How MOOCs can help with learning
We’re very proud to be announcing the release of our first ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)! Designed for teachers and students working on the new J276 GCSE for Computer Science, our MOOC gives you a step-by-step look through the course.
Our MOOC features 45 topics each covering a different area of the course in detail through a range of resources, along with computer-marked assessments designed to help users understand areas for improvement, while giving teachers a convenient overview of how different students in their class are progressing.
We’ve designed our GCSE J276 MOOC to free up valuable teacher time for planning practical lessons, while making it easier for teachers to understand the areas where individual students require additional reinforcement and focus, give teachers a space to discuss the specification, and far more.
Below, you’ll find a video where long-time teacher Alan O’Donohoe (working for our exa.foundation) explains a bit more about how the MOOC works:
Exploring the J276 Specification with exa.foundation
Each topic in our Computer Science MOOC is designed to roughly correspond to a week’s worth of teaching, covering a significant amount of the GCSE course - 11 out of the 19 sections listed by OCR. We’ve only covered the units which we feel are suitable for the flipped learning that the MOOC enables, focusing on the following areas:
• Systems Architecture (topics 1-5);
• Memory (topics 6-8);
• Storage (topic 9);
• Wired and Wireless Networks (topics 10-13);
• Network Topologies, Protocols and Layers (topics 14-18);
• System Security (topics 19-20);
• Systems Software (topics 21-23);
• Ethical, Legal, Cultural and Environmental Concerns (topics 24-28);
• Computational Logic (topics 29-32);
• Translators and Facilities of Languages (topics 33-35); and
• Data Representation (topics 36-45).
Because their nature lends itself more to teacher-led learning than it does to flipped-learning, we don’t cover the following areas of the GCSE J276 specification:
Algorithms, Programming Techniques, Producing Robust Programs, and the Programming project section of the specification:
• Programming Techniques (2);
• Development; and
• Testing & Evaluation & Conclusions.
Try out the exa.foundation Computer Science MOOC!
Like everything else from exa.foundation, our MOOC is not designed as a for-profit initiative. We’ve made the first 12 topics from our MOOC completely free, covering roughly the first term of teaching. If you find the course useful, an annual subscription to the service costs just £100 + VAT, which we use to support the further development of our MOOC!
If you’re interested in seeing just how our MOOC works, just send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘J276 MOOC’ - we’ll create you an account right away. We’ve already seen around 300 teachers sign up to try out our course, so register now!
At the moment, we’re working on some finishing touches for the course - we’ve completed the first 12 units, and will have the rest launched before it comes up in the specification.
Resources for teaching J275 Computer Science
While the former J275 qualification has been phased out, the last group of students to be taking the qualification are studying for their GCSEs right now. Our MOOC is only designed for the new course, but we’ve put together some resources for those teaching or studying for J275: