Katherine Olston, CET
Using MOOCS to Lead Innovation

This presentation will explore how learnings from the development, design and delivery of a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can yield insights to inform and enhance blended learning experiences. The session will present an innovative online course, the ‘Academic Skills for University Success’ Specialization, developed by the University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching. The Specialization is a series of five MOOCs aimed at supporting students in the transition to tertiary study at an English-medium university and provides an introduction to the core values and expectations of academic culture. The presentation will outline the process of course development for the Specialization in terms of evidence-based course design, alignment with best practice principles in online learning, integration of 21st century skills essential to academic preparedness and innovations in adaptive courseware, and discuss how these approaches can be applied to a blended curriculum. Further, the session will present pedagogical insights gained from the development and delivery of the MOOCs and look at how these learnings can be used to enhance the students’ blended learning experience, both inside and outside the classroom.

Katherine Olston is the Director at the University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching where she oversees all aspects of the organisation from strategic planning, managing the financial health of the centre, professional development, performance appraisal, curriculum design and the integration of technology-enhanced pedagogy. Olston is passionate about technology-enhanced learning; her most recent project has been to lead the conceptualization, design and development of CET’s Specialization ‘Advanced Skills for University Success’, a series of five MOOCs delivered via Coursera which aim at preparing undergraduate students for university study at English-speaking universities.