EMOOCs 2014

COCo (Yannick Prié) was present at the EMOOCs 2014, the Second MOOC European Stakeholders Summit on Feb 10-12 at the Rolex Learning Center.

Rolex Learning Center, by Mikado1201 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Rolex Learning Center, by Mikado1201 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

More than 440 people attended the conference, and it was a great place to be to feel the pulse and the mood of the MOOCs community, from big players such as Coursera, EdX, MiriadaX, Iversity or FUN to faculty members both already involved in MOOC development or curious, to businessmen.

Four parallel sessions were dedicated to Research, Policy, Experience and Business. Conference proceedings are available here, and keynote videos are/will be here.

Some personal highlights include:

  • the general energy and enthusiasm
  • the importance both of learning analytics and the social dimension of learning
  • the importance of the financial/economic question: business model have not stabilized yet
  • the fact that questions related to OCW and OER surfaced regularly in the sessions, which was the occasion to remind people of the next OCW conference next April in Ljubljana
  • the nice introductory keynote by Patrick Aebischer, the President of EPFL, who was the force driving EPFL to become the first University in MOOCs in Europe
  • the OpenUpEd initiative, an European consortium of Open universities to promote OER-based MOOCs, both by aggregating MOOCs and being a quality label
  • the positioning of FutureLearn, with a boss that come from media (BBC) and considers MOOCs as a new media, not far from having an entertainment view on education
  • the open call from Iversity to welcome « small universities » that would not be accepted by Coursera or EdX
  • the position of EU on the topic : they have acknowledged the coming massive disruption in higher education brought by the digital tsunami, and will support initiatives that try to create the new landscape. The call « Technology for better learning and teaching » will open in September

Next conferences will be in Belgium (Mons), organized by Louvain University in 2015, and in Austria (Graz in 2016).