GoogleTranslate Service

MOOCs to take off in Germany?

May 21st, 2013 by Graham Attwell

The German educations ystem can be slow to change. But when initiatives are taken they are taken seriously! And Germany is now moving into the world of MOOCs.

The Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and iversity, has launched a “MOOC Production Fellowship” contest.

Their web site explains:

The contest seeks to identify ten innovative concepts for massive open online courses (MOOCs). Fellows will receive funding as well as assistance with course production. Stifterverband and iversity hope to raise awareness for the tremendous potential of digital technology in education and seek to activate a process of creative adaptation within the academic community.

Up to ten instructors or teams of instructors will be awarded a fellowship for their innovative Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) concepts. Fellows will receive a 25,000 Euro stipend to pay for the production of their courses. The aim is to have at least five courses online in the fall of 2013. Up to five courses may go online in the spring of 2014. The courses will run on the iversity platform and will be available to the public free of charge.

Fellows will receive 25,000 Euros to implement their MOOC concepts. There will be a public award ceremony, and fellows with receive ongoing support during both the production and marketing phases of the project.

The grant will enable the fellows to manifest their course concept vision. ….

Ulitmately, fellows are free how they want to produce the course: whether all by themselves, alongside other fellows, with outside service providers, or in collaboration with development partners we recommend. The fellowship funds can be used for production costs, research and/or student assistants, equipment or a teaching buyout.

The winners of the competition will be decided based on votes on a public web site and on the considerations of a jury.

In best German fashion the web site provides guidance on the ‘didactic’ design of a MOOC including:

  • Course structure
  • Video
  • Feedback and assessment
  • Peer to Peer learning

And in best German fashion there are strict entry requirements: only assistant, associate or full professors are eligible.

The section on peer to peer learning is somewhat curious. It starts off by explaining “A third element of open course instruction is peer-to-peer learning. Students can post, browse and respond to other students’ questions in the context of a course forum. They can vote for questions, bringing the most pressing queries to the instructor’s attention.” Not so much peer to peer learning but a forum for asking the ;instructor questions. And it ends even more curiously by insisting “These online courses are supposed to be xMOOCs rather than cMOOCs.”

Perhaps this is something to do with the organisations behind the competition. According to TechCrunch, Iversity is a Berlin-based startup, founded in 2011 to offer online collaboration tools for learning management, which has relaunched itself as a platform for massive open online courses. Iversity’s existing investors, says TechCrunch,  include BFB Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg, bmp media investors AG and the Business Angel Masoud Kamali.

Course content will be provided by universities and individual professors. It remains open as to what business model is seen as appropriate for the still publicly funded German education system, but it seems it may include certification fees for students.

Comments are closed.

  • Search

    News Bites

    Skills in Europe

    Cedefop is launching a new SKILLS PANORAMA website, online on 1 December at 11.00 (CET).

    Skills Panorama, they say,  turns labour market data and information into useful, accurate and timely intelligence that helps policy-makers decide on skills and jobs in Europe.

    The new website will provide with a more comprehensive and user-friendly central access point for information and intelligence on skill needs in occupations and sectors across Europe. You can register for the launch at Register now at

    Talking about ‘European’ MOOCs

    The European EMMA project is launching a  webinar series. The first is on Tuesday 17 November 2015 from 14:00 – 15:00 CET.

    They say: “In this first webinar we will explore new trends in European MOOCs. Rosanna de Rosa, from UNINA, will present the philosophy and challenges behind the EMMA EU project and MOOC platform developed with the idea of accommodating diversity through multilingualism. Darco Jansen, from EADTU (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities), will talk about Europe’s response to MOOC opportunities. His presentation will highlight the main difference with the U.S. and discuss the consequences for didactical and pedagogical approaches regarding the different contexts.

    OER – update 2

    Open Education Europa has compiled and is releasing today as open data the analytical list of European Repositories of Open Educational Resources (OER).

    It includes:

    • European OER Portals and Repositories
    • Educational material repositories/directories
    • Larger Repositories rather than very specific ones
    • Focus on those who include Creative Commons license and on National/public OER repositories
    • Focus on material for teachers  (for the classroom/schools) rather than on higher education
    • Collaborative OER production initiatives (LeMill, RVP.CZ Portal,, KlasCement”)

    OER – update 1

    From the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA) – Madrid Open University – we are pleased to present the European Research Network of Open Educational Resources (ERNOER), a collaborative space in which more than fifty internationally educational institutions and prestigious universities are involved which can be accessed through the following link:

    The entire educational community can benefit in this web repository of more than three hundred image banks, two hundred fifty audio file repositories, two hundred and fifty video resources and more than three hundred programs and applications that can be used in education.

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

  • Twitter

    I wonder how these changes in work will affect the public sector #employID…

    About 14 hours ago from Graham Attwell's Twitter via Twitter for Mac

  • RT @ScrivenerApp Job Alert! We're looking for some more people to provide basic online support to Scrivener users:…

    About 4 days ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via TweetDeck

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events

      There are no events.
  • Categories