Being a committed life-long learner, I can’t resist a good MOOC (massive open online course), and #etmooc (educational technologies and media), which began this week, looks like it will be just that.
#etmooc is the second cMOOC I’ve done, the first being the fantastic and eye-opening ePortfolios Community of Practice course in 2011. The c stands for connectivism and is used to distinguish from xMOOCs, the type offered by organisations like Coursera and edX, which use a more traditional pedagogical approach of recorded lectures followed by activities to support engagement with the new material. cMOOCs are more focused on developing and learning from and with a network of interested people. They are about sharing of resources and discussion. For more detail on the different types of MOOCs, see the first few paragraphs of the #etmooc Orientation Week Activity post from January 12. I completed my introductory task, a short video, which I embedded into the blog I will be using for the course and this morning got up at sparrow’s to join the introductory webinar. Most of it was about the structure and topics to be covered, with lots of crowdsourcing around different thoughts about what each topic means.
Much has been written recently about the high dropout rate from xMOOCs. I particularly liked this blog post which correlates the degree of student investment with the dropout statistics. I’ve contributed by not completing the Gamification course I enrolled in through Coursera. The course was interesting but my work got a lot busier than I expected during the time and with family illnesses compounding the load I decided I couldn’t complete it. If I had paid or it was part of a degree I’m sure I would have found a way, which is probably why the article above resonated so strongly with me. With a cMOOC there’s no collection of such numbers as participation is entirely up to the individual. I hope to complete most or all of the tasks of #etmooc but my major aims are to connect with others, build up my personal learning network (PLN) which has slowly grown over the last 2 years and learn more about using Web 2.0 in teaching and encouraging colleagues to use the tools for professional development. Time will again be challenging, particularly as I’ll be away for 3 of the 8 weeks, but at the moment I feel like the biggest challenge will be the sheer size of the event and the number of conversations going on different platforms. It will be like the Twitter fishing –dipping in when you have the opportunity and see what happens to be floating by at the time.
Anyone else fancy a spot of fishing?