SJSU SLIS 298: MOOC Research and Development

I will be using this blog to post updates, progress reports and general thoughts from my experience in SJSU SLIS 298: MOOC Research and Development, which I’m taking as an independent study through Simmons. This will help me communicate with my advisor, Linda Braun, as well as provide Simmons with an artifact at the end of the semester.

Progress Report

We are finishing up Week 2 of the course, and so far it’s been a whirlwind. I have:

  • been assigned to a team (Web Design & User Experience)
  • collected research articles relevant to my team’s folder
  • started the reading
  • started creating documents that will serve as artifacts throughout the course
  • volunteered to write this week’s progress report for our team, due tomorrow
  • created a team schedule for the 10-week semester

Research Articles

Here are the two articles I’ve contributed to our team’s reading list:

  • Kop, R. (2011). The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a massive open online course. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 12(3), 19-38. Retrieved from
  • Fini, A. (2009). The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 10(5). Retrieved from
  • I’ve also pointed my teammates to some user experience and usability resources we can use as a framework to make decisions, primarily from NNG and

On my reading list:

  • W3C’s Accessiblity Evaluation. (2013). Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility. Retrieved from
  • There are 175 other articles in the class Zotero folder – I need to go through and pick some out that will help provide background for writing up personas and use cases.

Team Schedule

Below os an overview of what that schedule looks like. I wrote it following the process I’m familiar with based on user experience design and usability testing and tried to fit everything in in a way that was reasonable during a short time. When the professor reviewed the schedule, he approved it but mentioned that things like personas and use cases might be vocabulary not everyone in my group is familiar with, so I’m a little concerned that I’ve put together a schedule that’s too heavy on the user experience design and not heavy enough on what other team members focus on, so this schedule may change over the course of the semester. In addition, if my teammates aren’t familiar with user experience practices, we may not be able to accomplish everything I’ve set out to do!

Week 2

Review and post plan and schedule on team space

Research MOOC audience and user experience

Week 3

Research MOOC audience and user experience, begin writing up use cases and personas

Week 4

Finish writing up use cases and personas, begin writing user testing tasks

Review use cases and personas

Share use cases and personas

Week 5

Finish writing user testing tasks

Review user testing tasks

Week 6

Evaluate MOOC based on usability/user experience heuristics, recruit 5 participants for user testing

Write up recommendations based on evaluation

Review recommendations

Share recommendations

Week 7

Make changes to MOOC based on recommendations

Review changes, update user testing tasks as necessary

Week 8

User testing

Write up user testing results and recommendations

Share results and recommendations

Week 9

Make changes to MOOC based on user testing

Review changes

Week 10

Write Handoff Report

Review Handoff Report

Submit Handoff Report


Next Steps

Here are the things I’ll be focusing on in the next week:

  • Reading to support personas and use cases
  • Developing a method of communicating with the team – may be continuing to post in a group blog, may be meeting synchronously, may be emailing
  • Figuring out who will be responsible for what in the coming weeks

And the week after:

  • Writing personas and use cases with my team members and reviewing them together
  • Starting to think about user testing tasks

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