LOOCing into the future of digital learning

A new local open online course—or LOOC—is helping students develop digital literacy.

A pioneering offering from the Faculty of Education and UBC Library is enabling UBC students, staff and faculty to develop their digital literacy know-how.

The two units have introduced the University’s first LOOC, or local open online course, as part of UBC’s Master of Educational Technology (MET) program. As the name suggests, a LOOC is a localized form of a MOOC – or massive open online course. MOOCs have been a big topic in online education recently. UBC’s first MOOC – which it launched in January 2013 with Stanford University – attracted more than 130,000 registrants.

“A LOOC is a way of attaching this phenomenon of massive learning to UBC’s large, global and thoroughly excellent existing community,” explains David Vogt, Graduate Advisor for the MET program. He adds that the project could be expanded to all B.C. post-secondary campuses in the future.

The MET course, called M101, helps users “acquire, maintain, refine and promote” digital literacy skills. These are grouped into topics including Mining (researching, evaluating and managing information), Meshing (idea creation and collaboration) and Mobilizing (publishing and presence in the digital world).  A wide range of topics, including citation management, digital humanities, Creative Commons licences and more are featured.

The LOOC is open to all members of the UBC community who have a Campus Wide Login (CWL). M101 is entirely online and self-paced, and users can build their skills in any area, and in any order, they wish. It’s also designed to be accessed a few moments at a time, perhaps between classes.

The virtual course is flexible enough that students can sync learnings into their formal studies – for example, by using a new presentation tool to enhance a term project.

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