Music education faculty awarded grant to develop collaborative MOOC

November 15, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Music Education faculty members Ann Clements and Darrin Thornton have been awarded a $40,000 Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) grant to create a massive open online course (MOOC) learning module in collaboration with music education faculty from other Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Big 10 schools. The goal is to leverage specific experience found at each CIC institution, thus providing a more enriching experience for both students and faculty. The MOOC learning module will be used in introductory music education courses at Penn State and other CIC institutions.

COIL was created to help faculty researchers invent, implement and investigate new technology uses to improve online teaching and learning. Its grants fuel the research and development of online innovations that directly impact teaching and learning.

“No one has attempted collaboration at this level in a MOOC,” explains Clements. “We’re setting engagement in motion from the beginning, by bringing collaboration to the front on the teacher side.”

Thirty-two music education faculty members from the 12 CIC institutions that currently offer music education degrees are participating in the project. During this fall and early winter, faculty will share their expertise through TED talk-style video presentations. Those “talks” will serve as the foundation of the curriculum and be coupled with collaboratively built curricular units based on the themes of the talks.

The project is the result of Clements’ desire to take advantage of her music education colleagues’ diverse capabilities. “I thought a blended (online and in-person) course would be a good idea, because it would allow us to bring in those with expertise in other areas —via video — at the undergraduate level, where we don’t have stipends for speakers,” she said. “I realized if I need something like this, other music education professors probably do, too.”

Clements’ goal is for the MOOC module to be available in fall 2014. Because it will be taught within courses required as part of teacher certification programs, it will be a “walled” MOOC experience, available only to students enrolled in courses within the CIC. Clements and her colleagues hope this project will eventually open up to become a full MOOC, accessible to anyone.

In addition to Clements, associate professor of music education, and Thornton, assistant professor of music education, other members of the Penn State team include Gary Chinn, interim director, College of Arts and Architecture e-Learning Institute; Cody Goddard, multimedia specialist and videographer/photographer, College of Arts and Architecture; Bart Pursel, faculty programs coordinator of Teaching and Learning with Technology, a unit of the University’s Information Technology Services; and TK Lee, Teaching and Learning with Technology.


Last Updated March 17, 2015