10.03.14 - 13.03.14, Seminar 14112

Massive Open Online Courses: Current State and Perspectives

The following text appeared on our web pages prior to the seminar, and was included as part of the invitation.

Memorial Exhibition in honor of Aloys Ohlmann

The exhibit opens on Monday, March, 10 at 7.30 p.m. in the new building of Schloss Dagtuhl. All participants are cordially invited to attend.

This memorial exhibition in honor of Aloys Ohlmann (+16.09.2013) will display for the first time a series of 36 window paintings created by the artist in 1991. Aloys Ohlmann painted these works in homage to Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer, who in 1942 - one year before his death - completed a cycle of 18 paintings representing different perspectives on window views as seen from both within and without.


Motivation and Overview

Online education is not new; Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are. Their uniquely powerful combination of classical digital teaching tools (videos, audios, graphics or slides), individualized tools for acquiring and validating knowledge, and appropriate use of dedicated social networks makes them a new and formidable means of accessing knowledge and education. If backed up with scientific and pedagogical excellence, MOOCs allow one to reach and teach simultaneously tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousand of learners in a new pedagogical dynamic.

Of the numerous MOOCs initiatives that have recently emerged, especially in the US and Europe, a few seem to be surfacing with an extremely important impact. This creates a very new situation and indeed can be considered as the informatics community's first main impact on knowledge dissemination and teaching. MOOCs will very likely induce a radical change in teaching mechanisms and their links to the economic and production systems. The consequences with respect to the transmission of culture and educational content, and on society as a whole, will be deep.

This situation raises many questions in a range of different disciplines with respect to ethics, intellectual properties, and data protection and privacy, necessitating an in-depth understanding of the current state of affairs and future trends in these research areas.

This Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop will bring together leading researchers and practitioners working in or on MOOCs initiatives in order to provide a forum for discussing participants' current experiences and initial feedback. Scientists from several key disciplines, including for example informatics, pedagogy, economy, psychology and sociology, will meet to discuss the current state of the situation and envision the next steps. In particular, they will address questions relative to current research on the pedagogical engineering of MOOCs, economical models, ethical issues, the technical development of platforms, and sharing.

Workshop Format and Anticipated Output

As described in Dagstuhl policies http://www.dagstuhl.de/en/program/dagstuhl-perspectives/ this Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop will ask participants to look beyond the current high-profile interest in MOOCs and to ideate on important research questions over the next 10 years in all areas of informatics in cooperation with online and hybrid educational formats.

One key outcome of this Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop will be the publication of a Dagstuhl Manifesto on MOOCs. Such a manifesto should include a discussion of research directions within a larger context, such as the relevance of MOOCs to society and economy, their applications, and their relationship to other fields. Its audience goes beyond the inner circle of experts and should include policy makers.