TLC for MOOCS: Teaching and Learning Communities for Computer Programming

TLC for MOOCS: Teaching and Learning Communities for Computer Programming

Dominic Mentor (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4111-0.ch005
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This chapter reports on efforts to create a sustainable model to increase engagement, success, and retention in a MOOC for learning computer programming, for a U.S.-based national vocational program. In 2014, the training organization was one a few national and regional organizations who were awarded scholarships by a telecommunication's company to participate in a MOOC whose curriculum was informed and designed by multinational corporations to try and address the dearth of young computer programming talent. The vocational training program aimed to convert MOOC registrations into active and supported participation, with a view to increase completion. Theoretical frameworks were employed to ramp up knowledge of an unknown subject area and skill. Social connectedness methods were used to create teaching and learning communities (TLC) of support. Key results allowed the organization's trainees to outperform all other participating organizations. Resulting in the organization being awarded 500 more scholarships for computer programming that could be used over a three-year period.
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This chapter reports on methodologies used to cultivate social connectedness for a learning community participating in a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). The participating urban young adults were part of a workforce training program that were trying to expand its curriculum offerings to target the labor market need of computer programming. The trainees had little, to no computer programming knowledge or skill. Data from a preliminary survey indicated that only a few of the 21 students had some HTML exposure, but have not necessarily fully built out a website with HTML and CSS, not any JavaScript or Java exposure. This first phase of 21 students were part of an initial pilot to determine the viability of a concept product and process. If successful, a larger scale second phase of hundreds of students would be considered to participate in similar MOOC models to learn programming skills.

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