After seeing several MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) come and go over the past couple of years, I’ve decided to play a part in a new one being facilitated by Dave Cormier, George Siemens and Stephen Downes.
What’s a MOOC?
Allow Dave Cormier to enlighten you:
What do you have to do?
Pretty much anything you like. To paraphrase from change.mooc.ca
This is an unusual course. It does not consist of a body of content you are supposed to remember. Rather, the learning in the course results from the activities you undertake, and will be different for each person.
This type of course is called a ‘connectivist’ course and is based on four major types of activity:
- Feed Forward
When a connectivist course is working really well, we see this greate cycle of content and creativity begin to feed on itself, people in the course reading, collecting, creating and sharing. It’s a wonderful experience you won’t want to stop when the course is done.
And – because you can share anywhere – you won’t have to. This course can last as long as you want it to.
The schedule consists of people who are pretty much who’s-who in my corner of the digitally-connected world; I’m particularly looking forward to:
- Week 3 – Martin Weller (Digital Scholarship)
- Week 9 – Dave Cormier (Rhizomatic Learning)
- Week 17 – Howard Rheingold ([How] can [using] the web [intelligently] make us smarter?)
- Week 25 – Stephen Downes (Knowledge, Learning and Community)
- Week 30 – Alec Couros (Facilitating Networked Learners)
- Week 33 – George Siemens (Sensemaking, wayfinding, networks, and analytics)
- Week 34 – Bonnie Stewart (Digital Identities & Subjectivities)
That’s because these are people I know will provide interesting stimulus material and sound guidance. However, I’m also looking forward to being surprised by others!
MOOCs have a structure that allows you to dip in and dip out. This course is running (at least) until 20th May 2012 so there’ll be times when I can pay more or less attention. Given that I’m handing in my thesis in the next 14 days I should, on average, have a whole lot more time on my hands to get involved.
Why don’t YOU take part as well? It’s a great way to meet new people and think through new ideas!