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This Week at the Center - April 2, 2014

Home > News & Updates > This Week at the Center - April 2, 2014

As conversations about MOOCs continue to broaden and deepen, CCNMTL was excited to have Rebecca Griffiths, Program Director of ITHAKA’s Program on Online Learning, join us on March 20 to lead a brown-bag discussion on the topic of her recent white paper, MOOCs in the Classroom? The white paper is part of ITHAKA's new effort, funded in part by the Gates Foundation, to test the assumption that MOOCs can be used, in Griffiths’s words, to "improve outcomes and/or reduce costs for students enrolled in traditional institutions" and to develop a "new terminology" and more enlightened metrics for judging the success of MOOCs moving forward.

The conversation was particularly timely for CCNMTL staff now involved in helping to produce Columbia’s first EdX course on the Civil War with Columbia’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning DeWitt Clinton Professor of History Eric Foner. CCNMTL staff are engaged in designing MOOCs suited to history and more generally humanities courses as well as to those disciplines’ teaching and learning practices.

Griffiths led a wide-ranging discussion that moved from thinking about the impact of MOOCs on face-to-face classroom practices (recently described by CCNMTL’s Michael Cennamo); the potential of deriving Open Educational Resources (OERs) from MOOCs and the much faster adoption of OERs by K-12 educators (facilitated by curricular shifts following widespread adoption of the Common Core), and the promise and limits of video in sustaining student engagement.

Also this week: the eLearning Faculty Fellowship showcase was held at Hebrew Union College. This culmination of a year-long faculty development effort was rewarding for all. Watch for a full story on the event later this month; the Edward M. Kennedy Prize was awarded to Dominique Morisseau for her play Detroit ‘67. CCNMTL will soon begin to develop an educational resource site around the play and its historical significance.

Coming up: The discussion on the impact of MOOCs and the teaching and learning practices they have brought a spotlight to continues next week as Brian Greene, professor of physics/math at Columbia, will visit to have a conversation with Center staff on the release of his World Science U online learning platform for science and developments in online learning in general.

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning is a hub for information exchange on teaching, learning, and technology. This space provides a weekly roundup of discussions and events at the Center in the context of the wider conversations about educational technology.