Making MOOCs

Grow-your-own MOOC kit

Participation support

Key questions:  How will you manage the expectations of a potentially large, globally diverse participant group?

Participants arrive at MOOCs with a range of experience levels. Some may have already taken MOOCs or online study and some may have never studied or used web tools. To manage this diversity, being very clear about the type of support, contact and level of facilitation they can expect to receive in the MOOC is very important.

A.

Peer to peer support

The large participant numbers mean that encouraging peer support in discussion forums and social media can be a useful way of managing a large community. Actively promoting a self-supporting community provides participants with an opportunity to learn and connect with each other.  This can be a useful way to address technical support questions, by having the user community available to suggest help with these questions.

B.

Common issues addressed (FAQs etc)

These can be anticipated while you are developing the course, but look around at other MOOC FAQs.  Consider having a dedicated help forum where questions can be posted and plan time to review the questions as your course progresses to constantly develop the FAQ

C.

Contact point provided

With potentially large participant numbers you may want to carefully consider the mechanism for contact that you encourage. There can also be a large amount of discussion activity on a MOOC platform and a large amount of notification emails to manage, if you want to receive these. One strategy is to use a dedicated email account for use on the MOOC, so that all activity related to the MOOC can be managed there. This could be shared amongst your MOOC facilitation team.

D.

Selected individual support

There may be individual participants who seek out individual support from facilitators, and clear instructions of whether this level of facilitation is available should be made clear in the MOOC information.