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Q&A for MOOC Expressions of Interest

Q&A for MOOC Expressions of Interest

Since publishing the terms of reference for consultancy to deliver a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), we have received several questions relating to the opportunity – we have collected them and provided answers publicly to assist those applying.

sportanddev, the Commonwealth and the Australian government have formed a strategic partnership to create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on sport for development and peace. The questions and answers below refer to the opportunity to deliver that project, which you can find out more about by viewing the terms of reference.

The questions and answers are current as of 23 January 2019 (new questions added on 21 and 23 January are below, questions 16-25). 

1. MOOC ownership: Upon completion who would own the MOOC?

The MOOC is a joint project between sportanddev, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Australian Government who have contributed equal funding and form the Steering Group for the project.  The partnership will be maintained to deliver the MOOC into the foreseeable future, subject to funding and budget approvals. The entity formed through this partnership will ‘own’ the MOOC.

The consultancy will run to the end of December 2019. Once the MOOC is established by mid 2019, the ongoing project management and implementation arrangements will be considered at this time by the Steering Group. This will maintain continuity of the project and minimise disruptions in outlying years.

2. We have a strategic alliance with a university experienced in MOOC design and delivery in the sports sector but their involvement would depend on the position regarding intellectual property of the developed content. The brief does not refer to intellectual property – could you please clarify.

The MOOC is the intellectual property of the Steering Group: sportanddev, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Australian Government. However, similar to question 4 below, which asks about logos, any additional intellectual property rights can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Also see question 1 for further information about ownership. 

3. MOOC Quality Control:  Who would quality control future reiterations of the MOOC?

Following the appointment of the consultant/institution, an Expert Reference Group will be formed comprising government, academic, civil society, sport and non-sport stakeholders and SDP experts to assist the development and quality assurance of the MOOC. This Expert Reference Group will support the MOOC Steering Group in strategic, technical and academic components of delivering the MOOC. Further arrangements for quality control will also depend on the ongoing project management and implementation arrangements, discussed under question 1.

4.  MOOC Badging:  Most MOOC delivery platforms place a cap on badging – the consultancy has been badged by 3 organisations which is usually the upper limit on badges – would these be the three badges? If 3 was the upper limit, would one of these badges be replaced by the organisation of the successful consultancy?

The corporate logos of all three members of the Steering Group – sportanddev, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Australian Government – will be used in all MOOC branding.  Any additional logo/s will be considered on a case by case basis.

5. MOOC Credit:  The consultancy says nothing about educational credit – is it correct to assume that educational credit is not part of this brief?

In the establishment phase of the MOOC, there is no intention to seek accreditation of the course.  Accreditation of the MOOC may be viable in future years.

6. Have you already identified a platform for the MOOC?

Through the content mapping process, an analysis of potential platform providers, including Future Learn, was undertaken and a recommendation made. To minimise time and resources, this analysis should be reviewed by the successful consultancy/institution to make a final decision on the platform provider from this existing group of options to ensure suitability, functionality and value for money.

7. In terms of the personal development/learning paths, have you got a sample in mind?

In the content mapping process, a number of recommendations on learning outcomes and pathways were articulated. This is listed in the Executive Summary of the content mapping report, which is available on request. These will need to be tested against the final draft course content and pilot MOOC.

8. With reference to the 18 study hours, would this capture the time to view videos, read case studies, and complete tasks/assignments (assessments)?

The current 18-hour time commitment is based on six modules at three hours per module. The MOOC Steering Group would be happy to take advice on whether additional time for intendent study/research is required based on the final course structure.

9. The brief also refers to targeting the MOOC for specific audiences whereas the principle of a MOOC is fully open access. Could you please clarify?

The MOOC should be targeted towards three target audiences in particular: 1) Sports organisations 2) Government ministries and officials and 3) NGOs

They will have the opportunity to choose between two distinct learning pathways, focusing on:

  • Groups/individuals that deliver sport policy and sport for development and peace programmes; and
  • Groups/individuals that set, influence and/or support others delivering sport for development and peace programmes.

It is therefore true that the MOOC will target specific audiences. However, as with any other MOOC, it is open access. Anyone who is interested in learning more about sport for development and peace is welcome to participate.

