Educause provide loads of resources around the uses of technology in education, and here’s a briefing note on the questions to ask about MOOCs. I wish I had read this months ago, it might have saved a lot of other reading!

The article provides a quick summary of what a MOOC is, who the major players are but crucially what are the questions that need to be asked:

Why jump on the MOOC bandwagon?
Possibilities include: for outreach and exper- imentation, to extend the brand, and to gain institutional experience with emerging forms of instruction. Ultimately MOOCs may become a source of revenue to drive down costs while open- ing access to learning.

What is our institutional capacity to deliver a MOOC?
MOOCs require investment. Whether the MOOC is self-hosted or offered through a commercial platform, integrated course support is required. Support requirements include:
? Technical (e.g., videography, editing, graphic design)
? Instructional (e.g., instructional design, teaching assistant support)
? Library (e.g., resource discovery, copyright clearance)
Institutions intending to self-host MOOCs will need a sophisticated, highly scalable LMS-like platform, the ability to effectively market the courses, and the capacity to offer technical sys- tem support remotely and at scale.

Where do MOOCs fit into our institution’s e-learning strategy?
MOOCs should fit in the overall portfolio of course offerings. Do they complement or substi- tute for current course models? And if MOOCs are not an option, will faculty with stature, confidence, and teaching experience go outside the institution to offer a MOOC?

As now I’ve started reading some of the Educause research papers, you’ll all be delighted to know I’m developing a new techie obsession- learning analytics.