Thursday, March 21, 2013

MOOCs with Books: Syncronisation of Large Scale Asynchronous e-Learning

This is to invite corrections and suggestions for my presentation "MOOCs with Books: Syncronisation of Large Scale Asynchronous e-Learning" for the 8th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE 2013) in Colombo in late April (web slides also available). The basic idea is that use of "real time" delivery of e-learning places an unnecessary burden on the Learning Management System (LMS) and networks used and is also not good for the students. Most supposedly "synchronous" education, on-line and in the classroom, is not really "real time". Relaxing the restrictions this imposes on the system will allow millions of students to be accommodated and also provide better learning. An easy way to explain this is with the example of an eBook, which the student can download and read when they want, attempt the exercises in the book and check their answers. It is only after doing their "homework" that the student needs to interact with the LMS, their fellow students and perhaps a teacher. Rather than build complete new Learning Management Systems for MOOCs, packages such as Moodle, can be upgraded to handle the load, using existing technology, such as SCORM and HTML5.

 This started as a scholarly paper on "Synchronizing Asynchronous Learning". But since submitting the paper last year, I have given a few presentations on how to have large on-line courses scale (both in terms of software and pedagogy), under the title "MOOCs with Books", so I added this to the conference presentation as a postscript. If anyone is interested I can give a practice run of the talk in Canberra, Sydney or Singapore.
Description: On-line learning uses the terms synchronous and asynchronous to describe tools and learning activities. This research looks into the origins of these terms, their use today and asks if these are the correct terms to use and if the use of these terms has held up the development of better tools and techniques. It is proposed that the use of syncronisation of asynchronous learning is particularly applicable to address issues with large scale e-learning, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Keywords: Asynchronous Learning; Synchronous Learning; Electronic Learning; Web Conference; Videoconferencing; Pedagogy; Massive Open Online Courses, MOOC.
Please cite as:
Worthington, T. (2013). Synchronizing Asynchronous Learning: Combining Synchronous and Asynchronous Techniques. In Proceedings of 2013 8th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE), 26 Apr - 28 Apr 2013 , Sri Lanka.
Preprint available at:

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