30th Aug 2016, 3:30pm to 5:00pm

The Journey Towards Goal Driven Learning in MOOCs

Facilitated by Dr Simon McIntyre, Director of Learning and Innovation, UNSW Art & Design

A case study and discussion of the dream vs reality in the Learning to Teach Online MOOC.

Many higher education (HE) institutions have invested in the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in recent years. There exists incredible diversity amongst participants enrolling in MOOCs in terms of their personal goals, motivation, existing knowledge, and available time. With so many learners with different personal learning goals sharing the same online space, why is the value or success of a MOOC judged against the notion of pass/fail, or completion of an entire curriculum? Is the learning experience of someone who was just interested in an overview of a topic simply by browsing content any less valuable to them, than that of someone who wishes to engage deeply by completing all assessment tasks? If they are both satisfied according to their own personal goals then the learning experience is valuable to them.

This was the premise that drove the development of the UNSW Coursera MOOC ‘Learning to Teach Online’ (LTTO). This presentation discusses the ideal vision of a personalised learning experience that incorporates goal setting as a key element, and explores the challenges of trying to implement and improve this design within current MOOC technology over three successive iterations of the course. Data collected about the goals and participant activity within the course have begun to reveal the difficulty in devising a truly dynamic, adaptive, personal goal driven learning environment in the MOOC space, within the confines of current technical and analytic frameworks. The lessons learned about obtaining and making meaningful response to participant goals will also be discussed.

LA-EDS Simon McIntyre.jpegDr Simon McIntyre is the Director of Learning and Innovation at UNSW Art & Design. After developing and teaching online courses in art and design for several years, he helped many other academics design and teach online through designing and convening a range of academic development programs. Simon has pioneered learning and teaching approaches for fully online and blended education across several disciplines, and has helped establish an internationally recognised quality online learning reputation for the Faculty and for UNSW. In 2015, Simon was one of 14 educators nationally to be awarded the Office of Learning and Teaching Excellence Award. Read more.

Presentation Slides




If you would like to join this research group or would like more information please contact Lorenzo Vigentini l.vigentini@unsw.edu.au

Event Details
Public Event open to all
40 Seats available


Room 1025, Level 10, Library Tower

Key Contact
Lorenzo Vigentini