Once a MOOC is ready to launch, instructors need to have plans and systems in place to make the most of the live course environment, the feedback from learners, and the learning community that develops around the course.
In this page, you will learn how to do the following:
Clear and engaging supporting content will help learners find your course and decide whether sign up. Landing page content, such as the course description, target audience, workload expectations, prerequisites, and frequently asked questions, should be crafted to optimize course discovery and clarity. An enthusiastic and engaging opening message will set the right tone for the class, and a congratulatory closing message can help direct the learner toward the next steps of their journey.
It’s important for instructors and support personnel to know how to use the course platform so they can engage with learners, troubleshoot problems with teaching materials and assessments, and enhance their course on the basis of learner feedback. These functions can be covered in a brief orientation, but it is arguably more important for instructors and support personnel to know how to find and access help when they need it.
The most powerful MOOC marketing tool is word of mouth, both online and in person. Instructors can spread the word about their course through their personal, professional, and institutional social media channels as well as through professional mailing lists and blogs. Other avenues include trailers on YouTube and Ask Me Anything sessions on Reddit. Some instructors also choose to embed news about their MOOCs into other more conventional communications such as publication bylines and speaking engagements.
In addition to forum participation, instructors and teaching staff should regularly monitor their MOOC for bugs, learner feedback, broken links, and errors. It’s important to regularly check the pulse of the course and respond to problems with a timely fix. If an identified error can’t be easily fixed, then instructors should do their best to acknowledge the problem so that learners know that the course staff are aware and working on a solution. Community mentors and teaching assistants can be empowered to provide support in this process.
Community mentors are learners who, after completing a course, volunteer to guide and support subsequent cohorts of learners in that same course. Mentors contribute to the success of the course by helping learners navigate the platform, answering basic subject-matter questions, encouraging active and productive discussions in the course forums, and reporting any errors or issues with the course to Coursera and the instructor.
For more information about MOOCs at Johns Hopkins, please contact Ira Gooding, Provost’s Fellow for Digital Initiatives, at 410-955-9280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.