The making of a MOOC: Our Green City: Global Challenges, Bristol Solutions

The Faculty delivered its first MOOC in September 2015 with a second run of the course in February 2016. Behind the scenes, members of the Learning Innovation Unit and the FET Library team worked together over many months to create the supporting resources and set up the course on Blackboard’s Open Education platform (free to institutions using Blackboard Learn). Our Learning Technologist, Oliver Haslam, took overall responsibility for the design and creation of the course, including the incorporation of digital badges, discussion boards and quizzes, and was our contact with Open Education for resolving IT issues.

The Library team put together a range of resources including an orientation to the course and study skills support tailored for students studying a MOOC for the first time. Their web developer set up the framework for the Frequently Asked Questions page, and Oli and I populated this with information before the start of the course and added to it during the course.

I spent the summer months sourcing images to include into the video footage, created by our Film Producer, Steve Brown. I was supported by a student intern from our Geography Department. We paid for a Shutterstock subscription, which allowed us to use the images for educational purposes, as long as they were duly credited with a copyright attribution. We managed to find most of our images on this site, with the rest being provided by staff and the local organisations who featured in the videos. Permission to use some of the images had to be requested, with all but one copyright holder happy for us to use free of charge. Details of the origin of each image, the copyright attribution and the location in the video footage were documented as evidence that copyright permissions had been cleared.

Moderators for the discussion boards included Learning Innovation Unit team members (myself, Oli and Simon Bates) answering any technical questions, contributions from Emma Delaney (our Faculty Librarian), and Matthew Hynam, Emma Griffin and Ian Brooks from the Faculty.

I put together the survey questions for the pre-MOOC and Post-MOOC questionnaires, using a paid-for Survey Monkey plan for this. The Library team tested these before they went live and offered valuable feedback. Simon Bates did the analysis of the data.