Our highlights of the EMOOCs 2023

 From 14 to 16 June 2023, the European MOOCs Stakeholder Summit (EMOOCs) was hosted in Potsdam at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI).


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Post-Covid Prospects for Massive Open Online Courses – Quarantine boost or backlash?

This was the central topic of this year's EMOOCs Summit 2023 last week. Around 100 e-learning professionals attended the event on site. For those who could not make it to the location, the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, due to time or scheduling reasons, there was a live stream available.

It was an honor for us to represent together with our Open edX® community partners Raccoongang and Edunext the Open edX® Project as the largest sponsor of the conference and to manage the booth in the entrance hall.

First conference day

The first day of the conference was by far the most strenuous for us, but also the most present in the conference audience. The conference started for us directly with the performance and leadership of our 3 hours hands-on workshop “Everything You Need to Know About Open edX® platform”. We demonstrated to a large and interested audience the basic functions and features for course creation and management of the built-in authoring tool Open edX® Studio. All participants were invited to test them live on site via our sandbox. We prepared and successfully conducted the workshop together with our Open edX® community partners Raccoongang and Edunext.

Feel free to take a look at the workshop slides

After a short break we continued with our talks:

Using analytics in a large virtual classroom for Open edX®

In this talk, our Managing Director Stefania Trabucchi invited to explore the learning analytics of Open edX® platform and the Open Source virtual classroom tool BigBlueButton. She pointed out that a combination of both open source tools not only connects synchronous with asynchronous learning activities, but also provides an incredible amount of information and analytics about learners, their needs and their performances. 

The future of learning is collaboration! We presented both tools and our idea regarding unifying learning analytics.

We use the real time analytics for time spent speaking, chatting, raising hands, using emojis, and responding to polls. And we additionally can monitor the time spent to complete a module, watch a video, number of submission of assignments or interaction with course materials.

The completion rate can be higher and with more live engagement throughout online courses if we are able to provide opportunities for live engagement during the virtual class, make the engagement meaningful, where students come and apply themselves, collaborate and communicate, get/give feedback.

Feel free to take a look at the presentation slides

Innovating Online Learning with the Open edX® platform

This talk was as the workshop a collaboration with our Open edX® community partners Raccoongang and Edunext. Together we all as Open edX providers presented two Open edX® platform success stories: 

 The Scuola di Limes, the first online geopolitics school in Italy, which aims to provide young graduates, but also for managers and executive personnel from the public or private sector who deal daily with geopolitical issues, to train and improve their skills and knowledge. 

 The 3 nation-wide e-learning platforms for Ukraine: ВШО (All-ukrainian school online), HMT (National multi-subject test), Іспит (language proficiency testing platform). This project offers about 2000 lessons in 18 subjects for the school grades 5 to 11 and is used by more than 520 000 registered users.

Feel free to take a look at the presentation slides

Second conference day

Day two of the conference was all about networking and attending the different talks of the exciting program. Our highlight of the day was the Fireside Chat with the American computer scientist and founder of edX®, Anant Agarwal and Carlos Delgado Kloos, President for Digital Microcredentials at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The Fireside Chat also touched the hot topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impending impact on online teaching, among other topics. Anant Agarwal said that there is nothing to fear. AI solutions would never replace us humans but only democratize various areas, such as writing and speaking texts – just as the Google search engine used to democratize remembering facts or calculators democratized the use of mathematics.

To make it impossible for examinees to use AI solutions such as ChatGPT as prohibited aids during exams in online teaching, Agarwal said, more versatile assignments need to be constructed and more in-depth exam questions need to be developed. Further, the founder of edX® said, that AI cannot replace human teachers because, unlike AI solutions, they can respond to learners' feelings, emotions and personal circumstances. 

Third conference day

Besides the impressive closing speech of the host Prof. Christoph Meinel from the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in which he emphasized that digital learning solutions will continue to play an increasing role in education, even after the coronavirus pandemic has officially ended, there was another highlight in the morning: the talk of Edward Zarecor, Vice President of Engineering, Open edX®.

Freedom to innovate

Edward presented in his talk the Open edX® platform and the Four Freedoms of Open-source, which are:

Freedom to use the software
Freedom to study it
Freedom to improve it
Freedom to share your changes

Concerning the Open edX® platform he pointed out the most appreciated values:

Proven scalability to support “MOOC scale” learning

Freedom from “licensing costs or subscription fees”

Freedom to “modify and extend” the platform 

Feel free to take a look at the presentation slides

The Open edX® lucky draw

At the end we did a raffle together with Open edX®. Throughout the conference days, raffle tickets were distributed, from which three winners were drawn on Friday. The winners are now proud owners of great professional literature on instructional design and online learning.

More insights of the conference days

More Open edX® success stories

Nowadays, 4.500+ instances use Open edX® and during the EMOOCs summit a selection of Open edX® platforms built for Academia, for Enterprise, for International Organizations and for Professional Education have been presented. We can list them here for a quick overview:

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