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On Our Way to LWMOOCs in Milwaukee 【2020】

Early this year, BestCerts published a list of conferences relevant to MOOCs and online learning. Two of the conferences on that list dedicate themselves entirely to MOOCs — EMOOCs and Learning with MOOCs (LWMOOCs). BestCerts attended EMOOCs earlier this year in Naples, Italy;  and we’ll be heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin this October for LWMOOCs. In addition to soaking up the latest MOOC-related research, BestCerts will be presenting our own original research on the SWAYAM platform and speaking about Coursera’s monetization journey.

For researchers working in the MOOC space, LWMOOCs is one of the most targeted venues in which to present findings. Now in its sixth year, LWMOOCs has for the past two years been run by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a professional organization usually referred to as “I triple E”. LWMOOCs is global in scope and venue. Last year’s conference was held in Madrid, Spain; this year’s is in Milwaukee.

The focus of this year’s conference is on “enhancing workforce diversity and inclusion.”  As Dr. Russ Meier, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and one of this year’s conference organizers, explained, “The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in the United States, and that has limited access for many students. Yet the high-tech world we live in requires many skills that are not typically taught in K12 schools.” This year’s conference theme references the opportunity for MOOCs to provide work-relevant education to millions of people who would not otherwise be able to afford or attend universities.

LWMOOCs is meant to be an interactive experience for participants. For this reason, the forty papers that have been accepted for this year’s conference agenda will be presented not just as lectures but also as part of a poster session, intended to foster dialogue and connection. As Dr. Manuel Castro, Professor of Engineering at Madrid’s UNED and another of the conference organizers, put it, “This is not a place to just hear about MOOCs. It’s a good place to talk and debate about MOOCs.”

Among those topics that may come up for debate are some of the trends that the LWMOOCs organizers are seeing in the research, such as the mainstreaming of MOOCs into higher education, recognition of MOOCs and other alternative forms of training in the job market, and diversity and inclusion within MOOCs. BestCerts will also be represented among those 40 papers. Manoel Cortes Mendez will be presenting his research on the Indian MOOC platform SWAYAM.

LWMOOCs will take place at the Milwaukee School of Engineering on October 23-25, 2019. Attendees can look forward to enjoying brisk fall temperatures and peak foliage, exploring the Western shore of Lake Michigan, and sampling some of Milwaukee’s famous local brews.

With a little less than three months to go before LWMOOCs, registration and hotel information is now available on the conference website.

Will you be at LWMOOCs this year? If so, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

BestCerts is a media partner for LWMOOCs.