Sunday, July 22, 2012

MOOC roundup - week 4

MOOC This is the last in my series of weekly reflections on ST101 and Power Searching with Google here as they progress.

I probably should structure this post as a standard sh*t sandwich (good-bad-good), but it looks more like a Scandinavian open sandwich. This is the week the wheels finally came off ST101 for me. I was already feeling disenfranchised after my grumbles last week, and by the time the "optional" python programming elements had be come compulsory to answer the questions near the start of this week's Algebra For Programmers 101, I'd had enough. I no longer care about ST101, but I'll probably glance idly at the rest of the units as they are posted without bothering with the assessments or to complete the course. What's the lesson here? Be careful about signposting content and pathways to prospective students so that they don't get unexpected shocks. I feel I've learned all I need about the Udacity model and I won't be bothering with it any more.

In contrast, Power Searching with Google is giving me that warm, fuzzy glow the longer it goes on. The content is great, the example below illustrating some of the trick I've learned over the year but don't find it easy to put into words, although I found out by experiment that "Search by image" is not always that accurate.

With its relatively loose connection and low pressure environment, the Google model works for me, and I've had no difficulty sticking with the two week course. I'm already planning to rip off apply my new found information literacy skills in my teaching.

Google MOOC

The next step is to get stuck into the Cousera model. While I've become convinced that packaging as courses is the solution to lack of uptake of OERs, I'm wondering about the chunking. The two seek, six chunk, two assessments Google MOOC model worked well for me. The six week, n+1 chunk Udacity model is starting to feel like a stretch - too long to maintain engagement. I know several people who would be interested in some of the Coursera courses, but 10 weeks at 6-8 hours a week is way too much for me to even bother recommending it to them.

OERs - it's always been about the chunking. YouTube = microchunking works. 1-2 week intensive MOOCs work. Beyond that? there is insufficient payoff to maintain the link for longer.

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