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Saturday, January 14 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
"Making it massive: developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for teacher CPD"

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This presentation shares the motivation and experiences of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) in developing and running Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for continued professional development for teachers across the globe with FutureLearn, the UK’s biggest and most prestigious MOOC providers, who work with 80+ top international universities and specialist education institutions. 

The perceived benefits of this approach to delivering teacher CPD included the following: 

• A large number of our teachers had already participated in MOOCs of their own volition and had found it a valuable way of engaging in tailored, on-demand CPD. 

• Delivering CPD on an open platform gave us the opportunity to share our training courses with the wider education community across the globe, including in developing countries. 

• Engaging a wide audience of teachers would allow our teachers to benefit from working with a wider learning community, gaining a huge amount for the experiences of teachers in varied contexts and countries. 

• Delivering CPD in an online form would give our teachers a chance to experience, as learners, online learning models, thus informing their own practice in designing and delivering online learning. 

• MOOCs remain predominantly a Higher Education-led phenomena, and as such, working in this field gives us the opportunity to engage and interact with Higher Education institutions, sharpening our focus on research-informed practice. 

• The experience of developing and facilitating a MOOC would be a valuable learning experience in itself for our lead educators, and would lead to the development of a huge range of learning materials that could be used effectively in other contexts. 

• As an innovative organisation, we were keen to explore and evaluate the potential of new models of teacher CPD and engage in opportunities for research in this area. 

This presentation includes detailed explanation of our motivations, reflections on the experience of developing a MOOC, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the first course run.


Joye Plaugher

Faculty, California State University Fresno

avatar for Catherine Scutt

Catherine Scutt

Head of Learning Technology and Innovation, Girls' Day School Trust
Passionate about teaching and learning, research, CPD, creating communities, and effective use of digital technology.

Saturday January 14, 2017 1:00pm - 1:20pm PST