I told a lot of people I was doing a MOOC this week.
Almost every conversation went this way:
Valerie: “So I’m doing this MOOC about MOOCs and I have to make a video… etc”
Friend: “A what?”
Valerie: “Have you every heard of a MOOC?”
Friend: “I don’t think so?” followed by a confused look… and so on.
In Melonie Fullick’s Blog Post “Following the her, or joining the merry MOOCscapades of higher-ed bloggers”, Fullick talks about ‘disruption’, which is “portrayed as a means of breaking up the monopoly of the university(through technology).” She is critical about the way in which higher-ed bloggers and the spreaders of the MOOC-is-great rhetoric of late are missing some of the points of communication technology and its effect on the way we do academics. MOOCs, then, can be seen as a piece of that disruption. But if higher-ed bloggers are writing about MOOCs, then why have none of the people I’ve spoken casually with ever heard of a MOOC?
During my week of MOOCsploration, I discovered new abilities I can now exploit, both in my personal sphere, and in my classroom. I learned about the importance of a communal cause (to experience the MOOCMOOC). And I learned that making up MOOC-related words is kind of fun, and oft’ done, it seems.
Melonie Fullick was right in using ‘disruption’ when talking about MOOCs. Sure, MOOCs might have a hand in disrupting the traditional learning system, but this week, MOOCMOOC had a hand in disrupting my regular life. In a good way.
In Jacques Berlinerblau’s article “Survival Strategy for Humanists: Engage, Engage” Berlinerblau remembers a past when scholars were involved in the virtues of popular culture. They published reviews and were prevalent in mainstream culture.
How does this relate to MOOC MOOC disrupting my regular life?
During MOOCMOOC, I learned that being connected on a massive scale, communally experiencing what a MOOC is all about, is an exhilarating experience. If I found myself in Taiwan next week, I would absolutely look up Bernardo Trejos from Group 6. I might even think about skipping down to Wellington and learning to make margaritas with Rosemary. I never knew that twitter and a google doc could make me feel connected to like-minded individuals. The disruption then, makes me realize that I can participate in ways I didn’t know I could. It makes me realize that engaging in humanist activities on the massive scale can be a part of my academic career. And they probably should be.
But I don’t want to just praise the MOOCMOOC and not be critical – that wouldn’t be fair. So below, I answer a few of the Saturday questions:
- What have we learned this week about MOOCs? How do they succeed? How might they fail? What are their strongest points and their weakest?
- I already talked about what I learned. And I feel I was a successful MOOCer – minus my disappearance on Thursday. Thursday and Friday were a little overwhelming for me because I had other things going on that needed my attention more. It seems that, in order to be a successful MOOCer, you need to be invested. And to stay invested.
- I like the massive part of MOOC. I do not stand behind replacement in traditional classrooms. I still need that f2f interaction everyone is always talking about. NEED it.
- We could argue that MOOC is a ‘form’, but it’s growing. It’s catching on – I think we just need to wait and see.
- The first thing I say is that it’s fun, but a little overwhelming. I describe some of what I do, and then often find myself embroiled in a conversation about privacy, and identity… MOOC is a wonderful conversation starter
At the end of the week, I can safely say that I learned more than I imagined I would, and had a good time doing it. The mindset of the MOOCMOOCers was wonderful, but I can only assume that many MOOCs do not run this way. I liked that it was hosted in Canvas, which I am about to use for the very first time in my own class. And I liked that we had twitter socials. That was really great thinking on the part of the creators.
I feel that MOOCMOOC was a success.
Thanks Hybrid Ped peeps!
Oh – and before I forget – Here is the mid-way reflection storify I promised a few days ago – it’s kind of fabulous.