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MON: Designing a Mini-MOOC for Assessor Training in Further Education (Bina Howard)

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Bina Howard
31 January 2019

Sway Poster -


Project Title – Designing a mini-MOOC for Assessor Training on the verification systems in Further Education’.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been well established in Higher Education (HE) and for many studies this has been the primary focus (Andreatos, 2015; Evans et al., 2016).

However, few studies have empirically examined the influence of MOOCs in an organisational setting and more research is required to explore how MOOCs affect employee learning and development in the workplace (Dodson et al., 2015; Egloffstein and Ifenthaler, 2017).

With this notion research has shown the transformation of MOOC initiatives progressively moving towards the more corporate training and development sectors (Savino, 2014). According to Savino (2014) corporate leaders and training professionals have become aware how MOOCs can ‘supplement and support corporate training’ (Savino, 2014, p. 59). Drawing on the study conducted by Savino (2014) the paper examines how MOOCs are used in both HE and corporate training and learning.  Further prompting the idea that this method could be used in training employees (Weiss, 2013), I have taken these viewpoints to further add support to my rationale in conducting this activity and the impetus on staff development.

The H818 Online conference theme will focus on innovation and the scope of my idea will discuss the viability of using mini-MOOCs for training and professional development purposes.

The aim of this project is to design a mini-MOOC to train assessors on the verification systems used in the context of a Further Education setting. The intention of bridging the skills gap in staff and promoting further development for staff to eventually become internal verifiers for the school.  The demonstration will involve discussing elements of layout and themes from an adapted MOOC idea to create a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark to create slides of my proposed mini-MOOC design. Furthermore, uploading the video presentation to a YouTube platform. There is scope to use Canvas which builds on the idea of teaching and learning with its ‘intuitive’ interface which increases its adoption and appeal to any developer. 

Historically, it has shown that expensive, offsite training had proved ineffective, due to the lack of external support given by some awarding bodies. As Lead Internal Verifier for my centre and providing face to face training, this also presented itself with many challenges.  For example, poor staff turnout to the sessions due to work commitments, collaboration not effectively used and some staff reluctant to share ideas.  Therefore, due to time and staff commitment issues, looking at openness through the lens of innovation can potentially help to deliver a more innovative form of training and worth exploring.

Training materials will be resourced from the awarding body amalgamated with my own resources to provide the project materials in my design.  It is likely that I will be faced with several pedagogical challenges, such as the reluctance for participants to share more openly.  Therefore, further research into using situated ‘Design Patterns’ is paramount to seek possible solutions to such issues (Liyanagunawardena et al., 2015).


Andreatos, A.S. (2015). “The use of MOOCs in the continuing education of individuals and organisations”, in Mesquita, A. (Ed.), Furthering Higher Education Possibilities through Massive Open Online Courses, IGI Global, Hershey, PA, pp. 49-79.

Dodson, M.N., Kitburi, K. and Berge, Z.L. (2015). “Possibilities for MOOCs in corporate training and development”, Performance Improvement, Vol. 54 No. 10, pp. 14-21.

Egloffstein, M. and Ifenthaler, D. (2017). “Employee perspectives on MOOCs for workplace learning”, TechTrends, Vol. 61 No. 1, pp. 65-70.

Evans, B.J., Baker, R.B. and Dee, T.S. (2016). “Persistence patterns in massive open online courses (MOOCs)”, The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 87 No. 2, pp. 206-42.

Liyanagunawardena, T., Kennedy, E. and Cuffe, P. (2015). Design patterns for promoting peer interaction in discussion forums in MOOCs. eLearning Papers. 64-79. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 21 January 2019].

Savino, D. (2014). The Impact of MOOCs on Human Resource Training and Development. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 January 2019].

Weiss, R. (2013). Hot Topic: MOOCs, Are They Right for Corporate L & D?, Learning Executives Briefing. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 January 2019].


Extra content

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Youtube video - Conference Presentation

Youtube video - Conference Presentation

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added by Bina Howard


Cathy McGovern
11:50am 1 February 2019 (Edited 11:57am 1 February 2019)

Hi Bina,

Congratulations on getting this very clear, lucid and informed description of your project successfully uploaded to Cloudworks. Your project looks very interesting and relevant to you context. I'm really looking forward to seeing you use, "Canvas which builds on the idea of teaching and learning with its ‘intuitive’ interface which increases its adoption and appeal to any developer". Best of luck with it.

I've been away from H818 for the last few weeks so am trying to catch up with everything. On a technical note, I've just looked at the source code for this post to see how you were able to keep paragraph spacings in cloudworks.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who knows could tell me where we were told that we need to code formatting in( looks like HTML?) and what else I should know about using cloudworks?

