Embedding MOOCs in academic programmes as a part of curriculum transformation: A pilot case study

Sarah Lambert and Irit Alony
University of Wollongong
Wollongong, Australia

The University of Wollongong’s first locally developed and hosted massive open online course (MOOC) — The Reluctant Mathematician — was a highly scaffolded MOOC designed to support stressed and low-efficacy mathematics learners. It was developed to lift mathematics skills at our university and also in the community, where such skiils continue to be a challenge and, in some cases, a source of stress. Internally, the MOOC provided an alternative online way to support students who struggle with mathematics at university level, and as a complement to the existing face-to-face services. This paper describes a successful approach to using MOOCs not only for addressing skills shortages among university students, but also to involve staff in the hybrid learning aspects of curriculum transformation. Based on a small-scale pilot, the paper describes the narrative of engagement of academics, and highlights the main elements which were conducive to their engagement in selecting and using the MOOC as a support for an assignment in their curriculum. A framework is proposed for educators who are interested in using MOOCs for a similar purpose.