While taking online courses (MOOCs) at Kiron, you are free to set your own study schedule. You select courses on the Kiron Campus study platform, where they are grouped into modules to make up the core curriculum. But MOOCs usually do not include live sessions, so they do not give you any direct contact with the professor or your peers.
Kiron Direct Academics, a program first tested in December 2015, launched synchronous and interactive study formats to supplement the mostly asynchronous MOOCs and as an additional online learning measure. These formats were developed since MOOCs in their original form are unable to meet all the needs of Kiron’s target groups. Beyond simply clustering MOOCs in coherent curricula, more personalized teaching and learning scenarios are also needed. Thanks to the Direct Academics program, volunteer lecturers from universities and academic institutions support you through synchronous live tutorials (which currently take place in Google Classroom and Google Hangouts). These are gradually integrated into the curricula and are in line with the learning outcomes of the Kiron modules and the MOOCs within these modules. The Direct Academics program also allows for module-based assessments on the Kiron platform and encourages you to self-reflect on your academic progress (e.g. digital learning portfolios). There are also pre-study tutorials that focus on the basic skills you need to study successfully with Kiron, such as digital literacy, scientific writing and intercultural learning.
Kiron will continue to develop Direct Academics significantly in 2017, with the aim of making it available for all Kiron core modules in the future.