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!