Making MOOCs

Grow-your-own MOOC kit

Platform selection

Key questions:  Which platforms are available? How are they accessed? 

Platform choice can seem to have a large impact what kind of activities you might use, and it can be tempting to jump straight to platform based on features, before considering your activities.  Some options have flexibility in terms of what you can plug-in and some can only be used in a formal partnership.

A.

Distributed open platform

A freely available online space that has a collection tools and usually a directory of sites that can be used. Third party tools (e.g. social media, image hosting, document hosting) are partly or fully integrated, or can be linked embedded. Sometimes has open source code, and could be self-hosted, but often provides free useable hosting of basic pages, with media, documents, images hosted in third party applications. Evaluation and data needs to be gathered by own efforts, technical support may be available but informal.

B.

Fully distributed (platformless)

Uses entirely separate freely available tools, that you can link together to create a bespoke online space to suit your requirements.  This has the advantage of great flexibility, but can be difficult if participants are required to register/sign up onto various tools. Set up could be time consuming and ongoing support, including technical needs to be factored into the resources needed.

D.

Hosted complete platform

Aimed at having everything in one place, this is most like a learning management system used in formal online education. Can still link/embed some third party tools. May not be completely open or have full control and may require formal agreements to access. Advantage is access to data in terms of participant activity, ease of supporting participants to do things as all using the same toolset.

E.

Commercial partnership

Some MOOC platforms can be accessed through a formal partnership. These have the same attributes as a hosted complete platform, but the partnership may include an element of development and technical support as well as evaluation. You may require funding to be involved if costs fall outside available budget.