Wednesday 16 January 2013

Ups and downs - reflection on OLDSMOOC wk1 #MoocsAndMe

At the end of week 1 I'm feeling fairly positive about the OLDSMOOC.
I have an idea of what it is about and what I can get out of it. I'm not sure if my perception of it is the correct one or even a useful one but I've put it into some sort of context for me.
During the week I felt quite negative about it and this was because there was a big gap between my expectations and the reality. I was expecting it to be like a course but much bigger with more people but still have a similar structure or format. But instead it just felt like a mass of activity, some good, some bad, some things working, some not working.
In fact that's exactly what it is - a mass of activity or maybe a collection of activities that are related, sometimes connected, sometimes useful, sometimes make sense but don't have a recognised structure. To some extent the mooc has gained momentum but I'm not sure that it has gained direction. It definitely feels and looks like far too much.
During the converge activity it was stated that it was up to the individual to make it a personalized learning experience. At first I felt indignant about this but then thought that this was an approach that I need to take. Instead of trying to engage with everything that's happening, what I need to do is just cast around for things that interest me and participate if and when I feel like it. The value will be in the individual interactions with the people or tasks that I encounter. So that's the strategy that I'm using for week 2.
But there are still some issues that I'm hoping will be addressed or become clearer in subsequent weeks.
Why have a course with too much to it - either limit it, give it some more structure or don't call it a course, define it as something different. This issue is reflected in the badges idea - you get a badge for completing the activities of the week so fairly prescriptive but the activities of the course are open ended and vast.
Not all the technology nor tools worked. Ok, everyone who works in education and technology knows this is the case but some worked better than others. There's nothing wrong in erring on the side of caution or going for the easy option - that's if you want to engage your learners of course.
Some valuable ideas and suggestions will get lost along the way. Does this matter?

After publishing this post I've decided to go back and add a bit as on reflection of the reflection it reads as if I've just accidentally stumbled across a mooc and thought 'this looks fun, I'll give it a whirl'. I know that there are different sorts of moocs and some are connectivist etc. etc. but I wanted to blog about it as a learning experience rather than a theoretical concept.

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