MOOC Camp Facilitators Guidelines

OPEN MOOC Camp Guidelines for Facilitators

This guide is intended for facilitators for the MOOC Camp program. MOOC Camps are an opportunity to blend MOOCs with in-person learning experiences. The best practices that follow were adapted from recommendations made by facilitators, staff from U.S. Embassies and Consulates, course professors, and MOOC providers. If you have a best practice you’d like to share, send it to [email protected].

Preparing Participants

Before you start discussions, you may need to prepare students to take an online course and use the platform, especially if this is their first online course.

OPEN Program MOOC Orientation: The MOOC starts with an introduction module meant to give participants a brief training on navigating the Canvas learning management system and building online learning success strategies. The orientation guide is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Introduction to Canvas: Some participants may need assistance using Canvas at first. Facilitators should refer participants to the Canvas Network FAQs and Canvas Student Getting Started Guide.

Structuring Discussions

MOOC Camps are most successful with weekly meetings, which can be structured in a variety of ways. You should choose a structure that is appropriate for the size of your group and meets the needs of your participants.

Seminar Format: Your group can get together to discuss the content or explore a subject covered during the course together. These discussions can be free-flowing or structured, focusing on reflections and thoughts on the material, relevant personal/professional experiences, etc. Seminars work best with smaller groups (under 25).

Enrichment Format: Instead of discussing course content, the MOOC camp can build upon the course content to make it more applicable to cultural or community contexts. The facilitator can arrange guest speakers or implement supplemental activities that complement the week’s topics.

Project-based Format: An important aspect of the MOOC is “cascading new knowledge” or how participants can share knowledge and experience with their colleagues and professional networks. This increases the course impact, and doubles the participant’s own learning. Cascading can take many forms and shapes. MOOC Camp Facilitators can facilitate projects among participants that focus on how to share course content and allow them to practice the new skills and ideas that they learn in the online course. This format works best with smaller groups that include highly motivated students.

The participants will learn better when they are actively engaged with the material. We do not encourage the facilitators to just play course videos or lecture on the content. Facilitators can access complete course materials ahead of time to prepare a more structured experience for participants. If you would like to facilitate a MOOC camp for other participants in your area, please complete this form to identify your project and request course materials to assist in the planning and facilitation of your MOOC camp.

Building Community

Discussions can continue between weekly discussions online and among participants. You can help spur on these conversations, as well. Many facilitators and MOOC Camp participants create online groups for students to ask each other questions and talk between weekly discussions.

Turning Content into Action

The MOOC Camp experience does not need to end in the classroom. As a facilitator, you can work with the participants to apply the lessons they learn in their own classrooms and communities.

Ask the Participants: Participants often have strong ideas about how they can use the content to improve their communities. You can initiate a conversation about how the lessons might be put into practice at any point in the course, though early conversations are more likely to yield results by the end of the course.

Engage to Cascade New Knowledge: Participants can benefit from engaging with each other on putting new knowledge from the course into action. The MOOC Camp is a unique opportunity for participants to discuss in person how they will implement what they learned in the course and share it with others. Cascading can take many forms and be formal or informal. Participants can discuss what has worked for them, get feedback on new ideas, and build upon their existing teaching strategies.

Build and Share Resources: All content and assignments from the MOOC are Open Educational Resources (OER) that are openly licensed, meaning they can be freely shared and adapted by participants.

Working with Other Facilitators

Struggling with designing a discussion? Interested in collaborating with other MOOC Camps? Consider asking your fellow facilitators for help. Facilitators who contact FHI 360 to identify their MOOC Camp and request course materials will be invited to join a Community of Practice with a group dedicated to MOOC facilitation.

Improving the Program

Send success stories (and lessons learned): We need your help to improve the program. We aim to spread innovative facilitation practices. Please share your work with us at [email protected]



 2020 by FHI 360. OPEN MOOC Camp Guide for Facilitators for the Online Professional English Network (OPEN), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by FHI 360. This work is an adaptation of MOOC Camp Guide for Facilitators by U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs marked in the Public Domain and can be found here: To view a copy of the license, visit Adapted content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, except where noted. To view a copy of this license, visit