Over the past decade, we have seen an enormous increase in the development and publication of educational content on the web. The launch of the MIT OpenCourseWare site in 2002 sparked a global movement among schools and universities around the world to create and share educational resources. Now, the launch of edX, and the global explosion of MOOC activity is dramatically accelerating the development of online materials.
As more and more educational content comes online, however, there is growing recognition that we must learn to share more effectively. Just publishing content is not enough. We must find simple and scalable ways to expose the underlying concepts, learning goals and their relationships so that educational content can be more easily aligned, aggregated and re-used across departmental and curricular boundaries.
MC3 is a new service specifically designed to help educators and software developers accomplish that. It allows any educator to map the major topics and learning pathways running through their own courses, and build bridges to similar concepts and content from other courses and disciplines.
Using MC3 tools, educators can catalog what’s presented within a given curriculum, describe the interrelationships between these ideas, then link them to any variety of supporting materials from anywhere on the Web—videos, simulations, articles, or quizzes. Because MC3 has been developed as a software service, it is highly flexible, and it can be incorporated into different educational tools in a broad variety of ways.
By providing the means to easily document relationships between curricular concepts and content from any variety of sources, MC3 opens up a world of new opportunities for flexible curricula, stronger interdisciplinary programs, better synergy in teaching, and more efficient sharing of valuable educational material.
Many faculty and departments have already recognized that systematic efforts to map and align the major concepts across curricula help everyone. They have consistently noted a lack of coordination among key concepts taught across the Institute, which leads to unnecessary overlap, or classes that incorrectly assume that certain concepts have been taught elsewhere, which slows progress. By better aligning key concepts across curricula, and mapping them to educational resources, faculty can see how the content from their course fits into a larger educational ecosystem, and students can look ahead or behind, to refresh knowledge and explore how future studies will expand on current understanding and lead towards academic and career goals.
MC3 continues the natural trend towards deeper transparency and granularity in learning. By exposing all the key concepts in a course at a deeper level, and documenting their relationship to all the other concepts taught across all MIT departments, and the learning materials that support those ideas, MC3 expands the promise of open, accessible and flexible education.
If you have questions, would like to manage your own MC3 data collection, or wish to have access to an MC3 development site to support your own software project, please email us at email@example.com