In my previous post, we talked about the general information available on MOOCs and contemplated the frequently asked questions. In nutshell, launching a MOOC requires the following:
1. A great idea for a course
2. A great plan
2. Lots of time for creating content
3. A platform to host the MOOC
4. A good social media campaign
5. A group of teachers you can rely on
Lets assume you have the idea and the plan. And the content is ready too. In this post, we talk about the technological aspect of MOOCing aka the possibilities of hosting a MOOC via WizIQ Virtual Classroom, and how should you go about it.
First things first. You need an account on WizIQ. This might sound as a sales pitch but unfortunately eDX or Coursera don’t allow hosting of MOOCs unless you are a celebrity professor or have been featured in the TIME magazine. We at WizIQ however celebrate individuality and believe that “anyone can MOOC”.
Check out the various pricing plans here.
NOTE: There is no specific account that you should hold in order to start MOOCing.
Creating a MOOC
Once you have signed in to your WizIQ account (you can do this with Facebook too), you will be directed to your dashboard. Look for COURSES and click on CREATE COURSE on the left navigation panel.
You are now directed to the place where magic happens. This is your arena, where you can create your dream course. Simply follow the instructions and once you are done, click on the “Create this Course” button.
Content is King
Congratulations! Your MOOC is now officially ON! But its still far from complete. What does it need next?
Just like for any other course, online or offline, content plays a major role in the success of a MOOC. Content is the source of knowledge and information, and it also engages the audience.
WizIQ allows teachers to maintain their own content library wherein they can upload media files, docs, pdfs, ppts, excel sheets, et al.
In order to upload content to your library, follow these illustrated instructions:
1. On successful creation of your MOOC, you are directed to a page like this:
You can select files you wish to add.
5. Once you are done uploading files, its time to put your MOOC out to the world via live online classes.
NOTE: Filling in the details of your content files lets you manage your content better.
Schedule Live Class
Now that the content is ready and uploaded, we need to bring in the interactivity quotient (often found missing in MOOCs). For this, we schedule LIVE classes. When I said that teachers need to invest in a lot of time, I wasn’t kidding. Along with the time required to generate content, teachers also need to invest in time for LIVE interactions with the enrolls. This is a great way to assure the MOOC takers about your dedication and support towards them and help them stay interested.
Since a MOOC runs infinitely, you should preferably schedule classes that run over the course of a month. Take for instance the ELT Techniques MOOC or the Moodle MOOC. Both of them had LIVE classes that ran over a complete month.
NOTE: Don’t forget to check the option of recording your lectures, ensuring your MOOC runs forever.
Spread the Word
On your homepage, go to ‘MY COURSES’ and select the course you just created. On the right hand side of the page, you will see the course URL. Use this URL in all your promotions.
WizIQ also allows you to send invites via email. Go to the home page of your MOOC and under the Course Learners section, select Enroll New Learners. Enter the email addresses (50 at a time), enter a personalized message and click on Enroll.
On this same page, there is an option for embedding a cool widget to your website, blog or social networks.
NOTE: Leave no stone unturned to promote your MOOC. Who knows your recorded lectures might come in useful for a MOOC on Coursera.
Apart from the fact that the topic of the MOOC should be very interesting, Social Media is the next perfect way to promote your MOOC and get more enrollments. Create an event on FB and spread the word using your social networks or through word of mouth.
If there is one thing common among all MOOC takers, it is this that they all have a lot of questions and so many things to discuss about. And having a mentor (that is you) to answer all their queries is what will satisfy their curious minds. WizIQ’s course feed feature allows active discussions to ensue, continue and enthrall. This is one big step to curbing the problem of dropouts, common with MOOCs all over the world.
With the Course Feed feature, you can:
Reply to queries
Share news, links & resources
Since MOOCs are taken by so many people at the same time, it is important that you manage your notifications beforehand, in order to avoid overflowing inboxes.
NOTE: Manage your ‘Course Feed’ notifications in order to avoid mails flooding your inbox.
Closing Words of Motivation
Taking a MOOC is much like starting your career as a teacher. Until you get your hands dirty, get out there and experience for yourself, you will not have done justice to the whole idea of MOOCing.
As I always say, MOOCs are still maturing and there are still so many dimensions to them waiting to be explored. I will conclude by saying:
Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. –St. Francis of Assisi