Lorena A. Barba group

Proposal: A multi-campus, blended, connected course + MOOC


Proposal submitted to the GW office for Online Education and Academic Innovation

June 2014

This educational project will combine several key innovations. We will collaborate internationally, across four institutions, to develop connected courses to teach the fundamentals of computational science and engineering. Each local cohort of students will experience a blended-learning environment, and the instructors will develop online educational materials collaboratively. This is a unique opportunity to show a shared venture in educational innovation functioning like research collaboration. At the same time, we will offer a MOOC (massive open online course), inviting self-learners and curious minds around the world to learn with us. The MOOC will be offered on an independent installation of the Open edX platform, without association with any major MOOC provider. The course content will be organized in granular learning units (modules), each motivated by a problem modelled with a differential equation. In the MOOC, online students who complete a module will be offered an Open Badge as recognition of their achievement. We incorporate badges and granular learning to better reflect the behavior of online participants. The local students (registered for credit) will participate in this wider community, across the four locations and with the MOOC participants. All materials will be developed openly and shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license.