ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Am I smart enough to participate in a MOOC? – The discussion continues …

Posted on: Februar 23, 2012

As I was trying to answer the comments to my last post additional ideas emerged so I will summarize my answers to your comments in this post.

Apostolos K wrote: I generally try to do this (reflect) a week or two after a MOOC ends.

As the Change MOOC lasts so many weeks (I remember that I was happy about this long period during the first 12 or 15 weeks) I need some “time out” for reflection. And I never could start to participate in a new MOOC parallel to the Change MOOC (in contrast to some of my Change MOOC fellows).

Of course I’m seduced by the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2012 MOOC, but I believe that for my real MOOC experience I should focus on one MOOC and not hop in and hop off. I try to convince my students as well that they should stick to one tool (e.g. twitter) and explore its potential for at least 2 months before they “hop on” to the next nice tool.

George Siemens commented: I feel like I spend too much time taking in information and not enough time connecting it by spending time in reflection and critical thought.

It’s great to detect soul mates :-) Often I’m convinced that I don’t use today’s technology sufficiently and if I would organise my tools in a better way or discover the “ultra-tool”  I would understand in greater detail what’s happening in the MOOC. As George doubtlessly is using more and more advanced tools and nevertheless struggles with similar problems I return to my starting point: that learning, understanding, sensemaking don’t depend that much on technical tools.

I like Doris Reeves-Lipscomb comment a lot and I got some interesting insights. An exerpt of her comment:

… that a MOOC participant must have considerable tacit knowledge and tech skills and personal time management tools in order to participate fully in a MOOC…. Can ‘ordinary’ people ever catch up? …. Since the facilitator doesn’t seem to intervene in a MOOC to help participants succeed …

Like Doris I’m moderating online learning groups for several years. Until now I prepared a password-protected room with materials, questions, and room for my participants to discuss and reflect and contribute based on a social-constructivistic approach. The max number of participants was 15 and in spite of my support there were dropouts, persons who couldn’t become active in the virtual room.

Currently I’m establishing a network in Google+ (no password-protected room, about 60 participants, every day there is a different number of participants) and my training approach is less supportive than in previous trainings. I offer tasks and materials, and aggregate their content on a website, but I nearly do not provide individual support. I have the “feeling” that the training runs ok but I’m curios of the evaluation!

Jaap wrote: … your time for reflection and connecting to experiences was a subject of Geetha Narayanan session today.

Great! Just during my “time out” the most important questions are discussed! I will try to catch up on the session with Geetha Narayanan during the weekend.

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1 Response to "Am I smart enough to participate in a MOOC? – The discussion continues …"

I really enjoy your honesty and openness in this reflection! I too am still percolating on Doris’ comment about whether ‘ordinary’ people can catch up.

Let us know how your evaluations turn out with your Google + approach to supporting four times as many participants as you did in the past. Best of luck! :)

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