Margaret is my super cool research assistant.
Student Margaret Jean Campbell bubbles with enthusiasm when talking about how she helped develop the first massive open online course, or MOOC, at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science.
The Hyperlinked Library MOOC (#hyperlibMOOC on Twitter), which started on September 3, 2013, is taught by assistant professor Michael Stephens and lecturer Kyle Jones. It parallels much of the content in Stephens’ LIBR 287: Hyperlinked Library course, offered to students enrolled in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. Intended for professional development, the MOOC is offered free to the public. MOOC students can earn a certificate of completion at the end of the course, but no college credit.
Campbell took Stephens’ Hyperlinked Library course in spring 2013, and quickly decided to apply for a student assistant position, helping develop the MOOC.
“What I experienced was a rush of connectivity and interaction in learning,” said Campbell, describing her involvement developing the MOOC. “And that connection was facilitated by technology.”
Campbell’s role as a member of the MOOC development team involved finding and adding course content, organizing the course website, and communicating with MOOC students.
What attracted Campbell to the project was the fact that it’s based on research and evidence of success with similar MOOCs, while offering the opportunity to extend this research by creating a new professional development opportunity that’s facilitated by technology. She feels that the information school’s MOOC design is highly sophisticated in terms of its interconnectivity and social engagement.
The MOOC development team, which includes nine other student assistants, worked all summer. They received applications from 1,346 people from around the world who were interested in the MOOC, although because this first endeavor is a pilot project, there was only space for the first 400 applicants.