Today is the first day of the E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC from University of Edinburgh on the coursera platform. This is the third MOOC that I've signed up for in as many weeks - two planned which are this one and the OLDs MOOC and the ETMOOC which I just happened to be passing by and decided to stop for a look.
I logged into the course site and I like the layout and the interface - it's easy to read and make sense of. The announcements are the same content as the emails that I've received so it feels slightly familiar and also saves going back to the emails to re-read the details. There are some instructions which contain clarification of how the course will be taught and assessed. Already there is a different emphasis than the other MOOCs - there is going to be some teaching and assessment. The assessment consists of a final assessment in the form of a digital artefact - wow, I'm interested now. This is appealing to me as a very task orientated person - I like to produce something, to have something to show (yes, I know this is approach / attitude is both a strength and a failing).
Next the usual things I've come to expect from the beginning of a MOOC - make note of twitter hashtag #edcmooc to tweet and join any chat and join Google+ group community. There's also a Facebook group this time - I have joined but I'm not sure as my Facebook tends to be friends so I'll have to see whether this is good for me or not. Blogging - add RSS feed to EDC MOOC news.
There is also going to be a Google Hangout on Friday at 17: 00 (Friday at 5.00pm?? Is this just me but I'm not sure this is optimum time for engaging with a cool work thing - I expect there is a good reason for it).
So a quick look round the site to orientate myself - seems fairly straightforward. I had a quick glance at the discussion forums, some general discussions so I'll revisit them tomorrow. The course guides give details of the Google Hangouts and the Synchtube. The EDC MOOC News - is this the list of blogs?
So onto the structure of the course which consists of two blocks. The first block is Utopias and Dystopias with Week 1 Looking to the past. This will involve looking at how digital culture and digital education are either utopian or dystopian. There are examples of writing on e-learning between 1998 and 2002, an historical approach. The task is to look at what has changed in relation to current debates about digital education. The Week 1 resources consist of videos / journal articles / essays / speeches etc.
So that's the plan - watch and read all the resources and try and understand the different viewpoints. I'm interested and engaged and looking forward to taking a calm and collected approach. It will be good for me to focus and concentrate which was one of my new year resolutions.
This MOOC feels different from the other two and I think it is for two reasons. Firstly it is more structured and feels more like a proper online course (I can't explain this yet). Secondly I've approached it differently. I've put my own filter system in place at the beginning, before I've looked at the communications and collaborations that are going on around the edge of the course. I'm starting from the inside and working out. Rather than leaping into the hurly burly, I've looked to see what I can get out of this. This approach is a direct result of the MOOC experiences of the last few weeks and also a realistic estimation of my time and resources.
I had a quick look at what the Digital Artefact involves. It can be text, image, sound, video, links and can use tools such as Animoto, Prezi, Google sites, Wordle etc. etc. and it must 'express a question, an idea, a problem, a hope, a worry, or a provocation.....' Possible areas are communication technologies, evolution of information technology, future of learning institutions..
So far, so good .....and tomorrow into the hurly burly as that's part of the fun too..