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The Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC is mentioned in the Department for Education’s new report looking at the use of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in education for secondary age learners.
‘MOOCs: opportunities for their use in compulsory-age education’, brings together the views of teachers, head teachers and IT experts to explore how MOOCs are currently being used, their benefits to teachers and learners and their potential within secondary age teaching.
The pioneering Cambridge GCSE computing MOOC is referred to in the report as ‘one of the few UK MOOCs focused on the 11-19 age range’. Launched in September 2013 in collaboration with Cambridge University Press and Raspberry Pi, the MOOC placed OCR and its partners firmly at the forefront of bringing education technology more usually associated with HE to secondary school age learners.
Liam Sammon, OCR’s Director of Commercial and Education Services, was invited to contribute his expertise to the report and he is quoted in it several times. On the place of the MOOC in the classroom, Liam stated: “Our ambition was to support teachers, and to fill a gap for non-specialist teachers. Our philosophy is not to try to replace classroom learning, but to augment it and make it easier with great content produced by excellent teachers.”
One of the report’s findings shows that when teachers have the opportunity to use MOOCs themselves, they become more enthusiastic about their benefits within the classroom and as a support to their work. Liam is quoted in the report on how we see that support working: “Our content model is a 'spine and rib-cage' one. We believe that teachers will want a core set of high quality videos and accompanying assessment exercises (the ‘spine’) that is tightly aligned to the curriculum and in which they can have confidence. We then augment these core videos with additional resources - games, additional exercises, worksheets etc. and this is the 'rib-cage'.”
Watch this space for more exciting MOOC developments coming soon!