colMOOC, a European consortium is born to develop a collaborative tool that favours learning through MOOCs

Connecting through Educational Technology
19 June, 2019

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission

Formed by higher academic institutions and companies, all of them specialized in MOOCs, collaborative learning, learning analysis, educational software, etc.

With the aim of increasing effective learning and completion rates

Madrid, 03 July 2019.  The Massive and Open Online Courses (MOOC) have become a very effective tool for access to quality knowledge from anywhere in the world and at any time. These great advantages make it possible for many students to begin this training although they only finish it on average between 8 and 10%.

For this reason, and in order to continue researching learning through MOOCs, the colMOOC consortium has been created, co-financed by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme, and made up of nine institutions from five European countries (Greece, Denmark, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom): Aarhus University; Aristotle University of Thesasaloniki; Centre for Research & Technology, Hellas; Greek Universities Network; Learnworlds; Universität Des Saarlandes; Telefónica Educación Digital; Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and Universidad de Valladolid. These organizations are experts in digital education, development of educational technological tools; learning analytics.

The objective of colMOOC (www.colmooc.eu) is to develop and implement a collaborative tool capable of boosting participation among students and reducing the drop-out rate in learning through MOOCs. The conversational agent will intervene in the chats or student forums of the MOOCs platforms, pose challenging questions, trigger constructive dialogues between students and stimulate critical thinking and therefore deeper learning.

Stavros Demetriadis, the coordinator of the project and professor at Aristotle University of Thesasaloniki, states that: “Research points to the importance of teachers’ interventions in order to fix concepts, eliminate doubts and promote the transfer of knowledge among students through constructive dialogue. colMOOC provides an innovative tool to enable and improve the interventions carried out by the teacher in the MOOCs environments in order to generate deeper learning”.

colMOOC will test three prototypes of this conversational agent on three different platforms to be able to measure the level of interaction of the students as well as their completion and learning rates.

The MOOCs to be tested are completely new and have as a common learning objective the contribution to the development of transversal digital competences supporting the digital literacy so necessary in this digital revolution.

1. Programming for Non-Programmers (October 2019, in Greek) by ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI (AUTh) and will be available at Open eClass and Open Delos Multimedia Platform of GUNET (Greek Universities Network)

2. Computational Thinking (September 2019, in English), with the participation of UNIVERSIDAD DE AARHUS (AU) and will be available at: and will be available at Open eClass and Open Delos Multimedia Platform of GUNET (Greek Universities Network).

3. Educational Technologies in the Classroom (October 2019, in Spanish) Developed by UNIVERSIDAD DE VALLADOLID (UVa), UNIVERSIDAD ABIERTA DE CATALUNYA (UOC) and will be available at: Miríadax de Telefónica Educación Digital. A German speaking version by University of Saarland (SU) will be available on Learnworlds platform.

For more information about the Project: www.colmooc.eu

Information on Consortium Members

Aarhus University

Aarhus University (AU) http://international.au.dk/ is the largest university in Denmark, with a total of 45,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programmes and around 7,000 new students beginning their studies at the university each year. AU is among the World’s 100 best universities (86th place), and in the top 10 among the youngest of these (8th place), having also two Nobel Prize laureates. Leiden Ranking considers AU as the 77th best among the largest universities in the world, and 33rd best in terms of international collaborations

Aristotle University Of Thessaloniki

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) https://www.auth.gr/ comprises 7 Faculties organized into 33 Schools, 5 faculties with only 1 school each, as well as 4 independent Schools (a total of 42 Schools). More than 72000 undergraduate and postgraduate students study at the Aristotle University, 62.000 in undergraduate programmes and 10.000 in postgraduate programmes.

Centre for Research & Technology, Hellas

The Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), https://www.certh.gr/root.en.aspx founded in 2000, is the only research centre in Northern Greece and one of the largest in the country. CERTH participates in this project through ITI. The participating team, namely the Multimedia Knowledge and Social Data Analytics laboratory (MKLab), part of the Information Technologies Institute (one of the five CERTH institutes), has significant experience and scientific expertise on the technical aspects of the proposed project, namely on learning analytics and gamified environments, web and social media mining, and the discovery and extraction of multi-modal data coming from heterogeneous Internet and learning sources.

GUNET (Greek Universities Network)

The non-profit civil company called “ACADEMIC NETWORK” (GUnet) https://www.gunet.gr/was founded in September 12th 2000 and its members are all the Higher Education and Academic Institutions (20 Universities and 16 ATEI). The aims of the company are determined by the broadband network needs and objectives of the Greek academic community in the framework of Information Society aiming at servicing research and education.

Learnworlds

LearnWorlds Ltd https://www.learnworlds.com/ is an edtech start-up on a path to transform self-paced learning. It wishes to become the best “educational amplifier”, empowering trainers, educators and content authors to create unique, enjoyable and social learning experiences. The innovative LearnWorlds platform is a cloud-based, white-label, e-learning management system that offers to training organizations and professional trainers, an easy, hassle-free way to create their own, personally branded, online schools and deliver/sell interactive, self-paced premium courses to their learners.

Saarland University

Saarland University https://www.uni-saarland.de/ is a campus university that enrolls 17,600 students. Its department of Educational Technology is internationally renowned for its strength in research as well as it is dedicated to excellent teaching in a multidisciplinary EduTech-Master program. Building on theory-based, empirical analyses of conditions and processes of learning and instruction, the research focus is on orchestration of technology-enhanced learning arrangements.

Open University of Catalunia

A state-of-the art technological university with a highly innovative learning model, providing a benchmark for quality in both teaching and R&D. This is the philosophy of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC, Open University of Catalonia), https://www.uoc.edu/portal/es/ created in 1995 as one of the world’s very first completely online higher education establishments and that has graduared more than 58.000 people so far and currently has more than online 54,000 students, 3,600 lecturers and tutors who conduct 6.400 virtual classrooms and participate in some of the 130 official degrees and other PhD and post-graduate programs.

Telefónica Educación Digital

Telefónica Educación Digital www.telefonicaeducaciondigital.com is the company of the Telefónica Group (Spain) specialized in offering comprehensive online learning solutions for Education and Training. It has 500 Digital Education professionals in three countries: Spain, Brazil and Peru and more than 300 clients distributed in Europe, USA and Latin America. It trains four million students on different platforms and has a content factory with more than 40,000 hours of production per year. Miríadax is the main platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in Latin America and the first non-English speaking platform in the world. It currently has more than 6.3 million registered students, more than 800 courses from 113 universities and institutions and more than 3000 teachers in its teaching community.

University of Valladolid

The University of Valladolid (UVA) http://www.uva.es/export/sites/uva/ is one of the oldest universities in Europe (1293), manages 24 centres on the campuses of Valladolid, Palencia, Segovia and Soria, teaches some 25.000 students covering about 80 undergraduate degrees, numerous Research Master and PhD Programs, and professional Masters in response to the specific demands of companies or economic sectors. It counts with 2.800 lecturers and researchers, as well as 1.070 administrative and service staff. UVA currently manages nearly 740 research projects financed through competitive public R&D calls (European, national or regional), 500 contracts and agreements aimed at the transfer of knowledge and technology.