Interview with Dr. Paul Kim, E-Learn 2013 Keynote Speaker, Preconference
Symposium on “MOOCs and Open Education
The E-Learn 2013 conference
Vegas is coming up in a little over a week. I am helping run the preconference
on MOOCs and Open
on October 21st
. Paul Kim
Stanford is the opening keynote. I had a chance to ask Paul a few questions
prior to his keynote. His responses are below.
"MOOC” is a fairly recent term. It is also a “Learning For All” movement
currently stimulating active debates in the education space around the world.
MOOC simply denotes a Massive Open Online Course, but in the larger context, it
may be a catalyst to reimagine higher education. Whether MOOCs are part of a
global open education initiative or a for-profit education model, today there
is certainly growing R&D interest, as well as entrepreneurial attention.
There is, however, substantial criticism and typical bystander skepticism,
mostly arising from reports describing the quite unexciting completion rates of
many MOOCs. Acknowledging the abundant misunderstandings around MOOCs and the
vague institutional goals from early-adopter universities, an argument can be
made that the current structures of MOOCs today are not sustainable. In this
session, The Anatomy of a MOOC, the non-profit and for-profit models will be
viewed, compared, and presented through the lens of sustainability.
Some General Questions about Your MOOC:
What was the title of your most recent MOOC?
Paul Kim: "Designing a new learning
did you teach it?
Paul: Fall 2012
Paul: Close to 20,000.
you have any sense of how many “completed” it?
Paul: Around 1,000.
was the platform?
was the URL?
Beyond Wildest Dreams
was the most exciting thing that happened during your MOOC?
Paul: Students from 170 countries.
outside your expectations…
power of social network channels.
Topic #3: Specific
Learner Success Story:
you have an unusual or interesting MOOC success story of a particular person
who enrolled in your massive course that you might share?
school student working with phd students and leading as a team leader. He
graduated with distinction which requires a lot of respect from peer
Topic #4: Disappointment(s):
was the most disappointing aspect of your MOOC?
as open as I hoped.
fell short of expectations?
Pedagogical Success and Failure:
you briefly describe one unique pedagogical task or idea that you attempted
during your MOOC that worked well and one that did not work so well?
Paul: Team project and peer evaluation
worked well. Team formation process needs more innovation.
you have advice for others who might try these approaches?
Paul: Don't just move stuff from LMS to
mooc platform. You need to really leverage your global classroom environment.
Topic #6: Potential
back on your MOOC, what research might be done in this area that you have yet
Paul: Features that help low self-regulators
to develop self-regulation strategies.
questions are not being asked?
Paul: Why students need to learn how to
learn in the 21st century.
Topic #7: Culturally
did you try to make the content of your MOOC or other open educational
resources that you have designed relevant to people from different cultures or
Paul: Discussed cases from Africa, Asia,
Latin America, etc.
might others do in this regard?
Paul: Involve cases from all continents if
describing the role of a MOOC instructor, I like to use “C” words like curator,
concierge, cultivator, counselor, consultant, orchestra conductor, etc.. Some
might say “cat herder” or “credit manager.” How might you describe your role in
your MOOC? What metaphor might you use? Instructor as ___? Why so?
Paul: Completely inspired to inspire
of MOOCs seem determined that there are huge problems related to learner
motivation and retention. What are your views about learner completion rates?
Paul: This needs to be interpreted
differently depending on different student needs.
should we measure student success and failure?
Paul: We should ask each student what they
are doing after a MOOC.
Topic #10: Surprising
or Unusual Theme or Issue:
is one theme, finding, idea, concern, or issue that you will hit upon during
your preconference symposium keynote at e-Learn that may surprise some people?
Paul: Passion is viral in a MOOC.
awakening, not memorizing.
Topic #11. Latest Idea:
is the newest idea or concept that will enter into your talk at E-Learn that
you may not have discussed previously?
Paul: Sustainability is more important
than mobility in educational development work.
excites you about it?
Paul: I finally got some ideas about it!
Topic #12. What’s Coming Next:
you have any new ventures, courses, research projects, or ideas related to
MOOCs or open education on your radar or that may happen in the near future? If
so, what are they?
Paul: Build and implement a new learning
environment, leading to creating and expanding a new workforce development