Design principles for a curriculum based on Moocs

When designing or redesigning a new curriculum program, one always tries to follow a systematic pathway. There are no standard solutions, but there are many valuable ideas for possible ideas for the design. These ideas are called ‘design principles’.

An evidence-based approach to select design principles

  • Design principles are derived from research and teachers’ experiences (pedagogics/didactics) (see annexe 2).
  • The design principles relevant to realising the (new) curriculum are selected.
  • Teachers and management discuss and elaborate on the design principles.
  • What are the consequences? Can we agree? Can we realise them?
  • If necessary, the design principles will be changed or reformulated.
  • Result: the didactical principle is evidence-based as much as possible and is used to specify the possible learning, teaching and organisational activities.

The developments concerning MOOCs proceed very rapidly. So, it is necessary to follow these developments through literature and the internet to collect new and better ideas to organise higher education with the help of MOOCs.

The design principles:

  1. Task-oriented learning/active learning.
  2. Issues and problems from the professional field are central.
  3. Focus on systematic working to solve issues and problems.
  4. Explicitly, the focus is on knowledge.
  5. Learning tracks support the learning process in the program.
  6. ICT tools and techniques.
  7. Collaborative learning and learning from fellow students.
  8. Testing and feedback are the motors of students’ learning.
  9. Possibilities for personal development.
  10. Support of teachers/moderators.

The attachment gives an overview of the principles of designing a curriculum based on MOOCs. The evidence from the literature is summarised (under theory), and possibilities to realise design principles are presented (under practice).

Some questions to be answered when you start with MOOCs and other ICTedu-tools

  • Which study activities are necessary to stimulate the students to complete the MOOCs and work with the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • How can you realise a sufficient entry level for the students to be able to follow the MOOC?
  • How can you meet the needs of the labour market (in Haiti, USA, …,….)?
  • How can you meet the requirements of a Bachelor of Computer Science?
  • How can you combine all the answers into a successful curriculum for the target group(s)?

Because there is no 100% guarantee for success when you design a new curriculum, evaluation of the implementation of the new curriculum is essential.


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