10. Is the final report from the content mapping exercise publicly available at this time?

The Executive Summary of the content mapping project is available on request. Please note that the MOOC Steering Group have made judgements about some of the recommendations and have modified some areas.

Due to the commercial, in confidence nature of the report, the full report will only be made available to the successful consultancy/institution.

11. Does the independent mapping project that was carried out prior to the publication of the ToR suggest the use of a specific MOOC platform provider? In other words, would the successful candidate(s) be able to choose which MOOC platform to use (pending the approval of the SDP MOOC Steering Group)?

As per the response to Question 5.

12. Related to that question, if a free or reduced price MOOC platform provider can be identified and is approved by the SDP MOOC Steering Group, could the amount budgeted for the platform licensing be used to contribute to covering other costs such as project management, content development or learning design?

The platform license fees may be a point of negotiation with the successful consultant/institution but the eventual licence costs will need to be met within the ToRs. There is flexibility with funding allocations across the project, subject to approval by the MOOC Steering Group.  The budget in the TOR is indicative only. It should, however, be noted that the chosen platform will need to meet acceptable standards in terms of quality.

13. Similarly, if a solution can be found to lower costs for media production and that is approved by the SDP MOOC Steering Group, could that amount be used to cover other costs as mentioned above? 

As per response to question 10, there is flexibility with funding allocations across the project, subject to approval by the MOOC Steering Group. The budget in the TOR is indicative only.

14. Is the idea of the "Reference Group" that they be independent from the experts who are commissioned to provide content for the different modules? If so, is the idea that the Reference Group provides an editorial review of content on a pro bono basis?

The Expert Reference Group will comprise government, academic, civil society, sport and non-sport stakeholders and SDP experts to assist the development and quality assurance of the MOOC. The role will be on a pro bono basis.

This Expert Reference Group will support the MOOC Steering Group in strategic, technical and academic components of delivering the MOOC. Organisations participating in the Expert Reference Group may also be a source of relevant content and case studies for the MOOC.

15. With regards to travel costs, would the SDP MOOC Steering Group be willing to pay for a media production expert or team to travel to different locations to conduct interviews with the commissioned experts or visa-versa (i.e. experts travelling to the media production expert or team)?

Due to the tight budget, it is unlikely that there would be scope to support a media production team to travel to conduct interviews through an additional budget. Local/in-situ options may need to be considered to minimise costs or utilise attendance of experts at flagship forums/conferences to produce interview content.

Through the content mapping process, a detailed stocktake of readily available content that could be used (at either no or low cost) or adapted in the SDP MOOC was undertaken.  It is worth noting that the majority of content already exists and will be sourced from various organisations, with modifications required to make it suitable for an online learning format.

New questions (added 21  and 23 January 2019)

16. Under point #2, it states: "Deliver all educational components of the MOOC, including developing and/or producing all course content and material".  Will the consultant hired to execute against this job be able to identify and source the production / media company or is the production company identified by sportanddev, the Commonwealth and the Australian Government? I note in #4 a media company is mentioned but I am unclear as to whether this partner has already been selected or if this is at the discretion of the consultant.

The Steering Group (sportanddev, the Commonwealth and the Australian Government) have not yet identified/selected a company to create media content. The hired consultant/institution will be expected to make this decision, with the approval of the Steering Group.

17. Under point #9, it states: "Commission experts for technical aspects. This includes identifying experts, drawing up TORs, monitoring progress and reporting duties and contract management".  Are these the technical advisors required for the build of the course (ie production crew and learning technologists)? I am aware a learning platform has been identified, yet have equally noticed a budget line item at GBP 8,500 for the hosting of the online platform on page 6. Is it possible to please clarify this further?

The main point we intended to express under point 9 is that the hiring of any further support needed to create the course should be handled and contracted by the consultant/institution who does the work advertised in this TOR. That includes a production crew, if needed, as well as a learning technologist. The learning platform is separate although, in collaboration with the consultant/institution, we still need to make a final decision on which platform. Through the content mapping process, an analysis of potential platform providers, including Future Learn, was undertaken and a recommendation made. To minimise time and resources, this analysis should be reviewed by the successful consultancy/institution to make a final decision on the platform provider from this existing group of options to ensure suitability, functionality and value for money.

