December 5, 2012
MOOC-gaming

MOOC: Online Learning for College Faculty

What is a MOOC? MOOC stands for “Massive Online Open Course.” You may have heard about MOOCs on the news or read about them on the Internet. Stanford University offered a MOOC last fall that had over 180,000 students. Can you imagine that? 180,000 students logging into one course! But it does take a special type of student. This type of online learning is very well suited for self-directed learners who have a passion for the subject area. These open courses typically do not offer credit or grades. For now, it’s a form of independent learning or continuing education.

Front Range’s MOOC

Front Range Community College also has its very own MOOC.  For us, the “M” may stand for modest. We have around 300 participants who are instructors. Our instructors are the online students in an open course. They are learning about game-based learning. This online course is taking place on a gaming community site so they are in exactly the same environment as gamers. Since it is an open course we also have educators from around the nation and even some participants from Canada, Europe and Australia. This is all part of the Colorado Community College System’s Immersive and Games Based Learning Faculty Challenge Grant.

What are instructors learning?

They are learning everything! We have national and sometimes international speakers each week who are using games in their classes for deeper learning. There are field trips into World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Tera and EveOnline. Our instructors are learning about gamification, badges and mobile. All of this is happening online!

 Why are instructors learning about games?

Well, have you ever watched the intensity of someone playing a video game? We’d like to bring that same deep concentration and intensity to learning that happens in our classroom. Instructors taking the MOOC will be proposing pilot projects for their classes to increase student engagement, mastery of content and success. So for the Games Based Learning MOOC at Front Range Community College – It really is Game On!

About the author:

Kae Novak is an Instructional Designer, Student Engagement and Assessment for Online Learning at Front Range Community College. She earned her Master of Educational Technology at Boise State University. She is currently the Principal Investigator for Games Based Learning MOOC project, which is part of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Immersive and Games-Based Learning Challenged Program.