A few days ago, the first International Conference “MOOC-Maker” was held in Guatemala with the main goal of gathering several experts in the online courses field, and discuss about the present and future scene of e-learning.

MOOC-Maker is a project founded by the European Commission Erasmus+ with two main purposes: Developing capabilities for the construction of Moocs and conduct research about the initiatives developed.

According to its global coordinator, Carlos Delgado Kloos, Ph. D., “The project aims to improve the creation of MOOCs in Latin America”. Three Higher Education Institutions from Europe and six from Latin America form this partnership, in which University Galileo take part as the disseminator and technical coordinator of the project.

Important experts of the e-learning field

Besides having the participation of Delgado Kloos, Mar Pérez-Sanagustín, from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, presented important results on how taking an online course can help students to define what required skills they must gain before taking a class at university.

Dana Doyle, from MITx, talked about the ways faculty influence faculty, the costs of training new people and rerunning a course, the pursuit of innovation and impact on campus, and the need to keep learning.

Armando Fox, from UC Berkeley, teacher of the successful “Engineering Software as a service” MOOC, discussed the importance of MOOCs as world savers. Ajay Kapur, talked about the amazing online platform Kadenze, which provides world-class education in the fields of arts. And Dhawal Shah, founder of Class Central (a search engine for online courses), spoke about the evolution of MOOCs.

This event also had the participation of Johannes Heinlein, from edx, who claimed: “The moment when universities stop being at the top of online courses searches they will die”. He also referred to the importance of mixing content in your MOOC and the way institutions must seek for value, engagement and retention.

Contributing to the discussion of MOOCs

As we mentioned before, this event aims to spread knowledge about the construction of MOOCs in terms of good practices, methodologies, case studies and research results. This way, a culture of MOOCs and SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses) will be promoted, reviewing their capacity to improve employability and learning outcomes for those taking advantage of how education is being shaped today.

We really hope these type of events contribute to the discussion about the educational system and what it is to be done in order to improve affordable and high-quality education for all.

The future of MOOCs

As much as we´d like to predict the future of MOOCs, we have to recognize it is uncertain. However, many experts point out the necessity of accreditation to truly valid the knowledge and skills obtained by the students. Some other experts believe education will be continuous and mixed, that meaning life-long learning will maintain, while generating the space for people and machines integration.

So, this was a review of what happened at the MOOC-Maker International conference.    Stay tuned for our new posts about the interviews we made to all this great group of professionals, the amazing projects they are working on and their views on education and online courses.