» … The development and rising popularity of the massive open online course (MOOC) presents a new opportunity for libraries to be involved in the education of patrons, to highlight the resources libraries provide and to further demonstrate the value of the library to administrators. There are, of course, a host of logistics to be considered when deciding to organize or support a MOOC. Diminished library budgets and staffing levels challenge libraries both monetarily and administratively. Marketing the course, mounting it on a site, securing copyright permissions and negotiating licensing for course materials, managing the course while in progress and troubleshooting technical problems add to the issues that have caused some libraries to hesitate in joining the MOOC movement. On the other hand, partnerships such as that between Georgetown University and edX, itself an initiative of Harvard and MIT, allow a pooling of resources thereby easing the burden on any one library. In some cases price breaks for certain course materials used in MOOCs can help draw students to the course, though the pricing must still be negotiated by the course organizer. A successful MOOC, such as the RootsMOOC, created by the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University and the State Library of North Carolina, can bring awareness of library resources to a broad audience.
In the end, libraries must ask whether the advantages of participating in a MOOC outweigh the challenges. The speakers for this webinar will consider these issues surrounding MOOCs and libraries and try to answer the question of whether the impact of libraries on MOOCs has been realized or is still brewing (…)
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