I distinctly remember when I first heard about MOOCs. I was at the circulation desk reading a the Tech column in School Library Journal. I immediately Googled "Coursera" and perused their offerings. I send an email out to my colleagues, and to my home email so I could further explore the possibilities. The concept was exciting! I didn't sign up for anything.
This past summer, I heard Elizabeth Ferry speak about Technology Coaching in her Ignite Talk at an unconference. The concept intrigued me. At work, I found an email offering a MOOC about Technology Coaching, and I signed up. I met with some folks in my building who were interested, and they signed up. I enthusiastically made it through the first week of a six week course. I even participated in a big Twitter Chat and added folks to follow on Twitter. None of the others in my building even tried the first week. I fizzled out soon after, mostly due to procrastination.
We did the ORMS MOOC as part of the IT&DML program. Because I knew the participants and I my grade depended on it, I did the work, completed the units, and got the badges. Keeping up was not problem.
The section in Ferdig's article about personal contact and having offline partners to improve MOOC completion really rang true for me. The Tech Coaching MOOC will be offered again in mid-February. Is anyone "game?"
A MOOC, Massive Open Online Course, can be designed like a traditional class (xMOOC) or as a collaborative, connected learning experience (cMOOC.) As the poster above states, "every letter is negotiable!"
The ORMS MOOC in the IT&DML was more like an xMOOC. Although there was class feedback and discussion on G+, the instructor guided the process. We submitted reflections and projects for badges and eventually for a grade. Other than the badges, the ORMS MOOC was similar to most of the online courses in this program. Read, reflect, respond, do projects.
The Tech Coaching MOOC had hundreds of participants. It was overwhelming for me. It was more like a cMOOC. We reflected on readings, just like in our IT&DML classes, and could respond and read others' responses, but the sheer volume weakened the experience for me. I couldn't connect. I had a tough time seeing these strangers from all over the world as "experts" to learn from.
Here is the link to my this week's Storify. https://storify.com/smarkiewicz11/to-mooc-or-not-to-mooc
Illustration: CC licensed by Matthieu Plourde.
Resources: Ferdig, R.E. (2013). What massive open online courses have to offer K-12 teachers and students. Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Retrieved from http://media.mivu.org/institute/pdf/mooc_report.pdf