Online Learning and Video Production collaborate on UTSA’s first MOOC!

November 02, 2017

UTSA's first MOOC- George, Claudia and Jonathan

(George Perry with Senior Instructional Designer Claudia Arcolin and Instructional Development Specialist Jonathan Gutierrez.)

Written by Claudia Arcolin, Senior Instructional Designer

In fall 2017, the Office of Online Learning and the Video Production Group collaborated in the design and development of the first UTSA MOOC “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: A Molecular and Genetic Approach”. A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course, available for free to the global community. The course is offered through the edX platform, a MOOC provider founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

The instructor of the course is Dr. George Perry, Dean of the College of Science and Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology. Dr. Perry is recognized internationally as one of the top Alzheimer’s disease researchers and a pioneer in the study of oxidative stress. Dr. Perry designed the course with his frequent collaborator Rudy J. Castellani, Professor of Pathology, Director of the Center for Neuropathology Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine.

“With this course we open UTSA to a world-wide audience increasing literacy on a delicate public health issue such as Alzheimer’s disease” Perry said.

The course contains video lectures, discussion boards for students to interact and reflect on contemporary debate about Alzheimer’s disease, self-assessment activities, additional readings, and resources.

The team who collaborated on this project is composed by Dr. Claudia Arcolin - Project Leader and Senior Instructional Designer, James Borrego - Senior Video Producer, Jose Carrillo - Multimedia Specialist II. Instructional Development Specialists Patrick Nolan and Jonathan Gutierrez, and Student Developer Katelyn Schmeisser contributed to specific parts of the project.

Working on this project has been a great experience. The team had the opportunity to implement design strategies for large online courses that will prove useful in increasing the quality of the UTSA online learning offer.

The course opened on August 28th. So far, more than 1,500 people are enrolled in the course and participants come from all around the world. The United States, India, Canada, United Kingdom and Mexico are the countries with the most learners enrolled. Even the demographic distribution is varied. The median learner age is 32.5 and the majority of learners (40.1%) have a college degree.

The course will be open until August 2018.

Please, click here to view the course.