Welcome!

News Feed Item

Instructure, UC Irvine Reveal Results of 'The Walking Dead' MOOC

- First-of-its-kind massive open online course attracts more than 65,000 global participants

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Instructure today announced key findings from its massive open online course based on the hit TV show "The Walking Dead," a joint production with AMC and the University of California, Irvine that attracted more than 65,000 users around the world over its eight-week run.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121101/SF04201LOGO)

Titled "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's 'The Walking Dead,'" the MOOC was offered for free on Instructure's MOOC platform, Canvas Network, and explored a wide range of scholarly topics through the lens of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. A survey of the online course's participants received more than 12,000 responses and delivered several new insights for the MOOC community.

Among the survey's most illuminating insights was that the course tapped into a new market for pop culture-infused online learning by reaching thousands of people outside of the core MOOC-taking audience. Instructure's survey found that nearly nine in 10 of the survey respondents had never taken a MOOC before and 59 percent of respondents had never enrolled in an online course.

"This initiative was an experiment to determine whether a pop-culture MOOC in a multidisciplinary format would create a compelling academic experience. The answer — an unequivocal 'yes,'" said Instructure co-founder Brian Whitmer. "This different audience provided us with new insights that will shape the way we approach designing and developing MOOCs going forward. By acting as a springboard for exploring academic ideas in contemporary media, this course illustrates the potential for pop culture to serve as a modern-day literature review."

Additional key findings from the survey revealed that the online course provided both a highly entertaining and rich academic experience for participants.

Learning for learning's sake
The survey found that 90 percent of respondents learned something they would have not otherwise considered studying. The high-profile nature of the MOOC not only drew in first-timers, but also encouraged a spirit of independent, self-driven learning.

Experiment in online pedagogy
The MOOC took a novel approach to online learning, releasing a new course topic each week in subjects ranging from public health and social sciences to mathematics and physics. This multi-disciplinary approach appealed to the survey respondents, as 55 percent reported interest in possibly taking other multidisciplinary courses on Canvas Network in the future as opposed to standard, single topic courses. Because participants resonated with different themes and professors, "The Walking Dead" MOOC highlights the success of teaching a multitude of academic concepts under an overarching theme.

High level of engagement
Four in five respondents reported spending more than one hour each week on the course, diving deep into academic content connected with pop culture. This statistic reveals that participants actually spent more time in the course than they did watching the show.

Increased fan engagement
The survey's findings also suggest clear incentives for content producers like AMC to increase their involvement in MOOCs. After taking the course, 60 percent of survey respondents said they became a bigger fan of "The Walking Dead," and 73 percent said they had more fun watching the show, indicating a strong endorsement for blending education and entertainment.

"As an accomplished academic and an adult learner, it was exciting to see how popular culture provided a unique context for teaching and learning. It was clear to me that physics can be fun when engaging with zombies," said Janice Koch, Ph.D., professor emerita at Hofstra University and a course participant. "The best part of this format is that it made watching television an active experience, one that was both intellectual and worthwhile."

The MOOC was taught by a multidisciplinary team of UC Irvine faculty: Zuzana Bic, public health; Joanne Christopherson, social sciences; Michael Dennin, physics; and Sarah Eichhorn, mathematics. UC Irvine plans to conduct academic research around the course.

"As a faculty member, this course presented a fun challenge to recast traditional academic content in the framework of a pop culture show," said Sarah Eichhorn, assistant chair for undergraduate studies in mathematics at UC Irvine and one of the MOOC's instructors. "UC Irvine has a rich tradition of involvement in open education, and this course represented a unique opportunity for us to bring academic content to a new population, who without 'The Walking Dead' as a teaching resource might not have sought out such a learning experience."

The key findings from the report can be downloaded at http://www.instructure.com/downloads/twd-mooc-feedback.pdf

About Instructure:
Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. Instructure provides instructors and students modern tools and resources that empower and simplify the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas, the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system, as well as Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses by educators everywhere, from Ivy League institutions to community colleges. To keep learning visit www.instructure.com.

About the University of California, Irvine:
The University of California, Irvine was the first University of California campus–and West Coast University–to join the OCW Consortium. UC Irvine's membership in the OCW Consortium is consistent with its public- and land-grant missions and its desire to play a significant role in contributing to the social welfare of the state, the nation and the world. Open educational resources (OER) showcase the University's high quality education and makes courses and course materials free for everyone in the world. UC Irvine's OCW is a large-scale, Web-based resource that houses educational assets that are discoverable, searchable, modifiable, and, best of all, free and easily available. Through the OCW movement, UC Irvine provides University-quality courses and learning assets to populations of self-learners that are underserved and in many cases, unable to participate in formal education at a university. This site also offers access to UC Irvine's online continuing education offerings. For more information about UC Irvine's OCW initiative, visit http://ocw.uci.edu/, e-mail [email protected] or follow us at Twitter.com/UCI_OCW and Facebook (UC Irvine OpenCourseWare).

Contacts
Devin Knighton, Director of Public Relations at Instructure 
(801) 722-8187 | [email protected] 
Twitter: @devinknighton | www.instructure.com 

Brad Plothow, Method Communications 
(801) 461-9777 | [email protected]

SOURCE Instructure

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Quickly find the root cause of complex database problems slowing down your applications. Up to 88% of all application performance issues are related to the database. DPA’s unique response time analysis shows you exactly what needs fixing - in four clicks or less. Optimize performance anywhere. Database Performance Analyzer monitors on-premises, on VMware®, and in the Cloud, including Amazon® AWS and Azure™ virtual machines.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busin...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.