Adrift on the on-line sea: my MOOC experience

I’m fascinated by the idea of MOOCs and the ideal of bringing high quality, high level education, for free, to anyone with a computer and an internet link. I would also like to improve my skills in developing on-line courses. Combining these two interests, I decided to sign up for a couple of MOOCs:

  • Learning Design for a 21st century curriculum – delivered by Open Learning Design Studio (“OLDS”)
  • Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application – a Georgia Technical University Course, via Coursera.

The OLDS MOOC started a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately coincided with a spike in other more pressing work, so I have had to put it on hold. After next week, I will see if I can go back and review the material – but I suspect I’m too late to clamber aboard.

I have learned four slightly surprising things already about MOOCS (or these two at least)

  1. They are not something to do in your own time and at your leisure: you need to keep up with the pace.
  2. They are a highly social method of learning.
  3. They demand participative, active learning.
  4. MOOC providers may be at the forefront of technology, but they are not immune from serious technical glitches.

The Coursera MOOC started yesterday (Monday 28 January) and I resolved to do better, despite pressure of time, so I have made a start on the activities and am determined to submit the first assignments (there are three of them!) by next Sunday.

I’ll report on my progress at the weekend.


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