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Somebody got awfully spiffed up for filming in today’s class.
Meet Dr. Travis Rieder, course fellow for the first iteration of our Introduction to Bioethics MOOC, now a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University and, for the fall semester, a valued adjunct professor here at Georgetown.
Travis’s course is the KIE’s first fully-hybrid class, using MOOC segments and other materials as a “living textbook” to free up more time for in-class projects, discussion, and collaboration.
We are also filming selected class sessions as supplementary content for the next iteration of our MOOC, slated to launch in spring 2015. MOOC breakout star professor Maggie Little, director of the KIE, will appear in many of these new segments.
Learn more about Travis’s hybrid bioethics class »

Somebody got awfully spiffed up for filming in today’s class.

Meet Dr. Travis Rieder, course fellow for the first iteration of our Introduction to Bioethics MOOC, now a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University and, for the fall semester, a valued adjunct professor here at Georgetown.

Travis’s course is the KIE’s first fully-hybrid class, using MOOC segments and other materials as a “living textbook” to free up more time for in-class projects, discussion, and collaboration.

We are also filming selected class sessions as supplementary content for the next iteration of our MOOC, slated to launch in spring 2015. MOOC breakout star professor Maggie Little, director of the KIE, will appear in many of these new segments.

Learn more about Travis’s hybrid bioethics class »

learning gains for MOOC students

our MOOC featured on CNBC

Some education experts believe MOOCs can go further. Maggie Little, director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown, joined with several colleagues to create and launch a MOOC on bioethics last spring. This year, she plans to use the MOOC as a sort of living textbook for the Introduction to Bioethics class.

The class will meet twice a week, Little said, working on projects and the like. “In bioethics, you can’t really tell if you understand something unless you write a paper,” she said. The MOOC was expensive to create, she said, but it can now be delivered to anyone, and anyone can use it as a text for a class.

Little believes today’s typical classroom structure is neither educationally rich nor financially sustainable. “We can’t afford to be what we are now for much longer unless we do something radically different,” she said. “It doesn’t mean the disappearance of brick-and-mortar places. But it means rethinking what is the value added of having a highly personal, highly immersive experience.”

Shhh… don’t look now, but we think we spotted KIE director Maggie Little sneaking into a certain former MOOC course fellow's introduction to bioethics class here at Georgetown to film some new content for MOOC 2.0 earlier this week!

Shhh… don’t look now, but we think we spotted KIE director Maggie Little sneaking into a certain former MOOC course fellow's introduction to bioethics class here at Georgetown to film some new content for MOOC 2.0 earlier this week!

FYI: Course audit mode shifts next week

MOOC friends & fans will know that our course has been running in audit or self-paced mode since the end of our live course run back in June.

But did you know that on August 31st, some elements of the course will be taken down in compliance with existing agreements with copyright-holders?

If you’re auditing the course, now would be a great time to really dive deep into the readings (the majority of affected course elements are readings) and other aspects of course while you still can!

Beginning September 1, a lightly-slimmed-down version of the course will continue to run until shortly before the next iteration of the course is delivered.

Stay tuned for our announcement of when the new iteration will launch!

Things have been quiet on the MOOC front recently, but we are finally nearing the end of our summer-long analysis of metrics from our live course run. Next up: finalizing with our friends at edX just what MOOC 2.0 will look like, and when it will go live!
Hint: we still think springtime is a lovely time for an introduction to bioethics…

Things have been quiet on the MOOC front recently, but we are finally nearing the end of our summer-long analysis of metrics from our live course run. Next up: finalizing with our friends at edX just what MOOC 2.0 will look like, and when it will go live!

Hint: we still think springtime is a lovely time for an introduction to bioethics

MOOCs and the ivory tower

David Bromwich reflects on MOOCs and more in The New York Review of Books.

Team MOOC’s unofficial mascot (course fellow Travis’s beautiful daughter Sinem) now has some shiny new edX duds to show her enthusiasm for learning. Thanks, edX!

documenting the MOOC: early figures

Well, it’s documentation time here at the KIE, and we’ve gotten our first batch of numbers from the crack team at Georgetown’s CNDLS helping us with in-course analytics.

According to these early figures,

» enrollment topped out just over 32,000 while the course was live, with numbers still climbing as the course rolls on in audit mode;

» more than half of participants were female, an oddity in the male-dominated world of MOOCs;

» nearly one third of those who responded in our pre-course survey had advanced degrees in medicine or research science.

There are many more insights to come, but important lessons are already emerging for the core MOOC team as we reconsider what shape Intro to Bioethics 2.0 might take.

we found a new blog friend!

The HarvardX: Project Developer Blog details the production process for MOOCs coming out of Fair Harvard, a project with much the same spirit as our own humble blog here. Check it out!

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got bioethics?
You asked for it, we found a way! Last call for swag from our 2014 launch — mugs, buttons, T-shirts — that lets you share your bioethics ♥ with the world.
Have you checked it out yet? This MOOC participant did!

got bioethics?

You asked for it, we found a way! Last call for swag from our 2014 launch — mugs, buttons, T-shirts — that lets you share your bioethics  with the world.

Have you checked it out yet? This MOOC participant did!

it’s documentation time.

After a fantastic IBC, a festive course close, and a well-deserved week off, Team MOOC is back in the saddle with a new mission: data analysis.

The beauty of the MOOC, from an analytics perspective, is right there in the first letter: this was a massive course.

This means we have a lot of data from in-course interactions, plus qualitative and quantitative data from pre-course and end-of-course surveys, on hand already.

Today, our analytics team had a kick-off meeting designed to move forward on analysis of this and other data, plus gathering more via focus groups and individual interviews.

More to come soon on this next, exciting step of the grand MOOC experiment.

Congratulations again to our amazing, vibrant, vocal, and engaged global classroom of 28,000 students, certificate-earners and auditors alike! We’re so honored to have been on this journey with you.
All certificates have been generated and the course will continue now in audit mode until the next iteration of the course.

Congratulations again to our amazing, vibrant, vocal, and engaged global classroom of 28,000 students, certificate-earners and auditors alike! We’re so honored to have been on this journey with you.

All certificates have been generated and the course will continue now in audit mode until the next iteration of the course.

"An excellent opportunity for learning about different topics in Bioethics. I would like to make an exchange at the KIE to learn more about bioethics via research this summer. Greetings from Colombia!"

Introduction to Philosophy student Luis, on Facebook