24 June 2013

SIGOL Forum: Connect, Collaborate, and Create with a MOOC

This is a panel format, where several people share their learned lessons. 

Tom Woodward - Ds106.com has already been mentioned. @mishelleyb and I have talked about that. It's a place that aggregates using RSS feeds. Students create assignments or choose a Pre-made assignment. Use tags to aggregate and see what others have done. A student created a radio show. It also contains a remix machine which will take two assignments and mix them. Also students have created a "best of" where students showed other students' work. 

Unknown presenter name - university gave grants for game-based learning. Looking at the meta-idea of what online communities look like, what discussions look like, and how this learning can "morph into a guild of educators." Lurkers use social network knowledge construction as a way of learning. Just lurking is a way to get the basics and begin to understand. Badges are a way for people who are over achievers to get what they need when they complete EVERY assignment. 

Unknown presenter - international MOOCs being used in emerging markets (limited) but heavily in higher Ed and some are for credit. Emerging markets do not put as much credibility into online degrees as established markets. Business world thinks this is new. But it's constructivist style learning. MOOCs are not as valued now for what they are doing, but more for how they are CHANGING education. 

Unknown presenter - many in education think that the MOOC is a "sky is falling" kind of mentality. 
However, his main point is the constructivist vs Stanford model (connectivist). There is defined content, but the connections made are more important. Khan Academy has delivered >300 million lessons. How do we build a MOOC that attracts students?
Chunk the information 10 minute videos with inline quiz (engages, not grading) requires students to check understanding. Also offers feedback. Cannot proceed w/o "getting it". Informal presence of the instructor. Think about the "lesson" module in Moodle. There must be deadlines. 

Shifted into breakout sessions - I followed Tom Woodard. How does this thing work? Must be open to change because this will evolve over time. The fact remains that we have a group of people who are engaged in something about which they are passionate. What if our OIT were a MOOC which was done as a cohort? The current group is creating content for future groups. That OIT is a free course anyway. We are using people who may or may not be right for online teaching. If they finish, great. If not, they don't teach. This needs to be something done in conjunction with other CCCU schools. 

One interesting idea of this is that these things can snowball and become much larger than the original intent. Sometimes there is a "creative-spiraling" where assignments get remixed. Students work hard when they see other's work and make it until they get it to the point at which THEY are satisfied. Not the point at which the minimum standard of mastery is met. Tom is self-described as "kind of fringy."

At this point I was supposed to switch tables, but I stayed. I'm interested in what this looks like from both the student and the admin side. Tom keeps referring to the "hippy Montessori" style of learning. The big idea here is to write on your own blog/place and tag it and its aggregated to the course through the RSS feed. The other big idea is to have students pitch assignment ideas. They become the course designers. These ideas then trigger ideas in others. This can lead to the "spiral of creativity" alluded to earlier. 

Linear learning is the fastest path, but is it the best? The less structured learning is slower, but maybe it's better? Are each useful in different situations? It seems the less structured way is good for specialization, while structure is more content driven, i.e. mat leave with "these basic skills."  

Big ideas: the things that yield the greatest results require the greatest risks. AND you must be prepared to fail. You must be willing to risk. How does this play out in a K-12 environment? What one person can achieve might not be possible in EVERY place. Work within your boundaries but push those boundaries to advance students' learning. 

Great thoughts. Interesting session. A whole lot to chew on. 

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