OCR adapts computing MOOC

OCR is launching an enhanced version of the free Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC for schools, using adaptive learning technology

The new development comes as the result of a partnership between OCR and adaptive technology firm CogBooks, which is supplying the learning platform for the course. The new version of the MOOC will help teachers and students who are getting to grips with Computing.

The enhanced MOOC has also just been shortlisted for a 2015 BETT award in the ‘Free digital content / open education resource’ category.

The adaptive technology uses algorithms to recommend the most helpful next step for students based on their responses to material so far, allowing every student to progress through the course in a way that suits their individual needs. Teachers and learners can both see how they are doing with a dashboard that shows their progress. The course supports the work of teachers by accelerating learning for some, but ensuring others don’t get left behind. It also offers forums for teachers and students to interact with each other.

Since its launch in 2013, over 20,000 users have registered with Cambridge GCSE Computing Online, developed by OCR in collaboration with Cambridge University Press and Raspberry Pi. The content is based on OCR’s GCSE in Computing. Teachers will continue to be able to access content from the original MOOC on the Computing Online website.

Liam Sammon, OCR’s Director of Education and Commercial Services, said: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first complete GCSE level micro-adaptive learning MOOC available.We firmly believe that teachers are the guardians of education and should be at the heart of implementing the opportunities this technology can bring to the secondary age learner.”