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Small Private Open Course (SPOC)

Life, Suffering and Death

In Spring 2015, as part of the 3rd-year bachelor module Life, Suffering and Death (10 ECTS), the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies conducted a test using a SPOC: a Small Private Online Course, as a new way to educate the section Trauma, Mourning and Meaning within this module (5 ECTS). This pilot was funded by the Executive Board of the University.

Offering this course as a SPOC showed a number of advantages. Firstly, the students could take sometimes confrontational learning content to them in a private environment. Also a number of videos were shot where people with traumatic experiences took the floor. It would be unthinkable to ask these (unwilling) experts to share these experiences with the students each academic year. Through this SPOC their valuable stories were recorded once and can now be used again during future courses. To allow for some privacy for our volunteers, each participant  was asked to sign a declaration to act confidential with the material shown prior to the course. Next year, when the SPOC will be rerun, this procedure will be repeated.

The number of contact hours was reduced and the students were encouraged to follow the SPOC as much as possible at an even pace, so that peer reviews would not have to wait for each other. Student satisfaction was high. Students note that it is pleasant to work at your own time, at your own pace, but the face-to-face contact with fellow students is sometimes missed. In order to overcome this, and to ensure that students proceed as often as possible at the same speed, the idea has been suggested to arrange 'laptop meetings' next year.
SPOC
SPOC
Last modified:31 August 2015 3.43 p.m.
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