2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Middleware MOOConomics--Choosing the Right E-Tools

#sxsw #MOOConomic


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are in their early stages of being developed for delivery of educational content. Current structural limitations inhibit everything from sophisticated game based learning to simple email communication with students. Early MOOCs fall well short of the ideal online learning environments we would like to see, which incorporate personalized, adaptive learning, targeted feedback, and rich interactive activities. The creation of those ideal environments currently requires significant technical resources and teams of programmers, and is beyond the reach of what most faculty can author on their own.
MOOConomics encompasses the production, delivery and consumption of MOOCs. This panel will discuss the need for new and better tools for MOOCs at all stages including development, delivery, and monitoring. The panelists will draw specifically on experience from producing and delivering the 2013 fall semester edX course, "TAKE YOUR MEDICINE."



Dawn Zimmaro

Sr Researcher, Learning Assessment & Analytics

Stanford University

Dawn Zimmaro works as a Senior Researcher, Learning Assessment and Analytics at Stanford University. In this role, she leads efforts in developing learning assessment, evaluation, educational research, and analytics related to innovations in online learning models. Prior to working at Stanford University, Dawn served as Senior Director & Director of Assessment at the University of Texas at Austin. Dawn’s primary professional interests are measuring the effectiveness of new delivery models on student learning, using learning analytics to inform instruction and student success, and competency-based assessment. She has been working with university faculty and administrators on higher education assessment issues since 1998. Dawn earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The College of New Jersey, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in measurement and evaluation and minor in statistics from the Pennsylvania State University.


Donna Kidwell

Project Dir

The University of Texas at Austin

Donna K. Kidwell creates and manages programs to create transformative educational experiences online. She’s developed programs to help innovators navigate their road to the international market and develop market entry strategies. She’s developed Massive Online Courses with various colleges at The University of Texas that have enrolled over 50k students, proprietary online courses that reached over 85k franchise agents, and specialized courses in commercialization that have reached 2k scientists in 10 countries throughout the world.

She’s currently working with a start-up from Noway, Webstudent, to develop an international portal of vocational online training, focused in oil and gas, animation and video game programs. Her work with Webstudent includes project in the UK, with Teesside University, and in South Africa, with the University of South Africa.

She specializes in hybrid programs that combine online and in person experiences to provide critical know-how in commercialization processes with pragmatic business wisdom. She recently launched the “Innovation Readiness Series” – a ten module online series developed to help innovators gain focus and clarity on the market potential of their ideas. Since 2012, the program has been translated into Russian and Spanish and is now deployed at the IC2 Institute and the McCombs Business School.

She has managed programs in Korea and Mexico, and worked with innovators in Egypt, Hungary India and Jordan. She was honored to receive Governor Kim Moon Soo’s award for outstanding efforts in economic development on behalf of small businesses in Gyeonggi Province, Korea. She has spoken on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development to The World Bank Group, SxSW Interactive, and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Government of India.

Prior to joining IC2, Donna was the Director of Innovation for Keller Williams Realty International, where she developed enterprise real estate solutions and innovative streaming media training solutions. During her 15 years as a software consultant, she worked with clients such as Exxon-Mobile, Motorola and Agilent Technologies.

She serves on the advisory boards of various non-profits dedicated to technology, policy and STEM education. She is also an Adjunct Professor teaching Technology Entrepreneurship at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Donna holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Science Technology Commercialization, both from The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently finishing a Doctorate in Business Administration through the Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France. In 2013, she won “Cadenhead Coin” distinguished alumni award for entrepreneurship and innovation from The McCombs Business School, The University of Texas at Austin.


Janet Walkow

Exec Dir & CTO, Drug Dynamics Institute

The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Janet Walkow joined the faculty of the University of Texas in 2008, building on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she led efforts ranging from R&D to Corporate Strategy. Leading the Drug Dynamic Institute, a collaborative research center, Janet brings together scientists and investigators to work on novel solutions for disease and healthcare issues. The Institute partners with University, industry and community leaders to foster collaborations and develop ways to eliminate barriers to commercialization opportunities

Bringing a unique perspective as a result of her successes in business operations, educational innovations, entrepreneurial endeavors and a variety of leadership roles, Janet shifted her focus to academic and non-profits by developing engaging educational tools. Her approach to education is twofold: provide learning tools for a specific topic and then distill complex information so that the general public can become informed consumers. As lead faculty for an Edx/UTAustinX MOOC launched in 2013, “TAKE YOUR MEDCINE” achieved a completion level more than double the average for MOOCs and an extraordinary engagement rate. TYM uses a variety of e-tools to engage and inform participants, focusing on the user experience.

A leader in efforts to empower women - locally and around the world, Janet is a co-founder of the Leading Women Project, designed to help women of all ages and professions learn to lead – both themselves and others. She combines her passion for women and high impact communications, creating Women in Science programs and serving as a coach and mentor helping women develop leadership skills. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Health Promotion Council of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board.


Ross Strader

Dir of Learning Engineering

Stanford University

Ross Strader is Director of Learning Engineering at the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Stanford University. His focus is on the intersection of technology and the learning sciences - specifically, looking at new ways to bring learning science research to bear on technology-based, student-centered learning environments.

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