I have been trying to write this blog post for a month.

One of my challenges was to write a blog post every month. I fully intended to do this, which is why I went to my computer in the last week of February every day with the aim of writing a post. I then got distracted, or I couldn’t decide what to write about. For the past month, I’ve been coming up with ideas whilst falling asleep, in the shower or driving to work. They never made their way onto a piece of paper or a computer screen. I find this with a lot of things that I don’t deem as ‘necessary’.

However, I now wonder what I deem necessary. Doing laundry – yes. Making dinner – yes. Doing a little bit of extra work at home on the weekend to keep on top of things – sadly, this seems to come up as a yes a lot too. But many of the things I enjoy get pushed aside because they’re not productive enough. I’ve made barely any progress with the sketchbook (a couple pages), and I haven’t done any swatches for the knitting (though I am knitting a cowl for a colleague in a new stitch – the honeycomb).

Which is why my goal for the Immunity to Change course is to learn how to relax. If there’s anything important to you that you’d like to change about yourself (such as learning how to not procrastinate…), feel free to try out this little experiment with me.

I’m now going to go and be frivolous (i.e. play a computer game with my boyfriend). I don’t do this enough!

Excuse me for the slight change of topic!

I started this blog while I was a student studying occupational therapy. Understandably, my posts centred around OT and being a student. The few readers I accumulated were also OTs or OT students, so now I feel a bit unsure as to how I should progress with this blog, or whether I should rather. I graduated almost a year ago with my degree in occupational therapy, and that seems to be where the OT adventure ended. I mean, I still apply OT principles and skills to my work, but I wouldn’t call myself an occupational therapist. And because of that, I feel like I’m letting down the friends and readers I’ve gathered along my journey.

However, this blog is ultimately mine, and about my life. I still want a space to update with my experiences. And I also want to keep the occupational therapy resources on here that many have found useful, such as my posts on reasoning types and models. I didn’t expect to have such great feedback from people about them!

So I hope you don’t mind my change of subjects, and I understand if people stop looking in my direction.

However, who knows, you might find you also enjoy programming, web design and the like! I didn’t think I would, but it inspires me to be able to create and improve technology for others to enjoy and use, and I do like a good challenge.

#MOOCMOOC: an online course on online courses.

An online course will be running for one week only starting today through the Canvas Network, another free online course provider. Here’s the fun bit, though. It’s a course on courses, or rather, an MOOC on MOOCs.

If you’re wondering what an MOOC is, it stands for Massive Open Online Course. The aim of this gathering is to delve into the workings of MOOCs by undertaking one and reflecting on the experience. A meta-MOOC, if you will.

I think it’ll be quite an interesting experience to really reflect on whether MOOCs are effective an effect way to learn, and I hope it’ll bring me more out of my bubble. So far, I’ve pretty much done courses on my own, meaning I’ve watched the videos and done the coursework and reading without interacting with my fellow students too much. While this has worked for me, I’d like to try to collaborate more and get to know some other learning enthusiasts along the way.

I really think some of my Twitter followers would be interested in this, particularly those very active in the weekly OT chats. Join in at https://www.canvas.net/courses/mooc-mooc!

Edit [January 7, 2013 @ 10am]

As an extension of what I wrote yesterday, I think it’s worthwhile to also distinguish between the two types of MOOCs, something I only discovered last night while reading the wealth of information shared by my fellow MOOCMOOCers.

Connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs), or network-based MOOCs, are driven by interaction between students. Learning is based on discussion and collaboration. So far, it seems to be a bit chaotic, with conversations happening everywhere, including Twitter (#moocmooc) and Google Communities. It’s less structured; this course has a few daily prompts, but there’s no set syllabus or quizzes to test whether you understand a prescribed set of information or possess certain skills.

Intructivist MOOCs (xMOOCs), or content-based MOOCs, are based on the standard teaching model: an instructor creates a syllabus and provides regular set information. In the Coursera ones I’ve delved into, there are weekly lectures and quizzes, along with occasional peer-marked written assignments or midterm/final exams. That’s not to say that peer-interaction is not encouraged; the Coursera platform allows for forums, and I know that Google Hangouts is sometimes used between the instructors and students, or just between students. (Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to participate in one yet.)

I have so far only participated in xMOOCs (up until this MOOCMOOC, that is), and I have enjoyed those immensely. I like the structure and the expert information. However, I am being very open to the experience of a cMOOC. We’ll see what my opinion is of them at the end of this week!