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Trending in Blended Learning: Recycling MOOCs

When Massive, Open Online Courses (also known as MOOCs) made their debut in 2009, many believed that they would fundamentally change the face of education. With MOOCs, the promise of free access to education for all was enough for professors like Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity, to predict that in 50 years, there would only be 10 institutions left in the world to deliver higher education.

MOOCs and Lecture Halls - Panopto Blended Learning Video PlatformThe arrival of MOOCs isn’t sounding the death knell for the traditional lecture hall 

Over the past six years, however, MOOCs have failed to disrupt education. The hype surrounding MOOCS has softened greatly as schools struggle to keep their online enrollees engaged. Attrition for MOOCs has been particularly high, with some studies claiming dropout rates of 90% or higher. Institutions such as San Jose State University have scaled back their MOOC offerings after finding that their course completion and pass rates were far lower than that of their brick-and-mortar equivalents.

Despite these setbacks, professors haven’t given up on MOOCs entirely. Instead, educators are finding ways to repurpose MOOC content for their own brick-and-mortar classes. “Recycling” MOOC content in this way provides two main benefits to institutions: cost recovery, and enabling support for blended learning scenarios.

First, universities can maximize the investments they’ve made in creating MOOC content by repurposing the videos for other courses. MOOCs can cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce, with much of that investment going to A/V expertise and specialized recording equipment. By reusing the content, faculty and universities can extend the lifetime of their MOOC content — and, in some cases, even use the content to decrease the costs of in-person classes. For example, at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, one professor has been able to eliminate the need for expensive course textbooks by repurposing content from previous MOOCs.

Second, MOOC content can be used to support blended learning scenarios such as lecture capture and flipped learning in traditional classes. At UMass Amherst, Professor Brian McDermott is using content previously created for a MOOC and re-using it in a blended learning course. Professor McDermott takes a flipped classroom approach to his on-campus Web Design for Journalists class, enabling students to learn some of the more technical topics of the course via MOOC videos and self-guided homework exercises. Class time is then allocated for specific questions and more in-depth discussions.

By outsourcing some elements of the course to MOOC videos viewed outside of class, Professor McDermott has found that his students are producing better work and learning more during class time.

A VCMS Makes it Easy to Recycle MOOC Video Content

Professors looking to reuse MOOC videos can use their institution’s existing lecture capture platform to deliver the content to their own classes. Once uploaded into the video content management system (VCMS), the video’s spoken content can then be indexed and made searchable so that any student looking for specific words or phrases mentioned can be automatically taken to the precise point in the video where that concept was discussed. ADA and Section 508-compliant captioning can also be included to support deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Additionally, for schools using modern educational video platforms like Panopto, additional content such as quizzes, alternate camera angles, PDFs, and website links can be spliced in to create a richer, more interactive learning experience.

Interested in Blended Learning for Your Classroom?

Panopto is the world’s fastest-growing video learning platform for both physical and virtual classrooms. To learn more about how Panopto can help you repurpose MOOC or other video eLearning content for your blended learning classroom, contact our team today to sign up for a free trial.