|me teaching during the Artificial Intelligence teacher of the year award ceremony. Picture by Niels Taatgen.|
MOOCs can also be a helpful source of assignments. Of course you should check this with the MOOC teacher, but reusing some of these assignments can save you a lot of time (given that creating assignments takes *a lot* of time...). Moreover, many of these assignments even give automatic feedback, which can help students to practise the material well. Another potential use of MOOCs could be to remedy deficiencies. For example, in a multidisciplinary field like Artificial Intelligence, some students are weak on programming, others on psychology or machine learning. There are plenty of MOOCs in all these areas that students can do to remedy these deficiencies. Advantage of MOOCs over regular university courses is that they can be done at your own pace, and in your own time.
A significant challenge with MOOCs is finding the right one. One place to start is a MOOC search engine: moocse. There are also websites with reviews of MOOCs, e.g., class central. And of course you can follow your favorite academics on twitter and find out when they are teaching a MOOC.
Another teaching innovation are learning communities. mentimeter in the lecture to keep students engaged. And finally, a very simple thing you can do to have students take charge of their learning is to provide lecture slides before the lecture so that students can click links and explore during the lecture (of course this is also tricky, since it may be very distracting for the students...).
In summary, I got quite a few new ideas for enhancing active learning in my classroom. I am planning to check some of these ideas out in the next few weeks, when I am starting to teach again.