Connection not Content

A Blog for MOOCs and Other Animals

#CHANGE11 : MOOCs and Other Animals

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Having decided some time ago to register for Change11 I find I’ve done very little by way of preparation and may become a Lurker. This contrasts with CCK11, my first MOOC, where I did some initial reading before the course began and had a reasonably clear idea about my learning objectives and expectations. But one thing I learned about MOOCs is that they are not really “courses” at all, at least not in any conventional sense of having to Learn Things. So this time, I’ve no particular expectations, partly because I will be pressed for time but also because the unusually flexible nature of the MOOC allows this – or just about any other approach!

I notice that almost regardless of the actual topic of a MOOC, much time and energy goes into figuring out what MOOCs are or should be and I’ve done my own share of pontificating about this too (Nature of the MOOC – and a Challenge for 21st Century Education ) but the humble MOOC is acquiring a life of its own and I think that attempts to corral it within the bounds of this or that theory is premature. The animal needs time and space to grow and develop and indeed this is happening as different varieties of open online courses come and go, whether they are  MOOC-like or not. It is certainly exhilarating to see so much interest in Change11 but also in other types of open courses such as the Stanford University ones tackling subjects requiring specialist educational backgrounds.

My experience of CCK11 was good but rather different from what I’d expected. My main achievement seems to have been the CCK11 MOOC Cow infographic  (I’ve just spotted it again popping up in Deb Seed’s excellent blog!)  Anyway, this time I enter Change11 with no specific learning objectives apart from a keen interest in following the development of the extraordinary MOOC as it finds  its place among online courses and in education in general. What you get out of a MOOC is very much what you put into it so I will try my best to contribute but if I do become a Lurker – so be it!

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Written by Gordon Lockhart

September 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

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