Some ponderings on the differences between “formal” online learning modules I have been on so far, and my MOOC experiences to date. This is of-course drawn only from my rather limited experience of both!
I added the video (11/5) as it fits nicely with the Week7 Badge Activity (there’s adaptation and reuse in action!)
|Formal Online Module||MOOC|
|Tutor’s role||Encourager & supporter. Subject expert who can bring additional resources into play as relevant, draw out conversations, and bounce ideas off. A valued “Guide on the side”||Likely to appear absent due to numbers. Self formed groups require motivation, self-regulation, ability to critically appraise viewpoints presented.|
|Tools/Platform||Closed and behind logon box. Even if I get email alert about forum posts I don’t respond quickly because it’s a faff to sign in, and the editor doesn’t work properly on my tablet.Doesn’t support my mobile multi-platform life||Same issues (but worse) on Openlearn Platform.Gloriously frictionless using my preferred PLE (Chrome with: Google+, Feedly, Hootsuite), which works on my 4 main devices (Home PC, Android tablet + Smartphone, Work PC)|
|Possible Connections||Your tutor and tutor group. I’ve been fortunate on H817 and H800 to have had very positive experiences of sharing, collaborating and peer-support.||You connect with those you share interests with. I’ve added (and removed) people from my Feedly subscription.|
|The small group tutor is influential in setting this, but the individuals in the group are key too. If you are in a “flat” group who are going through the motions, it will be dull (and one of my modules was, indeed, both flat and dull).||The ‘vets‘ of on-line learning do this. I can consume the blogs of the folk whose communication style I enjoy and graze on others in a serendipitous way|
|Who’s in and
|It seems to take a few weeks to work out who is actually going to contribute in the module and who is going to participate less (due to work pressures/family etc)||It’s obvious, those who contribute regularly and comment are “in”|
|Going slow||In smaller groups if more than a few people drop out (eg for holidays, exams) the group is a bit poorer. You have to keep up with the pace.||Chances are there will still be people to engage with at all points of the MOOC. Dipping out for a week will have less overall effect. There is still a critical mass of contributions and you will find others who are at the same stage.|
|Language of forums/postings by participants||Academic writing mixed with banter||Informal, anecdotal, a place where opinions and experiences have refreshing validity. Situated aspect that can be missing in formal situations.|
|Group work||Painful to negotiate by distance/time with varying levels of buy-in to contribution||Thankfully avoided on H817open. (collaboration light)Only those who want to be there are there|
|Forum Fatigue||On 7-8 month marathons this sets in around June. If everyone drops out, motivation becomes tough.||Declining numbers over the MOOC, but probably still enough completers to maintain a sense of event.|
|Sense of Personalisation||The curriculum rules – you can take a surface approach to some of it as long as it won’t be in the TMA!||Freedom to duck in and out, follow what I want. The self-directed learner is empowered and in control.|
|Hoops to jump through to prove learning. Carefully crafted assessments can encourage deeper learning. In generalised forms though they will rarely align with individual learning goals.||It’s OK to journey along and pursue those things that are of interest. Completion certificates and badges are a bonus (to those already deemed “educated”).|
|Value of Accreditation||Trusted by employers and would go on my CV||Value of these not yet trusted or established by employers. Badges would go on my CV from H817open for TEL positions, as a discussion point rather than proof of attainment.|
|Enjoyment||“education as gym membership” no pain no gain.||Enjoyment increases with – personalisation of learning goals, connections and pace – if you have the literacies to engage and connect|
I started off on MAODE to give me a broad understanding of the issues and debates in Technology Enhanced Learning. For this it has been really good, and I am committed to completing it all because it has currency in the sector in which I work.
However, I have no doubt that any future employers would wish to check out my online-identity. Their questions *should* include: who am I connected to? How do I contribute? How has my thinking changed and developed?
An MA, like a BSc, is only proof that I can operate at a certain level over the period that I engaged with that qualification – these “badges” prove an amount of acquisition and ability to participate. Once those boxes are ticked the thing that matters is the participation and currency.
So, Mr MOOC if you can work out your sustainability models I am up for doing a few more over my working and retired life!