What kinds of online courses does UC Berkeley offer, and how would I prepare a course for delivery on each?
|Type of course||Credit?||Tuition?||Enrollment?||“High touch” support and $$ readily available for preparing course?||Faculty gets $$ for time?|
|MOOC (massive open online course)||None||No||1K-100K||No||Varies, but usually no|
|Summer Session||UCB transcript credit||Yes||Yes||10-200 (typical)||Yes|
|UC Berkeley Extension||Professional certificates||Yes||Varies||Yes||Yes|
(NOTE: UCOE is a program of the UC Office of the President with its own processes and policies. You should contact them directly if you're interested.)
What's a MOOC? How is it different from Berkeley faculty placing their lecture videos and course materials online, from MIT's OpenCourseWare, etc.?
A Massive Open Online Course is a course available to anyone with an Internet connection that goes beyond simply making course materials available online. Its distinguishing features are:
In other words, even if you have a mature, well-organized and successful on-campus course, you must do the above steps to create a high quality MOOC. It is a lot of work.
Do students get Berkeley or other campus credit for MOOCs?
MOOCs are non-credit-bearing. EdX students who complete a course will get a certificate signed by the course's instructor(s) and by the co-Directors of BRCOE (currently Armando Fox and Diana Wu). Initially these will be “honor code certificates”, but EdX will be offering proctored exams for EdX.org courses in the future, and courses that choose this option can issue a “proctored exam certificate”. Details of proctoring are still being worked out. Nonetheless, the certificate is not directly transferable or “negotiable” as course credit at any university.
What kind(s) of certificate(s) can students get for completing a BerkeleyX MOOC?
There is a standard certificate design that was agreed on by the Faculty Advisory Committee of BRCOE, the Steering Committee for Online Education, and EdX. It includes the BerkeleyX and EdX logos, the signature(s) of the instructor(s) who taught the course, and the signatures of the BRCOE directors, Armando Fox and Diana Wu. BerkeleyX instructors may not make changes to the design of the certificate.
The course's instructor decides the formula for whether a student receives a certificate or not. However, there are no gradations of certificates–a student either receives the certificate or doesn't. (That is, there is no “certificate with distinction” or other variation.)
The certificate is referred to as an “honor code certificate”, meaning that its issuance assumes that the student followed the EdX Honor Code in completing the course work. If you would like to offer students in your course the option of taking a proctored midterm and/or final exam, which would allow them to receive a “Proctored Exam Certificate” rather than an “Honor Code Certificate”, please let the MOOC Coordinator know well ahead of time. Students who elect this option will have to pay an extra fee to take a proctored exam at a testing center; EdX takes care of the details. Students who do not elect this option will receive an Honor Code Certificate as usual.
Do students pay to take these courses?
MOOCs are tuition-free, though in the future students may be given the option of paying a fee to take midterm/final exams in a proctored environment (EdX would facilitate this). Courses with higher materials costs may be able to charge a “lab/materials cost” fee; we're working out how to do this.
What is edX, and how does Berkeley's participation in it affect our ability to offer MOOCs?
(If you are already familiar with the BerkeleyX/EdX relationship and want to know what it would take to turn your course into a MOOC, read this next.)
edX is a not-for-profit organization founded by MIT and Harvard through which many universities would eventually be able to offer online education. Berkeley is the first such university to join, is a key launch partner for edX, and will play a leadership role in developing the organization and expanding it to other universities. The edX partnership provides the preferred channel through which Berkeley faculty can offer free, not-for-credit courses to online students, as well as supplement their on-campus for-credit courses using edX technology.
What is BerkeleyX? The “X Universities” collectively are the universities offering courses via EdX. Today the three X Universities are Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard. BerkeleyX is the collective term covering Berkeley's online offerings via the EdX partnership, just as MITX and HarvardX denote the courses that those universities are offering via EdX (seven courses in all across the three institutions starting in September 2012).
What are the key characteristics of BerkeleyX courses that might distinguish them from other MOOCs, such as those offered by Coursera or Udacity?
All edX courses share some characteristics that reflect the shared philosophy and mission of the X Universities:
What kind(s) of course(s) can I offer via the BerkeleyX/edX platform?
There are two kinds of BerkeleyX courses:
In practice, we expect most courses will start out on Edge; a subcommittee of the Academic Senate representing innovative, passionate, and highly-recognized instructors from Berkeley's various Schools will develop guidelines for recommending which Edge courses should eventually move to edX.org, since we expect demand across many departments. In addition to high course quality and instructor quality, the subcommittee will consider issues of instructor diversity, how the release of a particular course could help on-campus students (courses at root of prerequisite chains, etc.), and whether the course would stimulate innovation in the technology or platform.
Who can create and deploy an Edge course? Any Berkeley faculty. The platform and authoring environment that support this will be deployed about October 15, 2012. It will be the same tools and platform as edX.org courses.
