Final Reflections on the #edcmooc experience

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I wasn’t joking when I tweeted this. And here I am about to take another MOOC course.

Though I still feel like a cocoon, I’d like to get here eventually.

Butterfly

Reflection on my own engagement during this course

Learning is rewarding, but it’s tiring too.

This MOOC has been one of the best learning experiences in my recent life and I think it had such an impact on me because it required me to apply what I was learning creatively. This wasn’t a typical course with a set syllabus where you could check assignments off a list.

I probably should have engaged more in the other channels, but for some reason I found Twitter to be the easiest to engage in.  I’ll confess that this is most likely due to convenience. In my next course, I would probably choose a different social media to engage with others in the class. But not Facebook. Call me a curmudgeon, but I’d like to keep Facebook in a separate place in my life… like off. Is it right that I don’t want to use it? Or should I succumb and become part of the entity?

To be frank and I may lift some of the learning & reflection I’ve taken from the #edcmooc, Facebook does not make me feel human.  I don’t feel like I want to know small details from other people’s lives or share private parts of my life and thinking with others and if I do maybe on my own terms. I like hearing about people tell me about their lives and their children in person. Maybe this makes me less of a digital native. that I want to carve my own little cubby corner where I can still think and be on my own, so be it.  I read recently in a tweet or blogpost of a classmate that they felt that the #edcmooc was both an enriching and lonely experience.  I can see that. For me it was less lonely, but by then end I was really jonesing to be ‘disconnected’ for a bit.

I am glad the designers of the course didn’t settle on one channel of social media. If it had been only Facebook I would have been SOL, but I guess that’s part of the point to have multiple channels in which to learn.

The flow of good information and thoughts shared by others in this course was overwhelming. I’m still reading through blogposts I favorited from the second week of class. I may never get to all of them, but I am inclined to read the posts of people I connected with in the Twitter feed going forward. This is probably the greatest value I got from the course: connecting with and learning from others.

I’ll be honest about one more thing. I took this course, more for the experience of being in a MOOC, not as much for the subject or the prospect of getting credit. This was my first experience in such a large course. I wanted to experience it and analyze it from an Instructional Designer’s perspective. I was incredibly curious about how such a course would work, and for the most part it seemed to do just that. Whether it gave use the ‘traditional’ higher-education experience that was academically rigorous is another matter. You could make that age old argument: “It is what you make of it.” While this may apply, I still feel that guidance and feedback from instructors even on a broad scale. On a regular basis would have been more helpful. I did notice a few facilitators really engaging with students in the Twitter and in replies on the forums, but I felt somehow that their feedback wasn’t always there. Or maybe i missed them like I keep missing the Easter Bunny.

Would I do it again? Yes. Would it be as engaging and as much fun as in the #edcmooc course? I’m not sure.

The artefact experience and consuming custom created content

I’ll admit I probably put more into my artefact that I should have. I was dealing with a topic that I feel passionate about and probably didn’t spend enough time killing my darlings. I’m glad that I was able to learn about tools I hadn’t used before for creating content like Prezi or Wallwisher.

As I watched many of the videos outside of the assigned clips I realized how much YouTube has been commercializing content, some of which was not meant have a  home despot ad attached to it. It reminded me that even though we’re creating this content for free, if it’s popular, it’s becoming a commercial vehicle for someone else.

When you share things online whether it’s a quip or a carefully crafted video, you’re providing fuel for the machine. Whether it’s data to be harvested or attractive electronic flypaper (if your creation is ‘good’) you’re still contributing the lucrative value of web-content. This world of free-wheeling sharing may all seem wonderful and open right now, but I wonder how long this will last. Or will people’s expectations and demands for easily accessible content that is ad-free trump the engines that demand ad capital. I’m not sure.

Where do I go from here?

Things I learned about learning from this class:

  • Learning is messy. Thanks to @EleniZazani for the image
  • Learning makes me feel human
  • Learning with others and from them is powerful
  • Learning may not bring us to utopia, but it may help us get there
  • Cultures need to continue to put a higher value on lifelong learning

I still have links to use, and tools to learn as time permits. I want to use sort my Pearl Trees and really use Storify. I want to explore every tool or website I bookmarked or favorited. And as I wrap this up I realize that I’ll probably still be learning from this course three months from now.

 

Learning is Messy. Moocing is messy too

Image by @EleniZazani

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