Workshop on Planning, Designing and Orchestrating Learner-Centric MOOCs using the LCM model

At the 27th International Conference on Computers in Education. ICCE 2019, Dec 2 - 6, 2019, Taiwan: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education


As MOOCs are expanding in popularity and scope, problems such as lack of learner engagement and low participation in discussion forums have been reported. While issues such as certification, equitable access, and sustainability are being discussed, without advances in the pedagogical format, MOOCs may end up being an online version of a traditional lecture format.

An important requirement while designing MOOCs is that they should be based on our current understanding of how people learn, as well as utilize the current technology affordances to support learners. The importance of learner-centric approaches in online learning has been highlighted by researchers and practitioners who have been designing online courses over the past few decades. However, many MOOC instructors are more familiar with traditional face-to-face teaching modes, and may tend to follow the pedagogical model of such traditional classrooms which is often based on an information transmission model. Hence, what is required is a theory-based approach that will lead to the incorporation of learner-centric pedagogical strategies in a MOOC, and is easy to apply for instructors in their own MOOC context.

The learner-centric MOOC (LCM) model is a prescriptive model that guides MOOCs instructors in maintaining a learner-centric pedagogical approach throughout the process of conceptualizing, creating and conducting their course based on a learner-centric approach. The LCM model consists of structural elements: Learning Dialogs (LeD), Learning by Doing (LbD), Learning Experience Interactions (LxI) and Learning Extension Trajectories (LxT); and the dynamics of Orchestration (Fig. 1). The model provides a set of guidelines, activity formats and actions that instructors can apply during various stages of the MOOC instructional design process to create these structural elements for their course, and ensure that the associated dynamic interactions amongst learners, instructor and content are incorporated.

In this tutorial, we describe the structural and dynamic aspects of the LCM model, demonstrate the application of the model in various MOOCs and illustrate research results from MOOCs based on the LCM model. We will share activity constructors and templates that have been developed to scaffold instructors in applying the LCM model to design their MOOC.

Fig. 1: LCM model

Tutorial Format and Flow

  • Argue rationale for focus on a learner-centric approach in a MOOC, and describe pedagogical requirements of this approach in an online context
  • Describe details of the structural elements and the dynamic interactions in the LCM model, and explain how they address learner-centric pedagogical requirements
  • Illustrate examples of the application of LCM model in various topics
    • Specifically show how to operationalize LeD, LbD, LxI, and LxT
    • Discuss guidelines for dynamic orchestration
    • Explore various tools that can be used in this process
  • Give an overview of MOOCs that have been designed and implemented based on the LCM model
  • Discuss research studies that have been conducted
  • Explore possible research directions emerging from the LCM model

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be able to employ resources that have been developed for instructors to apply the LCM model such as guided activity constructors, peer-review rubrics and templates
  • Participants will be able to design the various LCM elements for a MOOC in their own topic using the above resources

Tutorial Organizers

Dr. Veenita Shah

  E-Mail: veenita.shah[at]

  Telephone: +91-22-2576-4810

Veenita Shah is currently working as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Educational Technology at IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India. In her current role, she is working towards design and implementation of learner-centric MOOCs in different domains using the LCM Model. This also includes MOOCs for training of other instructors in effective adoption of the LCM model. She has also been examining learners’ behaviour, perception of usefulness, and their experience with MOOCs built on the LCM model. She received her Ph.D. in the field of Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University, USA.

Dr. Jayakrishnan M

  E-Mail: jkm[at]

  Telephone: +91-44-2257-5905

Jayakrishnan M, is currently working as Senior Scientist, National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning at IIT Madras, Chennai India. In his current role he is looking at building Data Analytics workflows related to SWAYAM MOOCs, that national MOOC portal, and also working along with Universities and Institutions to facilitate better integration of MOOCs in their curriculum. Dr. Jayakrishnan is also part of the SWAYAM Course Coordinator Training Committee that is responsible for training instructors who are offering courses in SWAYAM where Learner-centric MOOC model has now been adopted. Dr. Jayakrishnan completed his PhD from Interdisciplinary Programme in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay in 2018. 

Prof. Sridhar Iyer, Convener

  E-Mail: sri[at]

  Telephone: +91-22-2576-7880

Sridhar Iyer has been a faculty at IIT Bombay since 1999. He is currently a Professor in Computer Science and Engg, and Head of the Interdisciplinary Programme on Educational Technology, as well as Center for Distance Engineering Education.He has been an executive committee member of APSCE since 2014. One of his research areas is Teacher use of Educational Technology (TUET), which involves developing models, workshops and MOOCs for teacher professional development. One of these models is the Learner-Centric MOOC (LCM) model, which has formed the pedagogical basis for several MOOCs on the IITBombayX and NPTEL platforms. Thousands of school and college teachers have participated in these MOOCs.

Prof. Sahana Murthy

  E-Mail: sahanamurthy[at]

  Telephone: +91-22-2576-4860

Sahana Murthy is a faculty member in the Educational Technology inter-disciplinary program at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay since 2009. She has been active in APSCE and ICCE in various roles since 2012. One of her main research projects is Project TUET, which addresses the research, development and outreach aspects of Teacher Use of Educational Technology. Project TUET has led to the design, implementation and evaluation of models for large-scale teacher professional development and learner-centric approaches in various blended contexts. Other contributions are teacher professional development MOOCs with participation of several thousand instructors, and the development of open-source resources for college- and school-level instructors to implement learner-centric practices with ICT and conduct action research. Before joining IIT Bombay, she was a post-doctoral researcher in Physics Education Research at Rutgers University and MIT, USA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mumbai, India, Master’s degree in physics from IIT Bombay, and PhD in physics from Rutgers University.