date

December 2017

Background

Destiny is an Erasmus+ funded multinational research project focusing on the use of MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses – technologies and social learning environments such as study clubs.

  • Applying the concept of social learning, where education is modelled on attitudes and behaviours, with a focus on motivation to take the project to user success.

The key thing about combining MOOC technology with social learning theory is that when people use MOOCs alone there’s found to be a high dropout rate. Our challenge then was to decrease dropout rate by focusing on the hypothesis that promoting social education tools delivers a higher retention rate.

The Project

The initial discovery phase of the project involved gathering data on MOOC technologies and attitudes towards using the technology.  This involved engaging/interviewing employers, work seekers and higher education providers from the UK, Slovenia, Spain and Greece.

The prototype stage involved developing a mobile-first MOOC platform and MOOC courses for work-seekers, and liaising with partners across Europe. This also involved running a series of study clubs and user testing.

Bitjam provided the tech support as well as working with partners in the research process, and led the evaluation of the use of encrypted messaging technologies for developing peer support.

Outcomes

  • Explored attitudes to MOOC and social learning technologies across the higher education sector, and the benefit it can bring to employers and work-seekers.
  • Unique exploration into using mobile MOOCs for the modern learner
  • Findings included in 8 publication papers about the challenges, opportunities and drivers of SLT alongside MOOCs.
  • Created a strong network with global universities
  • Each of the universities involved in the project have expanded their knowledge of learning technologies, paving the way for new ways of learning.
  • MOOC technology is proven to open up learning opportunities to wider learners
  • Strengthened Bitjam relationship with the Staffordshire University Nursing and Midwifery School