Choosing a Platform

Generally speaking, if you want to create a MOOC, you will need to choose an external platform to host it. The University of Edinburgh currently works with three platforms: Coursera, FutureLearn and EdX. Each platform allows you to build your MOOC online, combining videos with written content, graphics and quiz questions. So how do you choose which platform to use? We met last week to find out more about the platforms:

  1. Coursera was the first platform to be used by the university. It hosts thousands of courses, and many of these are moving towards an ‘on demand’ model where participants can start at any time. The courses are video-based (for example, it would be hard to just embed audio), and course development is usually structured linearly. Quizzes are the usual assessment method, but peer assessment is possible for more open-ended assessment.
  2. Futurelearn is the second platform the university started using. Its courses have a clean design and are particularly good for participants who are new to online learning. It can combine audio, video, and articles seamlessly, and comes ready mobile-optimised.
  3. EdX is best for truly customising content, and is hence best for integrating applets or software. It is open source, and can allow content to be used for multiple purposes. For example, the videos used become YouTube content, and mathematical formulae can easily be embedded. The University is relatively new to the EdX platform so it would be a steep learning curve for all of us.

After meeting again today we have decided to use the EdX platform because it is the most flexible in terms of embedding content, and we are really keen to embed GeoGebra applets into our course so that participants can really explore the statistical concepts for themselves.


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