How are BerkeleyX courses related to other online initiatives, such as UC Online Education and existing online degree programs such as the Masters in Public Health (MPH) and upcoming Masters in Integrated Circuits (MAS-IC)?
|“Internal” courses on EdX Edge||“External” courses on EdX Edge; BerkeleyX courses on edX.org||Certificate Programs||UCOE||UCB degree programs (MPH, MAS-IC)|
|Who can enroll||Anyone/instructor can decide||Anyone||Most are open enrollment; some require application and admission||Some courses open to all, others UC students only||Anyone who applies and is admitted|
|UC Berkeley credit granted?||No||No||Varies||Yes, if approved for UCB credit||Yes|
|Scope/length of course equal to residential course?||Varies||Varies, but typically shorter than on-campus course||Varies||Yes||Varies|
|Intellectual rigor equal to on-campus course?||Yes||Yes||Varies||Yes||Yes|
|UC degree possible?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Campus residency requirements?||None||None||None||None||Varies|
|Students have direct contact with UC faculty/TA's?||For “closed” courses (regular office hours)||No||Varies||Yes (virtual office hours)||Yes (virtual office hours)|
|Assessment?||Yes, automated and/or manual||Yes, automated||Yes, proctored final exam||Yes, proctored final exam||Yes, proctored final exam|
|Recognition/incentive for faculty participation||Department decides||Department decides||n/a (most courses not taught by UCB faculty)||Faculty & Dept receive financial consideration||Yes|
|Synchronous or asynchronous?||Sync (follows campus course)||Async with ~weekly deadlines||Self-paced or fixed date async||Sync (?)||Varies|
|Typical retention||high||5-10%||80% fixed-date, 60% self-paced||?||High|
Does the EdX partnership mean that I cannot offer a MOOC through another channel such as Coursera or Udacity?
While individual faculty may make this decision at their discretion, the EdX channel will be the preferred channel for free and open online courses, and all local resource allocation decisions will reflect this fact.
At the Departmental or School level, who has to “sign off” on my decision to offer a MOOC and/or approve the course content?
Your Department Chair must sign off. Any issues related to teaching credit, buy-out, or other consideration for preparing edX.org courses is up to your Department Chair.
What steps are involved in adapting an existing on-campus course to MOOC format, what resources do I need, who pays for it, etc.?
How do you detect/control cheating and plagiarism?
In the future, X University courses may be able to request that students complete certain exams or homeworks in a proctored setting, for which the student will likely pay a fee and receive a different kind of certificate. In general, however, X University courses de-emphasize this concern, aiming at self-motivated students who are more interested in learning the material than in earning a specific numerical grade.
If I don't have the resources to do a full course, can I do a subset of a course?
Yes, see Types of Courses for information about creating a “module” using Labs.edx.org.
What MOOCs has Berkeley offered so far?
Two Computer Science courses—CS169 Software Engineering and CS188 Artificial Intelligence—are running now. Both have mature autograding technology developed over multiple iterations of the on-campus course.
Additional courses currently in preparation for Spring 2013:
Several other courses from Biology, Economics and other departments are being planned for Summer or Fall 2013.
What's the relationship between MOOC-related technologies and on-campus classes?
A key goal of the EdX partnership that distinguishes it from private MOOC channels is the desire to explore opportunities for enhancing on-campus courses through novel applications of MOOC-related technologies. Computer Science instructors already have evidence, for example, of how increased automation in grading has freed teaching assistants to spend higher-quality one-on-one time with students. Other factors being equal, EdX is particularly interested in courses whose needs will spur technology innovation that can be reinvested in the on-campus classroom.
What's the relationship between MOOCs and UCOE (the UC Online Education project underway by UCOP)?
UCOE classes are credit-bearing and charge tuition, enroll a small number of students (comparable to on-campus courses), have a heavyweight approval and development process, provide a UCOE-funded stipend for the faculty member preparing the course, and impose some specific licensing rules on how UCOE may use the faculty member's intellectual property (i.e. course content).
MOOCs are non-credit-bearing and tuition-free, may enroll thousands of students, require approval only from your Department chair, do not provide any stipend or other faculty consideration at this time (except as possibly determined by your Chair), and impose no licensing restrictions on your content other than asking that you make it available under a Creative Commons license so that MOOC students can use it royalty-free.
What if I want to do education research on (e.g.) learning outcomes of students who take MOOCs?
This is a key goal of this effort. Email Armando Fox (fox@cs) for details on how to get involved and what datasets are available, and sketch your specific proposal.
What does it cost to prepare and run a MOOC?
The main cost is instructor time. A more detailed MOOC preparation checklist is here, but very roughly:
Will MOOCs generate revenue?
Berkeley and EdX are exploring ways to recoup the development and operating costs of MOOCs, including fees for different kinds of certificates (e.g. proctored exams vs. honor code). However, it is a non-goal of BerkeleyX to be a major revenue generator. The highest priority is neutralizing costs.
Under the EdX financial model, Berkeley pays a fee to EdX for courses on EdX.org, and keeps 100% of any resulting revenue; we can put courses on EdX Edge for free while they are polished in preparation for EdX.org deployment.
Where will the money for direct costs come from?
There is no single source of funds, but we are working on various avenues:
We are working on identifying additional funding strategies.