This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Open online courses, a MOOC point?

Yesterday, along with some 900 other people, I jumped in and began exploring The Association of Learning Technology’s MOOC. Named ocTEL Open Course in Technology and Learning, ALT describe the course as being “…an online course to help you understand better how to use technology to enhance your teaching practice. The course is aimed primarily at people teaching at Higher Education level, whether in Higher Education Institutions or Further Education Colleges.

I’m hoping to experience first hand how a MOOC functions and to determine whether some of the hype is justified. I understand that retention rates for MOOCs are not good, and I’d like to see the course through to completion. I have engaged with Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) learning before and both the asynchronous nature of it along with the dreadful design aesthetics simply put me off using it. I am finding ocTEL relatively easy to navigate so far and all seems well structured and already it’s thriving.

The schedule which can be seen below runs through to June. Today we are just a the stage of introductions and engaging in the first activity in which we are asked to consider any ‘big’ questions that we might have regarding technology and learning. There’s some interesting looking groups forming already, but I’ve not committed to joining any as yet.

For now we’ve been asked to consider a ‘big question’. I have lots questions, but I would most like to know how, as an educator/participant, will I benefit from engaging in MOOCs? In the process of answering that question I might identify some of the overall advantages and disadvantages of MOOCs in comparison to other learning environments.

I’ll be blogging about this largely as a form of reflective activity. As I work my way though this I’ll be recording my thoughts and actions here.

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