A MOOC is a “massive open online course,” a loose learning network, and an experiment to answer critical questions:
“How does learning change when formal boundaries are reduced? What is the future of learning? What role with educators play in this future? What types of institutions does society need to respond to hyper-growth of knowledge and rapid dissemination of information? How do the roles of learners and educators change when knowledge is ubiquitous?”
The above is from the home page of the course. Below, George Siemens, who, with Dave Cormier and Stephen Downes, convenes/facilitates the MOOC writes,
What can you expect in the first few weeks? You’ll encounter far more content than you can possibly read. You’ll encounter many colleagues from around the world. You’ll want to connect with many of them, but time likely won’t permit. You’ll receive daily emails from us as well as invitations to live discussion sessions. Most likely, you’ll find this overwhelming because your previous learning experiences taught you to try and read/understand everything. Again, let go of that expectation. A MOOC is a network. If a node of information is truly important, you’ll encounter it again. Don’t try and read everything. Read what interests you and what is relevant to you in your life or work. If you find a few people to be particularly insightful, take time to comment on their blogs. Join a few sub-groups as well. These will be posted throughout the course in The Daily (that’s the email we send out Monday-Friday). Usually, they develop when one person finds a frustration with the course and decides to fix it and share her solution with others.
Sounds very interesting, and perhaps not unlike what my students experience when they enter my class. (My students are M.A. students in the Teaching of English; the course I teach related to this MOOC is about the literacies & technologies of the secondary English class.) I look forward to observing my own responses to this experience and relating them back to what I’ve observed of my students’.
Here’s what I’ve observed thus far in the MOOC (in no particular order).
- There’s been a flurry of #change11 chit-chat on Twitter.
- The most emphasis thus far has been on how not to feel overwhelmed. (See George’s comment, above.)
- Paolo Simoes’ Change11 Scoop.It is fabulous.
- George Siemens’ blog post How to Participate in an Open Online Course has been very helpful, especially his list of nine tips & tricks for success.
- I read a helpful description of “levels” of participation, which helped me clarify my own. Of course, I didn’t bookmark it, so I have no idea where I read it. (#lesson)
- Because of #lesson, above, I have decided to set up my own Scoop.It as an archive for stuff I want to capture. Why Scoop.It? It’s fast, easy, and did I mention, fast?
- Not much is happening yet, at least, nothing I can find. I did visit the Facebook group– very interesting– and read through the current discussion posts.
- This massive open online course must be a massive & open-ended amount of work for the conveners. I hope they’ll be blogging about that aspect of it.
- I feel like an outsider at the gate, waiting to see if I’ve got the right password.
- Stay tuned….
Image: Mass Ascension © 2007 by a4pga Used via Creative Commons