HILT Grants: Faculty experiences creating MOOCs | Summary and Q&A

April 11, 2019
Harvard University
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HILT Grants: Faculty experiences creating MOOCs


Faculty share their experiences and lessons learned from teaching online courses, including the time-consuming nature of course creation and the impact on their teaching methods and research interests.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What inspired the study of faculty experiences teaching online courses?

The study was prompted by the lack of research on faculty experiences teaching online courses, despite the wealth of literature on student experiences. The researchers wanted to formalize faculty experiences and provide valuable insights for others in the field.

Q: How did faculty transform their teaching approaches after teaching online?

Faculty found that teaching online encouraged more interactive teaching methods, leading them to adopt similar approaches in their residential courses. The experience of teaching online served as a catalyst for pedagogical innovation.

Q: What were some benefits for faculty teaching online courses?

Teaching online provided opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, which may not have been possible in a traditional setting. It also broadened faculty members' research interests and gave them a global perspective on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Q: What are the next steps for the project after the Spark grant?

The researchers are currently analyzing the gathered data to identify best practices and create a quasi-list of recommendations. They also plan to present their findings to the university, ensuring the project continues to have an impact.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The project aims to examine faculty experiences teaching online courses and share insights with prospective and current faculty and course developers.

  • Faculty often underestimated the time required to create online courses, which differs significantly from traditional in-person courses.

  • Teaching online courses led to changes in teaching methods, more interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities, and a broader global perspective on education.

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