MOOCs at McGill

McGillX - McGill MOOCs offered via edX


It was announced via email to the mcgill community on February 20th 2013  that McGill had joined the edX consortium.

At the March 20 2013 Senate Meeting, the Provost set out that a major purpose of the McGill edX endeavour was to collect data on how students learn so as to improve technology-supported learning on campus. He also explained that the next phase of the project would require McGill to:  (1) develop the first set of McGill MOOCs, (2) identify the questions we need to ask about McGill MOOCs including questions of standards and policy, (3) develop an ongoing training program to ensure that McGill faculty can maximize the opportunities inherent in MOOCs, and (4) address and reconcile any intellectual property issues.

An ad hoc working group was formed in the spring of 2013 with the following  terms of reference. It has invited input from McGill faculty on all aspects of these terms of reference, including the four issues set out above.

In the summer, the working group put out a call for proposals for the first pilot McGill MOOCs.

Senate’s Involvement

There was an open discusssion of innovative learning environments with a particular focus on MOOCs at the January 23rd 2013 Senate Meeting.

Senator Lu at the March 20 2013 Senate meeting asked why the negotiations to join edX were not brought to the attention of Senate, before the announcement that McGill had joined was made. The Provost gave a long answer which set out how this decision was arrived at, some of the actors involved in making the decision, how it meshed with the Strategic Plan of university, and various discussions relating to MOOCs which had been held at Senate. He also noted that the decision to join edX was a matter for the Board of Governors given its financial nature. He stated on the one hand that any new courses or programs of study developed in this context and given for credit would be brought to Senate via the normal governance approval paths, while at the same time noting that in 2001, Senate had passed a motion stating: no course offered by McGill University and approved by the APPC in the name of Senate can be disallowed for credit in a program of study on the sole basis of its mode of delivery. He also stated that Senate would have an opportunity to discuss these issues again.

Opportunities for Input from Faculty

As noted above, the Working Group has solicited input from Faculty, which should be sent to mcgillx.tls [at] Faculty members can also provide input by contacting their Senate representatives. MAUT hopes that the information provided on these webpages and the possibility of discussing the issue on the blog and via the open list serve will help faculty members to formulate and express their views on this issue. We will also be holding a forum on this issue on March 17th

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