grasping at MOOCs

Al Cornish's musings on #moocmooc


  1. I entered #moocmooc without a lot of experience with MOOCs - and without a lot of preconceptions.  I started by participating in Sunday afternoon's Twitter discussions and by thinking about the views on MOOCs expressed by other participants:
  2. Scanning the introductory discussion list helped me understand the background and expectations of my co-learners.  There's a dramatic range of participant experience, a blending of teaching and technical experience represented in the discussion thread.  I was most happy to count seven members of the Washington State University community (including myself) participating in the online discussion. 
  3. On Monday, I participated in the creation of Group 2's collaborative essay.  I recently worked on a nine-month project in 2011-12 that required me to create and edit language in a number of technical documents, working in Google Docs with colleagues at a number of academic institutions in the Pacific Northwest.  But this experience was radically different, because I didn't know anything about the co-learners who were working on the document with me.  
  4. What did I learn from collaborating on this document?  Since I'm on the novice end of the continuum, simply reading the takes that my co-learners have on MOOCs is valuable (for example, thinking of a MOOC as "an online event"). 
  5. Later in the day, I pondered our work in the #moocmooc twitter discussion:
  6. The limitations section is much more fleshed out, by me and by the other contributors.  These limitations include:  credentialing learning accomplished in a MOOC; enabling effective community support; the need to match the type of MOOC (content-based, networked-based) with the student's goals; and, technology requirements.  The time element that Anissa cited was probably a factor in the lack of consistency in our document, with limitations being the dominant topic.  
  7. My reading of Sean's suggestion is that the document creators should have taken some time up-front to work out a division of labor. 
  8. Then, on Tuesday, I created and uploaded my YouTube video.  Putting this together did require me to think through how I use a online environment that I think highly of, Amazon Web Services and its related discussion forums, and how working in that environment has elevated my own learning:
  9. where does learning happen? in another great online community...
  10. I watched a number of my co-learners' videos and was able to post in YouTube and communicate with some of them.  One thought that Rosemary Sewart offers in her video is that the challenges of living in a foreign culture spurred her learning.  MOOCs are self-paced and flexible for learners, but is there a lesson here; that there's some benefit to the learner being uncomfortable at times?  
  11. Where Does Learning Happen? - for MOOC MOOC
  12. I also liked this MOOCMOOC video a great deal, but I do not yet know the name of this co-learner:
  13. I work primarily in technology and coding.  The creator is a cognitive/educational psychologist; he describes the learning process, regardless of environment (listening and reflection that's happening in a social context).  I'm intrigued by his take that the tendency with MOOC design is to value needs like connectivism over proven educational principles. 
  14. It surprises me that I have not matched the video with the creator's name.  I tried a number of methods for finding it, such as reviewing the discussions in canvas and searching by his YouTube name in Google.  But, if you think about the way communication happens in MOOCs, including the use of social networking services that do not require a mapping of name to identity (e.g., YouTube, Twitter), this kind of disconnect is possible.  
  15. Then, later that evening, I participated in an impromptu Twitter session circa 9:00 PM Pacific - the focus was heavily on pedagogy and it was just a blur to me. 
  16. On Wednesday, I wrote a blog post describing some of the things that I've taken away from #moocmooc thus far: