Mega Course or MOOC?
What is the difference between a free online course with hundreds and maybe thousands of participants and a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC? Do numbers make a MOOC? Does a MOOC have to be affiliated with an institution of higher education? Who decides to label a free mega course, a MOOC?
Electronic Village Online (EVO)
For the past 13 years, TESOL affiliated ‘Electronic Village Online’ or EVO has been providing free 5-week online professional development sessions, as they call them, for English language teachers and others, from January to February. EVO started as a TESOL Special Project in 1999 and was founded in 2000 by Dr. Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Tom Robb, and Susan Gaer. What is EVO?
By and For Educators
EVO is run by educators, for educators. All the moderators or course teachers volunteer 5 to 6 weeks of their time once a year. The spirit of giving and learning together at the EVO sessions is contagious. The energy is high because most of the participants who join the sessions are passionate about learning with others from around the globe. The positive atmosphere at the EVO sessions is a reminder that peace is attainable when it comes to learning together.
Learning in Peaceful Harmony
The participants, moderators, and coordinators live in countries that may not have any political connections. In some cases, the countries are at war. Some countries may have hidden and others have open conflicts. However, the teachers, who take part in the EVO sessions, are at peace with one another. Color, race, gender and other affiliations do not matter at EVO. The participants join the sessions to learn how to make learning meaningful and fun for their students.
Moodle for Teachers EVO 2014 (M4TEVO14)
I started moderating sessions on EVO in 2008 with the WebQuest. I loved it so much, I decided to continue. For the past 3 years, I have been running Moodle for Teachers EVO (M4TEVO) sessions. The number of participants in an EVO session can run as low as a few hundreds, but numbers have run up to 1000. This year, M4TEVO14 has over 1500 participants from over 50 countries. Most of the participants are English language teachers, but many are from other content areas such as Chemistry, Math, Physics, Economics, ITC, History, Geography, and Music. Some are from the public school sector while others are from the private. Some of the participants have joined to learn to Moodle, how to teach using WizIQ, and to learn about the new features of Moodle 2.5. Others have come to M4TEVO14 become they’re curious as to how a Mega course is run.
The participants are eager to learn, which means that the facilitators or as EVO coins them, moderators, have to sleep about 4 hours a night. Yes, providing feedback and support is essential to online learning. Five facilitators volunteered to help with M4TEVO14, but only 2 are able to be on call practically 24/7. No one is asleep on M4TEVO14. Someone is always there, submitting tasks, asking questions, making suggestions, adding comments, or providing support. I would like to give special mention here and thank Thomas Hodges for being on call 20/7. The secret to engaging participants in an online mega course or MOOC is directly related to support.
CLIL on WizIQ
CLIL has had a representative from the Italian Ministry of Education with a presentation by the English inspector and a live online session with Professor David Marsh, the brain behind CLIL. Professor March talked about Why CLIL? (Click to view the recording)
David Marsh, Ph.D, is author of The CLIL Trajectory: Educational Innovation for the 21st Century iGeneration, Córdoba Academic Press 2013, and lead author of The Higher Education English Language Landscape: Ensuring quality in English language degree programmes, VIU 2011; co-author of Uncovering CLIL, Integrated Learning in Bilingual and Multilingual Education, Oxford: Macmillan 2008, Content and Language Integrated Learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010; and co-editor of Quality Interfaces: Examining Evidence & Exploring Solutions, Eichstätt Academic Press 2012.
WizIQ Technical Support
WizIQ has made a name for itself not only on M4TEVO14, but also on CLIL for EVO14. All the ongoing live classes are on WizIQ where the speakers and participants of EVO14 meet for learning. WizIQ has been providing ongoing support to all the facilitators and speakers of both M4TEVO14 and CLIL on EVO14.
M4TEVO14 on WizIQ
Join the 5-week M4TEVO14 Course Area on WizIQ, get the content, access the live online classes and recordings, engage in discussions, and continue learning after M4TEVO14 ends. You may stay in the course for as long as you wish.
Live Online Classes for M4TEVO14 on WizIQ
Time & Converter
Link to Session
Link to Recording
INTRODUCTION & ORIENTATION
BLOCKS and TEACHER PRACTICE
TEACHER PERMISSION & PRACTICE
Reflection and Showcasing