My reflection on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

This blog post relates to my study of CCK11.

Having a technologist background, I love the ideals to which Connectivism holds such as (open, shared, and social, and adaptive to perpetual change).

However, my experience of studying this course as a MOOC, which I consider an application of the Connectivist Learning Theory has not been so idealistic. It would seem my concerns are not uncommon – George himself has admitted that in each offering of the course as a MOOC, there has been complaints relating to the volume of information and the difficulty in managing this.  A 21st century challenge no doubt, and one modern society needs to develop skills for,  but magnified considerably in this implementation.  I’m a technologist and if I am really struggling to manage this information, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for someone not so confident with technology.

Of course, this may be an issue relating to application, than the underlying theory. George suggested in the next offering that instead of one large group of near 1000 participants, have multiple groups of 100.  I think this is a fabulous idea.  Scalability seems to be one of the biggest issues with a MOOC.  Can the network, can the number of connections be too high?

I am also frustrated with the randomness. Let me explain. I would be interested to see the statistics of comments/discussions comparing postings listed towards the top of the dailies, to those towards the end of the dailies. What I am wondering is whether those articles shown towards the top of the daily email receive more comments and feedback than those towards the bottom. Do people read through all the articles before selecting which they wish to respond to? Or do they go through the first 6 or so and then move on to other things? The comments/feedback that I have received so far has been a bit up and down in terms of frequency and depth. Of course I am always grateful to those who take the time to comment on my writing. 🙂 It is hard to know if the lack of feedback is because I’m talking crap, or whether its because the exposure of my article is lower because it is lower in the daily listing (it’s probably because its crap :)).

In its current form, I don’t think I would do a MOOC like this again.  This saddens me as ideologically, I like the concept.  Although if it were implemented in a more compartmentalised way such as the groups of 100, I’d be tempted to give it another go.  I’m grateful for George and Stephen doing this research and actually trying implementations to see how they run.  Theorising is all good and fine, but application, real-world application is what is important to me.

I have further thoughts and ideas on MOOCs, but alas time is short, so another day. 🙂




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