Monday, April 21, 2014

MOOC success!

The MOOC experiment was excellent. In fact, I've already signed up for two more. One I've just completed with Sidneyeve Matrix at Queen's University - it's called CDS605 Personal Branding for Educators. Sidneyeve is an incredibly connected social media guru who happens to have her ear to the ground on everything digital it seems. The other doesn't start until September (which is truly terrible timing), however, the course title certainly evokes connection to an area of passion in teaching; it's called "Sports and Society" with Dr. Orin Starn. I'm on the watchlist for this one and will connect as soon as enrolment permits.

Regarding the course with Cathy N. Davidson called "The History and Future of  (Mostly) Higher Education: Or, How We Can Unlearn Our Old Patterns and Relearn for a More Successful, Fruitful, Satisfying, Productive, Humane, Happy, Beautiful, Socially-conscious, Socially-Engaged Future." I thoroughly enjoyed it. Granted, I did think I was going to finish the course with all the assignments/discussions/annotations done. The optimist in me always thinks I'm going to get it all done; the realist in me really needs to give the optimist a kick to think a little more, I didn't quite get things done to the level I would have liked but I did get everything I wanted out of the course. 

So, my thoughts to those who are taking a MOOC in future would be this. Make sure you set some minimum expectations for what you'd like to learn and accomplish during the course that may not be everything that will earn a certificate of completion. By all means, attempt to complete everything and enjoy what you do along the way. I did that for the first week and was able to take something out of each portion I completed or participated in. 

The second week started off reasonably well. Then some unexpected life news happened so I wasn't able to complete the rest as thoroughly as I had planned. However, having completed the first week's worth of work, I felt like I could prioritize the rest of the course and still feel like I was getting lots of new learning and good reminders out of it, too. 

Perhaps if you are unsure whether a MOOC is for you, it would be a good idea to try everything that is available in the first week and then to reevaluate the most important aspects based on the course content and life as it happens. Hope this is helpful!

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