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Debriefing the MOOC

posted: 8.31.12 by archived

To start my promised report on my MOOC MOOC experience, I’m embarrassed to admit that, like 90% of the students who enroll in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), I did not complete the course.  (You can find this figure, along with much more info about MOOCs, on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s page “What You Need to Know about MOOC’s.”) Given the general attitude that it was fine to jump in and do as much or little as one wished, this was no big deal, and even my limited participation both taught me a lot and raised a lot of questions.

The speed of the course did me in, with so much to read and watch and produce in a single week. The demands of life that prevented me from engaging as deeply as I would have liked served to remind me of the “real-life” pressures my community college students face.  I also reflected on the usefulness of deadlines: to what extent their pressure is necessary to get work done and how they serve the practical need for students to be at similar places in order to share and reflect on each other’s products, but also how the difficulty in meeting one deadline can derail student progress in the entire course. For my own courses, it led me to think about what interventions I might make to help in these types of situations, that seem so common for my students. [read more]

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