MOOCs and Museums: Not Such Strange Bedfellows

  • Mazzola L
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In April 2013, The Museum of Modern Art entered into a part-nership with MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider Coursera to offer professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers all over the world. Since entering into that partnership, MoMA has developed two MOOCs: Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies for Your Classroom and Art and Activity: Interactive Strategies for Engaging With Art. Together, these two courses served more than 60,000 students over 15 months. This article is a combination case study and personal reflection about devel-oping and facilitating MoMA's first MOOC. Before the spring of 2013, creating MOOCs was the exclusive purview of insti-tutions of higher education. MOOC Learning Management Systems (LMS) and course content were pioneered in large part by university professors, such as Coursera founders Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng of Stanford University. 1 Although online learning is not a new concept, MOOCs are a new breed of online course that allow for unlimited participation and are open access with content being distributed via the web. MOOCs are being created by hundreds every year and attended by thousands (in some cases hundreds of thousands) per course. The immediate and overwhelming success of offering free online courses created by Tier One universities inspired Coursera's staff to expand their global student base to include primary-and secondary-school teachers, and they invited select non-university partners to help create suitable pro-fessional development content. Because of our proven track record in creating and sustaining online courses, The Museum of Modern Art was one of only three museums, and the only art museum, to be invited. Subsequently, The

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  • Lisa Mazzola

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