(Massive Open Online Courses)
The MOOC pilot that has been launched this year in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Education and Education Cities as an advising body – examined the participation of schoolchildren together with their teachers in various schools nationwide, in academic MOOC courses in the fields of robotics and astronomy, which are offered by leading universities in the world.
Learning in these courses has been conducted according to the Educational Team Model by Education Cities and the FlippedClassroom Model.
In addition, social media – Facebook, WhatsApp, Google groups – have been utilized as an additional workspace where schoolchildren and teachers (in joint and separate groups) are able to consult with one another, discuss learning materials, and enhance the group’s knowledge with additional learning materials.
413 schoolchildren, from grades eight to twelve in the Sci-Tech Atuda (Academic reserve program) and in the Mechatronic academic track, have enrolled in the program, and have studied the following courses:
Introduction to Astronomy – The Open University, Australia
Introduction to Robotics – The Open University, Australia
Robots in mobile devices – The Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, in Coursera.
Statistics based on the global pool of students who sign up for MOOC around the world shows an average rate of graduation of 4%.
The rate of success and graduation of the students in the current MOOC courses pilot is 83% !!
Building a model for MOOC learning by the teachers and schoolchildren community:
At present, the community of MOOC teachers, in cooperation with the pilot’s leaders from the Ministry of Education and from Education Cities, are laboring on drawing conclusions from the pilot and writing a MOOC courses learning model, with special adaptations for the needs of schoolchildren in Israeli schools. Involving schoolchildren in the process of drawing conclusions and recommendations for the model is accomplished by individual and class interviews as well as by questionnaires.
The schoolchildren raised ideas and various requests for improving the MOOC learning experience.
At the same time, most of them perceived learning in MOOC courses a challenging and diverse kind of learning experience, which enables flexibility and consideration in the student’s level of attention, schedules, preferred learning timetables, and most importantly, a learning experience that compels them to assume responsibility.
The vast majority of schoolchildren report that they would like to enroll in additional MOOC courses.