The SwimCoach MOOC suite comprises 16 Courses organised into six Modules, and arranged into three overall Themes: Swimming Skills; Coaching and Training and Techniques. All courses have a rich online pedagogy and consistent delivery style. In this MOOC format, all courses are by self-study, and are completed and auto-assessed through simple on-line assessment quizzes.
The main aim of the project was to improve the quality of swimming teacher training and assessment in a manner that was exciting, innovative, contemporary but cost effective. Swimming education programmes, in Iceland and elsewhere, tend to include a series of topics related to the development of knowledge and effective teaching behaviours delivered through face-to-face lectures and practical workshops and projects. To increase the effectiveness of delivery while minimising cost and inconvenience to participants, these elements of the programmes were transferred to an online delivery model taking advantage of video and web-based technologies, and expertise in the on-line delivery of educational products.
SwimCoach provides its own interpretation of the MOOC model, which may be different from other MOOC providers. The focus is on concise, targeted textual and video content, using short videos to portray the concepts covered in the text, rather than using video as a means of providing an online lecture. In the true spirit of a MOOC all testing is automated, check the understanding of the student as they work through the content.
In a sense SwimCoach is an ‘xMOOC’. It includes discussion forums, allowing students to bounce ideas around and discuss learning together, but the core of each course is an instructor-guided lesson. By design, the student journey through the course is linear and based on the absorption and understanding of fixed competencies. In this way the learning is delivered in a way that can be tested and certified.
Successful completion of online study at a 90% or greater level will trigger the award of a Certificate of Completion. Students should not be put off by this pass mark. The quizzes can attempted as often as necessary, though on subsequent attempts wrong answers do attract a 10% Penalty, i.e. the best score that can be achieved on a second attempt at a question worth 1 mark will be 0.9, and so on.