About MOOC and Education Cities

 

How2MOOC – Education Cities model for MOOC learning

The MOOC revolution is rapidly changing the world of learning. In the last years, a growing number of leading universities has been offering online courses that are taught by the best lecturers in the world. MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses- makes learning in a personal pace possible for everyone, at any time and in every place. There is one problem though, the average number of participants of each course is in the tens of thousands but the percentage of graduating MOOC participants worldwide is low: 4%-20%.

 

We believe that the reason for that is that it is very lonely there, in front of the screen. The single learner, without the support of an empowering group, has small chances of completing the course, no matter how fascinating and good it is.

 

In Israel, we have made a significant breakthrough. 

In a pilot that started early in 2013 and included the collaborative work of the Ministry of Education and Education Cities, schoolchildren in various Israeli schools nationwide have participated, together with their teachers, in academic level MOOC courses in the fields of Robotics and Astronomy taught by lecturers from leading universities in the world.

413 students grades 8-12 have enrolled in this program, and the rate of success was a whopping 83% !!

 Our model for MOOC learning is based on a fusion between the Educational Team model,the Flipped Classroom model, and creative learning in social networks.

 

An Education Team has only two principle guidelines:

  1. The group has a mutual and measurable objective, this way; each group member is responsible for the other’s success. The group builds and runs a weekly diagram of the mutual results and knows how to refine and improve the work model.

  2. Each group member is both a learner and a teacher. The group is committed to uncovering its member’s strengths and to utilizing these resources for achieving the group’s mutual objective.

 

Much like in a sport team and with the same level of energy, the group strives for the realization of its goal, while utilizing its members’ unique talents and nurturing the team spirit and pride. In this way, a highly desirable combination is accomplished: high academic achievements combined with enjoyment and individual fulfilment.

 

We call the person that leads a MOOC group – MOOCster. He is the “coach” of the team, and is responsible for building it, finding the strength areas of it’s members and accordingly setting their rolls, and help defining the team’s mutual target.

 

Every group member receives the course’ study materials (online) at home. They are then processed and practiced in the setting of the group, in tangible and virtual meetings. 

 

We have found that this combination – the Educational Team Model’s spirit, the flipped classroom (studying at home and processing together), and the use of Facebook, Whatsup and other virtual media tools – is a winning solution that achieves both joy of learning and high academic achievements.

 

 

In 2014 we have extended the cooperation with the ministry of education and 85% of the learners graduated the courses successfully. Teachers and students report that the model’s principals (cooperation, mutual help…) were assimilated in the classroom and were practiced in regular lessons as well.

 

In 2015, following the successful pilot, the minister of education, Mr. Benet, decided to extend the model to 50 classes. That is in order to get to the point where in every school in Israel, students will be able to choose MOOC courses as part of the regular curriculum.

 

In 2016, the program was extended to 500 classrooms, and now we are running a training program for hundreds of teachers (MOOCsters).