What is a MOOC like for a student? How much time do they spend per week? How long does a MOOC last?
MOOCs come in many different types and sizes: some are designed as on-ramps to new domains, others move learners toward mastery, while others build foundational concepts quickly and move on to problem solving or applied projects. As a result, they vary in duration, intensity and pace. For example, MOOCs can require a few hours or many hours per week, and can vary in duration from a few weeks to several months. If you are interested in developing a MOOC, our team will work with you to help determine the ideal duration, intensity and pace.
The time required for design and production of a MOOC can vary and depend on a number of variables including the complexity of the course, amount of course content, type of instruction, availability of instructors, etc. In general, we expect the process to be completed within 6 months.
At U-M, we help you look at your potential course from a market research angle early in the process. Our Strategy and Marketing team will help explore other courses within your topic area, examine ways to position your course, and promote your course to target audiences.
Our Academic Innovation team includes project managers, designers, production crews, marketing experts, researchers, and strategists who provide expertise and/or support for new courses. In addition, financial support is available through the Academic Innovation Fund to provide support for a student assistant to help develop and/or deliver your course as well as other course-specific expenses as they arise.
The process to develop a MOOC involves working in a team, considering new audiences, creating new assessments with feedback, preparing slides and supplementary readings, recording video lectures, reviewing work, and learning new interfaces for content. While the time investment is substantial (typically about 6 months), the Academic Innovation team will partner with you throughout this process and will help support and monitor the course.
We have a range of resources to help you navigate considerations related to the copyright implications around incorporating third party content into your digital courses as well as the content you create yourself.
Consider the following to maximize educational opportunity and to minimize risk exposure:
- You can use material that you created, or for which you received permission to use.
- You can use anything that is in the public domain; and many materials which have appropriate Creative Commons licenses (avoid non-commercial CC).
- Facts and data can always be used as well.
- Review your course materials—especially material you’ve used over many semesters to ensure you know the source; think carefully about things like problem sets, assessments, and test materials you used in the past. Did you create them or were they sourced from materials provided by the U-M Library under license or subscription that would not have considered the MOOC platform?
- Respect privacy and avoid defamation. A MOOC will be accessible worldwide. Make sure that any anecdotes or hypotheticals about private individuals are sufficiently adjusted to respect their privacy. Regarding defamation, if you are criticizing someone or something, be sure that you are clearly expressing an opinion or that your statement is true. The point is not to avoid criticism per se—we want our students to be critical thinkers, but this type of criticism is distinct from defamation (typically a false statement that harms a person’s or company’s reputation).
- For additional information, please view these videos on U-M Copyright and Online Courses as well as our full Academic Innovation Copyright Guide, both of which have been developed in partnership with the U-M Library Copyright Office.
How can working with Academic Innovation help me explore the commercial potential of an idea related to academic innovation?
When partnering with U-M faculty on academic innovation-related initiatives that show commercial potential, Academic Innovation will engage U-M’s Office of Technology Transfer and together will guide faculty innovators through their options with respect to commercialization. Academic Innovation offers a Commercialization Primer that answers several common questions related to the commercialization process. If you have specific questions related to commercialization and how working with Academic Innovation impacts future rights and processes, we recommend starting with this Primer and contacting Academic Innovation directly with any further questions.