How learners on an English Literature MOOC prompted academics to engage in social media in a way they never had before

Layla Croll @LaylaYAY and Dr Adam Smith @elementaladam – University of Sheffield

What happens when an academic who has been locked alone in the archive working on obscure literature suddenly has an online community of hundreds commenting on and contributing to his findings?

As academics and educational developers creating a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), we plan and design each course with a target audience in mind. Until the course launches, however, we have no idea who that audience will be.

Literature of the English Country House’ attracted a hard-core cohort of International learners who were engaged deeply with the content and expressed a constant desire for a more in depth look at the subjects covered.

In this session you’ll be invited to explore our blog where we will demonstrate some of the different ways in which academics from the School of English used Social Media to respond to the needs that arose as each day and week of the MOOC progressed.

You will see the variety of social media contexts the course academics used in order to make explicit connections between the MOOC and their research. By incorporating pre-existing material into the course itself including a paper by the Head of School and a film and composing new material in the form of Google Hangouts and a companion blog in response to learner interests, educators offered an expansive experience whilst also getting extensive feedback on their own work from a vast range different perspectives.

This online session will take approximately 20 minutes including watching videos but keeping in line with the  theme being discussed, you may choose to take the time to look at our material in more depth. There will be a chance to comment within the central blog and we will be checking in during the conference to answer any questions you may wish to post.