18. Under point #10, it states: "Prepare a communication and marketing plan". Will a separate budget be available for the advertising spend for the Marketing and Communications plan or is this spend the GBP 2000 mentioned on page 6 - which most likely have to include asset design and advertising push?

Communications and marketing should be included in the overall GBP 60,000 budget for the project that is mentioned in the TOR. The budget on page 6 is indicative: the hired consultant or institution can create their own budget based on how they think the project should be best approached. Given that the overall project budget is not higher, we anticipate that the marketing and communications budget will be relatively limited, although that is for the consultant/institution to decide. When creating a marketing and communications plan, the consultant/institution should also incorporate tools that are ‘free’ to use, such as posting on sportanddev.org and advertising through other existing networks.

19. Sample Online Course: Do you have a sample online course that you are modelling this proposal from? 

There is no online course that we are modelling the course on sport and development from. We aim to make it bespoke, according to our needs. Having said that, a number of courses have been viewed by members of the Steering Group and by the consultants who carried out the Content Mapping Report, in order to get a better understanding of the types of courses that already exist.

20. Re. content and the different pathways for the learners: Are you requesting the course materials to speak to each of those pathways or are you suggesting each module has various 'pathways'?

Each module will have certain core content but we anticipate that some additional content and the assessment/course work will have differences depending on the learning pathway.

21. Research: Will the consultant be requested to find all the information and research or will a base of the material be provided by the three governing stakeholders? The reason I am asking is because there is no budget amount mentioned for research.

The Content Mapping Report which we commissioned in 2018 included an ‘asset register’ – a review of material from a wide range of organisations that could be used or adapted in the course if needed. The report also found that most organisations contacted would be willing to contribute content for the course. Further research will be required by the consultant/institution who wins this opportunity but that process has already begun. In addition, one of the responsibilities of the Reference Group mentioned in the TOR will be to advise on content that can be used for the course, which should reduce the amount of further research that needs to be done by the consultant/institution.

22. Content delivery: Is the team expecting three hours of video content per module, or can the video content be one hour with two hours of course work?

We expect that the course will take three hours per module (i.e. 18 hours for the whole course) to complete. That includes watching videos, reading articles and completing assignments. The MOOC Steering Group would be happy to take advice on whether additional time for intendent study/course work is required based on the final course structure.

23. Geography: May I please ask where the Steering Committee is based and how often they will be available for calls / check ins?

Members of the Steering Group are based in London (United Kingdom), Canberra (Australia) and Biel/Bienne (Switzerland). We anticipate that calls will take place on a monthly basis but more regular check ins are possible as needed.

24. Is it possible to have a bit more guidance on the actually EOI application? As it is stated it is very broad and an applicant could either produce way too much information, or not enough for quality assessment of the candidature. Would you have a template, or a bit of guidance as to length, format?

There is no template. The onus is on the consultant/institution to submit a proposal that defines how they would approach the project as per the points in the TOR – it is up to their judgement on how best to strike a balance between presenting their case and length of document! 

25. How flexible is the actual timeline? I find the initial preparation phase quite tight, and would like to propose a bit of an alternative in regards to dates, still in keeping with the end product.

The timeline on the TOR is indicative. The goal is to publish the final MOOC by the end of 2019 but the timeline for the phases before that is flexible and we will discuss that with the successful candidate immediately after agreeing to work with them.

26. May we submit the budget in US dollars?

Applicants can submit the budget in currencies other than British pounds but we would request that they include a conversion into British pounds in that budget.

27. I have a question related to the 4th deliverable, the Pilot SDP MOOC. It says that a "hybrid approach" will be used to deliver the pilot. My understanding is that the MOOC will be delivered in two learning pathways. Does the "hybrid approach" means that the pilot will consolidate content from both pathways into a single, hybrid course?

The early thinking about this is that the pilot might be a combination of online (remote) and in-person learning via a multi-day workshop to test course content and assessment. By that we mean that if we could gather a cohort of our target audiences (government officials, sport stakeholders and civil society representatives), we could use this workshop forum almost as a proof of concept. That’s what we mean by a “hybrid approach”, for the pilot (hybrid because it has both online and in-person components). This would allow real time feedback on the course from our key stakeholder groups enabling us to identify gaps in content etc.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:57

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