A collaborative digital pedagogy experience in the tMOOC

By Carmen Marta-Lazo (University of Zaragoza, Spain), Divina Frau-Meigs (Sorbonne Nouvelle University, France) and Sara Osuna-Acedo (National Distance Education University, Spain)

The paper A collaborative digital pedagogy experience in the tMOOC “Step by Step” (where the “t” stands for transfer) presents a model of learning transfer towards autonomous empowerment and pedagogical transformation.   The paper analyzes social MOOCs (sMOOCs), which are characterised by the involvement and the interaction of participants in a model based on inter-creativity, with the final objective of transferring knowledge by an agile replicating process.

The fieldwork focused on the analysis of the sMOOC “Step by Step” of the European Commission-funded Elearning, Communication and Open-data (ECO) Project, which aims to build and apply an innovative pedagogical model for the the training of e-teachers. This sMOOC reaches out to a specific academic community, providing learners with digital competences in order to transform them in e-teachers. The quantitative analysis was done via an online questionnaire.

One of the most significant conclusions, which answers the research questions regarding why and how to make a successful sMOOC, is that the design of collaborative activities increases the involvement of learners with the course and the interaction between participants, independent of age but dependent on area of work. This formative process in turn generates transfer of learning together with the embedded pedagogical transformation in e-teachers. This validates the addition of the transferMOOC (tMOOC) model to the existing typologies of MOOCs.

The MOOC “Step by Step” was taught globally, using the best practices carried out in the 17 pilot MOOCs developed though the first year of the project. The sMOOC “Step by Step” was the over-arching course of all the MOOCs produced by the initial team. It was delivered simultaneously in six languages to learners connected from all around the world. The participants were motivated to learn to become critical and creative e-teachers, capable of producing their own sMOOC. The sMOOC “Step by Step” was built collaboratively on a cross-country basis, with coordination by Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (France) and Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED, Spain). Upon completing the sMOOC “Step by Step”, learners were enabled to produce and launch their own sMOOCs on the platform.

The design of collaborative tasks in the sMOOC influences involvement and interaction with peers. This may give more importance to those methodologies carried out with an eminently participative conception. Learners seem to take co-responsibility for their own learning and therefore their involvement proves more effective in the course while it enhances their interaction with others. They seem to have incorporated this design in their own sMOOCs.

The learners who are empowered are for the most part those in the field of education and those who later transfer their learning gains to the creation of other sMOOCs. Though they could be considered as a captive audience and self-selected group, they maintained their motivation in spite of the heavy attrition rates in MOOCs. From the emergence of the intermediary leaders and their networks comes the need to consider that ECO sMOOC creates a new type of MOOC, the tMOOC, as a learning proposal based on collaboration and empowerment for pedagogical transformation.


Marta-Lazo C., Frau-Meigs D. and Osuna-Acedo S. (2019) A collaborative digital pedagogy experience in the tMOOC “Step by Step”.

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