center your work on critical problems of practice and data-informed decision-making in your own classrooms, schools or districts.
- Multiple voices, through learning about the perspectives of other teachers and administrators along with those of students, researchers and experts in the field. Our courses are purposefully not designed around one or two experts who present online lectures. They provide exposure to a rich set of perspectives presented within the context of course elements that reflect these core principles.
- Conceptual Frameworks
- Resource Collections
- Asynchronous Discussions and Twitter Chats
- Student Scenarios
- Expert Panels
- Participant Projects and Peer Feedback
- Professional Learning Community (PLC) Guides
How do I use a MOOC-Ed? In general, you should feel empowered to use a MOOC-Ed to meet your learning needs. Use the resources, materials, and strategies in a way that support your own learning goals. Remember that MOOC-Eds are self-directed. You do not have to go through them in order or follow along at a particular place. Throughout the courses you will have opportunities to engage in discussions with your colleagues from around the globe. The discussion forums can be accessed by using the left navigation bar when you're on a course unit page or by clicking the "Discuss" link under each Unit heading on the main course page.
How does a typical MOOC-Ed unit flow?
In most units, we will begin with an introductory video, followed by an activity or a core set of digital resources. These activities and core resources were purposefully selected to provide some common background, frameworks and language to inform our discussions and peer feedback. You can self-select to review the recommended additional resources and learning pathways based on your personal learning needs and interests. In each unit’s discussion forums, you are invited to share your thoughts, reactions and new learning from the core resources and other activities you have selected to engage in.
Is there a cost to participate in a MOOC-Ed?
There is never a cost for participating in a MOOC-Ed.
How much time will the MOOC-Ed require?
A MOOC-Ed is a self-directed learning experience. Therefore, the amount of benefit will reflect the amount of time and effort you spend on the course. On average, past participants found that they benefited from spending 3 to 4 hours per week on a course, but some spent less and some more.
How will discussion forums work in this MOOC-Ed? Throughout a MOOC-Ed, we invite you to contribute to discussion forums by adding comments to existing discussions or starting new discussion topics. Simply click "Add a new discussion topic" to get started once you are enrolled in a course!
How do MOOC-Eds differ from other MOOCs?
MOOC-Eds build on models of effective professional development, professional learning communities, and online communities of practice. They focus on professional practices, collaboration and peer-supported learning, and do not include elements like tests and grades that are needed in other types of MOOCs. They are designed for school leaders, teachers and supporting staff, such as instructional coaches and lead teachers, as well as university faculty, consultants, and any others interested in education.
What technology do I need to participate?
You can access our courses via a computer, tablet or smartphone that has any up-to-date browser and an Internet connection.
Will my contact information be sold or shared?
Do I need to be part of a local team in order to participate?
Participation is open to all interested educators and other community members. We recommend, when possible, participation with local colleagues, but if that is not feasible, individuals are welcome to participate on their own.
If we are participating in the course as a school team, does everyone on the team need to register for the course or can we just use one account?
We suggest that each person in your team registers, so that the members of your team will be able to participate in different activities and discussions, and then synthesize the information when you meet together. It is also important to register if you plan to request a certificate of completion.
Are MOOC-Eds open to educators from private, charter and international schools?
Yes! We invite participation by educators worldwide.
I am not employed by a school but work with schools (as a consultant, university faculty, museum staff, or other ways). Can I take a MOOC-Ed course?
Definitely. It is open to anyone who is involved in K-12 education in any way.
What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed?
Written by researchers on the Friday Institute’s evaluation team, What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed? analyzes how participants found value in the course using a "value creation framework" developed by Etienne Wenger, Beverly Trayner, and Maarten De Laat (2011). They suggest that, in order to appreciate the richness of the value created by learning communities or networks such as MOOC-Eds, it is helpful to think about value creation in terms of cycles. The authors, Dr. Sherry Booth and Suzanne Branon, found that much of the feedback they received from Learning Differences participants aligned with the framework’s five cycles: 1) Immediate value; 2) Potential value; 3) Applied value; 4) Realized value; 5) Reframing value.
Citation: Freeman, S. B. & Branon, S. (2016). What’s the Value of a Learning Differences MOOC-Ed? Raleigh,NC. Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University College of Education.
Seven Lessons Learned from Implementing Micro-credentials
A new wave of personalized, competency-based professional development resources, called micro-credentials (or badges) are providing a way for teachers to earn recognition for the skills they acquire through formal and informal learning opportunities. Written by Lauren Acree, this report shares how micro-credentials can personalize professional learning to meet teachers’ individual needs, and allow them to quickly take what they learn and apply it to their classrooms.
Citation: Acree, L. (2016). Seven Lessons Learned From Implementing Micro-credentials. Raleigh, NC. Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University College of Education.
Oak Foundation MOOC-Ed Report
This evaluation brief provides a summary of the first implementation of the Learning Differences MOOC-Ed developed with support from the Oak Foundation. Initial findings suggest that the course has been effective in supporting the professional growth of participating educators. Specifically, the vast majority of educators report that, as a result of their participation, they have deepened their understanding of learning differences, and have applied new knowledge and skills to make positive changes to their professional practice. To improve future iterations of this MOOC-Ed, participants recommended improvements to the discussion forums, more opportunities for deeper peer engagement, and greater differentiation.
Citation: Branon, S., Freeman, S., Kellogg, S., Weedfall, A. (2016). Oak Foundation MOOC-Ed Report. Prepared for The Oak Foundation.
Book Chapter: Going to Scale with Online Professional Development
This book chapter, from MOOC-Ed co-directors Dr. Glenn Kleiman and Dr. Mary Ann Wolf, describes the history, design principles, and instructional elements that guide the MOOC-Ed initiative. MOOC-Eds are built upon four major design principles that reflect research-based practices for educators’ professional learning: self-directed learning, peer supported learning, job-embedded learning, and multiple voices. These principles, and the instructional elements that instantiate them in the course, are described in detail in this chapter.
Citation: Dede, C., Eisenkraft, A., Frumin, K., & Hartley, A. (2016). Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Taking a Chance in the Classroom: Professional Development MOOCs for Teachers of Statistics in K-12
In this paper from Chance, a journal of the American Statistical Association, Drs. Hollylynne Lee, of NCSU's Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education and Dalene Stangl, of Duke University's Department of Statistical Science, describe the development and implementation of two MOOCs aimed at educators of statistics.
Citation: Hollylynne Lee & Dalene Stangl (2015) Taking a Chance in the Classroom: Professional Development MOOCs for Teachers of Statistics in K-12, CHANCE, 28:3, 56-63, DOI: 10.1080/09332480.2015.1099368
MOOC-Ed Evaluation Final Report: Submitted to The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
This evaluation report documents the Friday Institute’s development and implementation of three MOOC-Eds funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Fraction Foundations, Disciplinary Literacy for Deeper Learning, and Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations. Findings show that the Friday Institute has been largely successful in designing professionally relevant learning experiences with opportunities for both personalization and peer support. As a result, educators have reported improvements in their knowledge and skills, as well as positive changes to their professional practice. The findings also illustrate that even well-designed MOOC-Eds face significant challenges in scaling learning that embodies the principles of effective professional development.
Citation: Kleiman, G., Kellogg, S., Booth, S. (2015). MOOC-ED evaluation final report. Prepared for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.