Last month we shared a video describing how the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin is taking a different approach than some of the courseware-based or other course redesign efforts.1 In many of these other redesigns, there is an emphasis on the asynchronous elements of lab section and lecture preparation and even fully flipping the classroom (no lectures in class on the course content). In contrast, the UT Austin approach to improving the large lecture course centers on SMOCs – Synchronous Massive Online Courses – where the core of the redesign centers on the synchronous course lecture. Watch episode 1 to get a better feel of what problem they are trying to solve and how this SMOC approach appears to keep faculty in their traditional role, albeit with additional preparation time and video production.
In this episode, we’re taking a deeper look at how SMOCs work as well as high-level course design costs.
(Video source: https://youtu.be/MAHm_JU6upU)
As with other episodes and case studies for e-Literate TV, our primary goal is not to be for or against different academic efforts but rather to give a better feel of what various course, program or student service redesigns actually look like, particularly from the perspective of front-line faculty, staff, and students. We hope you enjoy learning more about this synchronous approach in Texas.
In the final episode we’ll explore more around whether we have evidence of SMOCs working in terms of meeting goals and improving learning outcomes.
By Phil Hill
- Disclosure: Our e-Literate TV series of video case studies and explainer videos is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [↩]