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CCNMTL Hosts NYC MOOC-Maker Meet-Up

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Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) hosted the second official New York City “meet-up” for cultural and educational institutions producing online courses. Close to thirty professionals, in video production and course design, from the American Museum of Natural History, Coursera, edX, Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, the Museum of Modern Art, and Yeshiva University gathered in Butler Library to exchange new ideas for improving production, distribution, and course design for MOOCs. The agenda focused on video transcription, captioning, translation, and annotation; new partnership opportunities; and media production best practices for distribution and preservation. In addition, representatives from Coursera presented recent research on MOOC retention and completion rates.

The group reviewed a range of options and requirements—governmental, institutional, and moral—for transcribing and syncing video transcripts in higher education. In early April 2015, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with MOOC-platform (and Columbia partner) edX that outlined some of the federal requirements for making educational content fully accessible to Americans with disabilities. Meet-up members discussed how they use a combination of automated systems (i.e. Automated Sync and 3Play Media), internal staff, and freelance employees for editing transcripts that comply with these standards.

The group also discussed the possibilities for fostering partnerships within a university (i.e. CCNMTL’s partnership with the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs), across multiple universities, or between unaffiliated institutions (i.e. a museum and a university). With these possibilities in mind, meet-up members discussed the challenges of making online education more sustainable with options for distribution beyond Coursera and edX—keeping in mind the looming concerns over how to preserve content and where to find server space.

The next NYC MOOC Meet-up will be hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in June covering licensing, copyright, and best practices for investing in memory and storage.

In October, Columbia will host the Learning With MOOCS conference. Follow @CCNMTL on Twitter for more information as it becomes available.