Wednesday, July 20, 2011

[eduMOOC] reflections

eduWhat? [MOOC], or Masive Open Online Course - the edu because this MOOC is about online education - a somewhat recursive affair, an online course about online education. So naturally there have been much discussion about what is and isn't a mooc, mooc design, mooc platforms and so on. And of course about online learning in general.  [eduMOOC] has about 2,600 participants - that's the masive part. The entrance is free, and it uses primarly [OER]s or Open Educational Resources. We are now in the fourth week of eight...

A mooc is an incestuously social affair. As I see it the main purpose is to network with people of similar interests using a veritable panoply of social and other tools - up to now Google {Sites, Groups,  forms, spreadsheets, maps, Plus}; Etherpad, Diigo, Moodle, Wikispaces, Facebook, Twitter, Popplet; and hundreds of participant blogs and twitter and Plus posts. There is some content provided by the mooc organizers and a weekly webcasted panel, but no assignments or grades... each participant decides what to learn and how and who to connect with and what to share with others.

Right now I feel overwhelmed by the avalanche of extremely interesting information and people in the eduMooc, and haven't developed good coping strategies to deal with such richness.  My 30 "pending to see" Chrome tabs and bookmarks overload my lap and my mind. And I haven't shared anything significant except a few google group posts that generated some comments.

In a way, this is the kind of education that I have dreamed up for my students, as nobody learns very well what other people decide should be learned. And that I have sort of half/implemented so far in some of my ftf and online courses - my students choose their own projects or documents to write or revise, do blogs, feedback each other. But grades ruin everything as then students care more for the grade than for the learning. I'll try next external assessment of e-portfolios for a couple of my courses, and much more internal and external interactions - a sort of micro-mooc. The external assessment is a problem, because external assessors don't have time to judge whole portfolios - perhaps summaries of portfolios, produced by the students themselves. I'll report how it works