Montgomery College to Become First Maryland Community College to Offer Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Getting Ready for College English” course begins Sept. 30 and targets
Montgomery College will offer a massive open online course, or MOOC, beginning September 30. The MOOC format is intended for large-scale participation and offers open access to higher education via online courses. The Montgomery College course is an introductory English course over eight weeks designed to prepare future MC students for the rigors of college English. The course is entirely online, self-paced and free. Literally, anyone in the world can register for the MOOC.
“The days of lecturing are long gone,” said Dr. Michael Mills, the College’s director of distance education and learning and interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “Students don’t respond to that. They’re coming to us with a different style of learning. And we’re meeting them halfway with the technology and tools they expect.”
Mills and his staff work hand-in-hand with MC faculty to help them get complete use of cutting-edge technology, the goal of which is to ensure greater student engagement and learning. English Professor Emily Rosado, who enrolled in MOOCs herself to become familiar with the format and student needs, will be teaching the course.
“Students who place into developmental courses have a low completion rate,” said Rosado, noting that college-level English is a prerequisite for virtually all credit-bearing courses. “This MOOC will hopefully bridge the gap and prepare the student to enroll in college-level English.”
The goal of the course is to prepare students for college level writing, whether it’s for an English class or another class that requires extensive writing. The target audience is high school seniors who may need a refresher or supplemental materials, current students who would benefit from access to video lectures that they can view multiple times, those serving in the military and do not have access to a college campus or who have never taken an online course before and want to try it risk-free.
Students will learn via short (8–10 minute) video lectures, peer-to-peer online interaction, interactive discussion board assignments, and instructor feedback.
Rosado and Mills plan to use a host of newer technologies in the MOOC, including Prezi, which Mills described as “PowerPoint on steroids”; Jing, a program that allows you to record voice comments to a file; and videos created with the help of the production staff from Montgomery College Television.