Friday, March 21, 2014

Keeping Up With... MOOCs

Carmen Kazakoff-Lane is Extension and ILL Librarian at Brandon University

What are MOOCs?

MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses that enroll anyone wishing to attend for free. Early MOOCs, which emerged out of the OER movement, are known as Connectivist MOOCs [aka cMOOCs] and emphasize both active student learning and knowledge creation using a wide range of tools that are (1) shared with fellow students and (2) openly licensed for use and adaption [i.e. community-generated OERs]. The more widely known MOOCs, xMOOCs, rely on video lectures by professors, some student interaction, and online educational tools. These register students in the tens of thousands and some have numbered as many as 160,000 in a class – making it impossible to provide professorial support.  None provide access to institutional library collections. They are very expensive to produce and funded by investors or major institutions. Despite their name, xMOOCs are not open educational resources.

There are many reasons why librarians need to fully understand MOOCs:
  • Academic libraries are committed to serving students enrolled in distance education courses and MOOCs are raising questions around  how services and collections could be provided to students in this transformational medium – as well as how to use MOOCs to assess online services.
  • xMOOCs pose important intellectual property issues for higher education.
  • xMOOCs may serve as a disruptive innovation - leading to questions about their impact not only on teaching, but also on research.  
  • As we come to fully understand MOOCs – including where they intersect with, or are contrary to, established library values – they pose important questions about the role libraries can and should play in the area of Open Education: particularly as it refers to their role as facilitators of their effectiveness and sustainability.
Key Issues 

> Intellectual Property Issues around Openness and Ownership of Property


> xMOOCs and Library Services


> Effectiveness and Sustainability


> Big Data and Libraries

> Conclusion

No one is sure about the impact that MOOCs will have on higher education and we will not know for some time to come. Issues around effectiveness and usefulness will determine whether funding continues to flow to them.  What is not uncertain is the emergence of Open Education -  and the need for libraries to address how they fit into this world based upon their support for openness, access to quality information for all, lifelong learning and support for teaching and learning.

> Recommended Readings

Source and Full Text Available At:


Friday, March 14, 2014

MOOCs for LIS Professional Development: Exploring New Transformative Learning Environments and Roles


Launched in September 2013, the Hyperlinked Library MOOC pilot (#hyperlibMOOC) provides a sandbox in which LIS professionals and students can play the roles of learner, connector, and collaborator in a self-directed yet social learning experience. Results from the pilot course will contribute to a better understanding of how the not-for-credit MOOC can serve as a transformative environment for professional development.

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Embedded Librarians: Building Relationships in Massively Open Educational System

A New Polemic: Libraries, MOOCs, and the Pedagogical Landscape

In Brief: The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has emerged in the past few years as the poster child of the online higher education revolution.  Lauded and derided, MOOCs (depending on who you ask) represent the democratization of education on a global scale, an overblown trend, or the beginning of the end of the traditional academic institution. MOOCs have gained so much critical traction because they have succeeded in unmooring educational exchanges and setting them adrift in the sea of the internet.  Although the MOOC is a new and evolving platform, it has already upended facets of education in which librarians are heavily invested including intellectual property, digital preservation, and information delivery and curricular support models. Consequently, to examine the MOOC as a microcosm is also to explore how the scope of academic librarianship is changing and will continue to change. Librarians and information professionals—who serve as bibliographers, purchasing managers, access advocates, copyright and preservation experts, and digital pioneers on many campuses—are uniquely situated to mediate this disruption and to use this opportunity to develop strategies for navigating an environment in flux.

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MOOCs Are A Massive Opportunity for Libraries

PCI Webinars - Emerging Technologies in Libraries Part 3: MOOCs

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A MOOL in a MOOC: Librarians in Massive Open Online Courses

Source and Link Available At:


"MOOL" In A MOOC ...

The discussion around, and analysis of, massive open online courses (or MOOCs) continues to grow and develop. Educators unfamiliar with MOOCs, their hosts, structures, benefits, and challenges will find this article helpful for gaining understanding of this on-trend form of distance learning and course delivery. Furthermore, the author proposes that the potential for librarianship within MOOCs should also be considered. Much of the relevant literature from the fields of education, librarianship, information science, and academia at large, reviewed here, have not delved too deeply into the concept of librarianship within this setting (yet). In an effort to discover MOOC faculty opinions, challenges, and incentives for MOOC creation and participation, as well as their thoughts on librarians in MOOCs, the author developed a survey. This survey aimed to assess: (1) the costs and benefits experienced by faculty teaching MOOCs; (2) perceived/anticipated student and learning environment successfulness within MOOCs; and (3) the extent faculty engage with their institution’s librarians. Additionally, the survey approached MOOC faculty regarding whether they envision a future for librarians within MOOCs and what that future might look like. This article closes with discussion on survey findings, suggestions for future research, hypotheses regarding the future of MOOCs, and opportunities for a “MOOL” in a MOOC.

Keywords: MOOCs; massive open online courses; nontraditional education programs; open source education programs; online learning; distance learning; information literacy; media literacy; instructional technologies; higher education; e-learning; librarianship; copyright; open access.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ACRL White Paper > Environmental Scan of OERs, MOOCs, and Libraries

What Effectiveness and Sustainability Means for Libraries’ Impact on Open Education

Carmen Kazakoff-Lane / Extension Librarian / Brandon University John E. Robbins Library / Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

In 2009, librarians started waking up to an emerging open education movement. It began in earnest with a 2009 ACRL / SPARC forum at an ALA Midwinter Meeting, where advocates for Open Educational Resources (OERs) spoke about OERs and the roles libraries could play in supporting them (SPARC & ACRL, 2009). It was further advanced as an important professional issue with the emergence into popular consciousness of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in 2011. Thus, in the last few years, open education has become an important topic in the professional literature, with discussions around library support largely focused on the phenomenonof MOOCs.

Libraries can and should support open education. It fits with librarians’ professional support for access to information as a public good, the institutional mandate of academic libraries to support teaching and research, and the professional obligations of librarians in public libraries to support continuing education. But before libraries do so, it is useful to understand the open education movement as a whole, including some of the key challenges facing both OERs and MOOCs and how libraries are well positioned to help address these challenges. By taking a holistic approach, libraries can aid the movement to facilitate universal, affordable, quality education for the peoples of the world and ensure that institutions, faculty, funding agencies, and governments avoid pathways to open education that might prove detrimental to scholarship as well as to society as a whole.

Source and Full Text Available At