The 2016 European MOOC Conference (eMooc summit) took place this year from February 22nd – 24th. MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course) are mostly free online courses available for an unlimited number of people, and cover a wide array of courses across all disciplines. The eMooc event was jointly organised by University of Graz and Graz University of Technology, taking place in University of Graz. As a common project, the two universities established the first Austrian MOOC-platform iMooX. The conference brought together many of the top academics and researchers in the area from Universities all across Europe.
NIDL’s Prof. Mark Brown and Dr. Eamon Costello both presented two collaboratively authored papers at the conference on the final day of proceedings. The presentation ‘Classifying the Irish 101 LMOOC’, discussed in detail the ‘Irish 101’ course available through the NIDL. The LMOOC is a small but slowly growing area in the MOOC field. English and Spanish have proven to be two of the most popular to date, with multiple Chinese language course soon to be developed also. Discussing the different learning techniques of LMOOC’S, the talk went on to suggest a more action-orientated approach in the language learning process. This excellently frames the Irish 101 LMOOC, and the goals it wants to achieve. Aimed at the Irish diaspora, the course is part of the Irish State’s Commemorative Programme 2016, partly funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The second presentation, ‘What Questions are MOOCs asking? An evidence based investigation’, focused on the future of MOOCs, and the potential they possess to become an educational tool to rival that of any established form of education. The research was carried out using Tarrant et. al’s tools which analyse multiple choice questions in MOOC’s systematically (2006). From the research, it was found that there was at least 1 error in 112 questions (54.9%), while more than 2 errors existed in 57 questions (27.9%). These findings, which are examined in more detail in the slides below, highlight that more rigid peer review structures and analysis must be used in the construction of MCQ’s for MOOCs.