18th May 2015, 1:00pm to 2:00pm

MOOCs to Mainstream 2 - What we can learn from a massive online course in Physics

Presented by Joe Wolfe, Elizabeth Angstmann and Sebastian Fricke

Please note revised date is Monday 18 May (originally advertised for Monday 4 May).

In 2014 UNSW presented its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in the Science discipline. ‘Mechanics: Motion, Forces, Energy and Gravity, from Particles to Planets’ was delivered by Joe Wolfe, Elizabeth Angstmann and Sebastian Fricke from the School of Physics, plus a large and varying team of people from LTU and UNSWTV. Its level was rigorous but no calculus, so it could be used as a bridging course, support for good high school course, or remedial material for first year university. 

In this presentation, the team will talk about the design and development of the MOOC, what they have learned from its implementation, and some thoughts about using it in blended learning in UNSW programs. This will be of interest to anyone who would like to know more about managing online activities for large cohorts. 

Surprisingly, a substantial majority of those who did the survey already had university degrees, and many identified themselves as teachers. While this was not the target market, it's obvious in hindsight why teachers would have participated. It's probably good outreach and marketing for UNSW, and an argument for running it again, either as an archived course or as on-demand. The team found out that anything that could conceivably be misunderstood was misunderstood by someone (which may be related to the high proportion of teachers). The data analysts at LTU haven't finished analysing the click feedback yet, but the feedback on the discussion boards was mainly very positive. In brief, peer assessment of experimental work went (thankfully and surprisingly) well. The bulletin boards worked very well: one very good pre-university student and one retired person (both in the US) often answered other students' questions while the Sydney team was asleep.


Event Details
Staff Only Event open only to UNSW Staff
80 Seats available


Mathews Building, Room 102

Key Contact
Justine O'Sullivan