Phill Grimes
11:14am 2 February 2019

As both an internal and external verifier, I am interested as to how this project develops.

Although, centres have a central assessment and verification policy, it seems rarely linked to a standardised training approach and remains localised to depts.


Bina Howard
2:10am 10 February 2019

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your comments, it is an area that I feel has reached a point where traditional face to face training has now been exhausted (some very bored staff) and therefore looking for more innovative approaches.  Last standardisation/verification training took nearly 2 hours and now feel that I am in the position to drive a new 'open' approach to train staff and exploring corporate MOOCs has been an eye-opener and has a very much different perspective to MOOCs created for students in an education setting.

I copied and pasted the text from word straight into cloud and formatting remained the same.

Good luck and equally keen on your Including Everyone Project and will try and get out of teaching on Friday to see your presentation.

All the best, Bina.

Bina Howard
2:33am 10 February 2019

Hi Phil, 

I'm sure you are familiar with the training given to staff on the verification systems by various awarding bodies, I wondered whether this was something you might have thought about as well? Historically, I have found staff had difficulty retaining information and during a recent cross-college verification group there were some inconsistencies in the internal verification process, which has now opened another quality assurance procedure called 'work scrutiny' where samples are chosen and then graded.  Therefore, a mini-MOOC would allow staff to review, reflect, collaborate ideas and share good practice in the vain hope of staff completing the course becoming IV's.  

I am hoping the planning will work and though not prescribed to a specific awarding body, the content will focus on providing guidance on the verification process with some activities.

With your expertise in this field, I look forward to any advice, critique and your views whether something like this could work with other institutions.

Thanks Bina.

Phill Grimes
12:21am 13 February 2019

The key thing post H818 and training is to get the message out there clearly to the awarding body what you do. Sometimes the method of reporting can be quite closed.

If I was getting info of this level of IQA and standardisation in a centre I would be very confident in their systems, approach, policies.

For a usually unglamorous verification purpose, a very worthy and occupationally relevant project

Bina Howard
12:01am 15 February 2019

Thank you Phill, we will be having a systems visit in May and hoping to propose this idea to them.  Now that I have recently been appointed an E-Learning Manager there is potential for this innovation to develop further. 


Dr Simon Ball
10:53am 19 February 2019

Hi Bina

Well done on a great presentation! Here is a summary of the comments and questions you received following your presentation (including those you may have addressed verbally). Please respond in whatever way you choose - I suspect you may wish to deal with the first few in one response!

Best wishes


  • More corporate design style as well as training style - learners may take it more seriously?
  • i am intersted in the course rewards- maybe that will be explained later
  • Did you state that Canvas is free to use? Like the layout of of your course
  • how do you balance need for self-paced and social learning in the learning design for a corporate MOOC?
  • is there an ethical issue with lening towards study that can be done in people's own time?
  • will you need to tutor learners in you miniMOOC? are you providing any support or who would do that?

Bina Howard
3:43am 24 February 2019

  • More corporate design style as well as training style - learners may take it more seriously? I am hoping so, the nature of the design is intended to be small, bite-size and not too content driven but allows for learner autonomy and self directed learning.
  • i am interested in the course rewards- maybe that will be explained later - I am currently looking into open badges and was keen to add value to the course.  Furthermore, in order to recognise staff participation, I will be exploring Hamilton and Henderson (2013) open badges as incentives to celebrate staff learning activity and contributions as well as becoming successful Internal Verifiers
  • Hamilton, G. & Henderson, B. (2013). So what are Open Badges?. [Blog] ‘Badges’ have long been used as a motivation and reward tool in many different disciplines.. Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2019]. 
  • Did you state that Canvas is free to use? Like the layout of your course - Thanks, currently, I am using the instructure mode which is free for teachers It is equipped with basic features and assuming if I would like more elements then it may come at a cost, the version I am using is cloud-based.
  • how do you balance need for self-paced and social learning in the learning design for a corporate MOOC? I would indicate the hours designated per activity on the learning design.
  • is there an ethical issue with leaning towards study that can be done in people's own time? Due to the time constraints faced by many staff it is with the buy in from senior management to allow allocated CPD time for staff to complete course on building time. Currently, we have Wednesday from 4 - 5 to accommodate this.
  • will you need to tutor learners in you miniMOOC? are you providing any support or who would do that? The Lead IV and team of Internal verifiers will provide support to assessors doing the training and communication can be via MS Teams, via the forum discussions or chat facility on,

Dr Simon Ball
8:15am 28 February 2019

Many Congratulations Bina! Your presentation has been voted by delegates to be one of the most effective of the H818 Online Conference 2019 and you are officially one of our H818 Presentation Star Open Badge Winners! Please see how to Apply for your Badge here:

Well done!


H818 Conference Organiser

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