We_TeachCS kicked off in January 2016 in a whirlwind of activity. Learning Sciences was brought on, initially simply to provide input on a pattern that our clients could use in creating their MOOC to help Texas Educators become certified to teach computer science. But, of course, we didn’t stop there. After taking some time to really try and understand the purpose of the course, I and my colleagues embarked on the task of using evidence-based techniques to elevate this course from the standard MOOC (often described as taking the worst part of University, the lecture, and putting it out there) into a focused course full of varied media, including psuedocode simulations, video, text and diagrams; modeling of good instructional techniques and ideas that teachers could use as their own in the classroom, as well as tons of opportunities to actually practice the computer science concepts they would be confronted with on the certification exam.
So far, this course, launching for the first time in June 2016, has increased the reach of the We_TeachCS program from around 140 participants in their face-to-face workshops to 750 signed up for this MOOC, completing rocketing past client expectations. I’m very proud to have been involved in helping to craft an effective learning experience that stretches the idea of what a MOOC looks like.
Find out more about the initiative here: http://www.weteachcs.org/
Find our more about the MOOC here: https://edge.edx.org/courses/course-v1:utexas+UT.THCS.1.01+20162/about