Initial Reflections (01 July 2011)
This MOOC has presented more questions than answers. Many have asked "What are the objectives?". The answer is unclear and possibly dependent on the participants expectations. Some have joined to experience their first MOOC, others have joined to network, others are repeat MOOC'ers, others follow the crowd. Each will have a different objective, perspective and ultimately experience.
I listened in on the live session this morning (6am NZ Time). An interesting session but US focused with little global perspective on what happening with online learning on an international level. It would have been nice to have some contribution from those emerging countries who will have their own unique issues. The Twitter backchannel on the session page was a disaster of cycling day old retweets. The real gems of information as usual come from the participants, their blogs, tweets and contributions to forums and facebook pages. A MOOC seems perfect to gather people of similar interests into a circle of sharing.
I do wonder however, about things like participant numbers - when does a MOOC become too big? Not just for ensuring everyone has a positive experience, but for things such as infrastructure, supporting live classroom sessions and the seemingly bottomless pit of introductions on Google groups. Attrition rate seems to be a topic of interest as well. Of the 2000+ participants enrolled, the same few names appear to be the ones tweeting, blogging and contributing - each one a participant from previous MOOCs and comfortably familiar with the process.
Some things I learned from my last MOOC experience and which may help any new MOOCer:
- Make use of tools such as RSS feeders, dont chase the content, let the content come to you.
- Be selective. You can't possibly read everything, join every group. Find the one or two things that really appeal.
- Contribute somewhere, blog, facebook, personal diary. The very act of thinking about what to write makes you digest the material.
- Dont worry if you don't keep up. The MOOC will be online long after the allotted course time frame. You can finish it when you are ready.
- Watch the session recordings if you cant watch the live version, they are usually lively and interesting.
If you can think of other tips, please edit and add to this page :)
On a final note, so far, its been more interesting analyzing the MOOC as an entity rather than any knowledge gained from the content. Lets see what next week brings.
Comparative MOOCing (26 June 2011)
EduMOOC will be my second MOOC, the first being CCK11 (Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011). Initially, my MOOC experience was one of disarray and it did take some time before participants formed into coherent groups that communicated and shared and now, even though CCK11 has finished, groups continue to be active in sharing information in Facebook, Twitter and using the social bookmarking site Diigo. Sharing and networking was however, I thought, mostly disconnected and distant.
It will be interesting in this MOOC to compare experiences with both first time and repeat MOOC'ers and also within a group that is already a community of practice with an agenda of determining the suitability of a MOOC within an OER University initiative. The key to determining this suitability will be ensured by garnering the input of diverse viewpoints, wide ranging experiences and the encouragement of open communication and dialog.
Let the MOOC'ing begin.