Thoughts, writing & snippets

Marguerite Koole, PhD

Summertime MOOC and (non-alcoholic) mojitos on the backyard deck

mkoole, · Categories: Events, Research · Tags: ,

Now, this is the life. I’ve decided to try the MOOC experience. I am literally sitting in the shade of my umbrella on my deck sipping mint-lime juice (Damascus-style) all the while listening to Dave Cormier’s and Jason Rhode’s intro videos to eduMOOC 2011. I can hear the birds crunching on the birdseed in the feeder not 20 feet away whilst my own reflection is glaring back at me in my shiny monitor. (Shiny monitor = a bit of an oversight in my last computer purchasing experience.)

I am most impressed with the videos so far. The audio is very clear, and the videos are nicely scripted. It is fun to watch the animated drawings. Engaging. I need engaging. To tell you the truth they are just what I needed to get oriented—as well as a stimulus to my starting to write blog messages about the experience.

Now, what might interfere with my blogging about eduMOOC?

  1. My normal inclination to stop part-way through a MOOC. I half-heartedly tried it before, and came up with numerous reasons why I didn’t pursue it more steadily. (These reasons will be listed here—in this very same list—a bit self-referential, no?)

  2. I am a bit busy. My research ethics is pretty much approved at all research locations. I must start soliciting participants for my initial pilot study. And, I must re-examine my survey and interview questions. This is a big deal and takes priority over the MOOC.

  3. I have at least 10 brand new books piled on my desk. I am dying to crack the spines and render them un-returnable.

  4. I have countless journal articles piled up *everywhere*.

  5. I have to manage contractors at the house.

  6. I want to enjoy the non-academic aspects of my life—my not-yet-neglected husband being one of them.

  7. I am going to have quite a lot of marking for the course I am teaching this summer, MDDE 615. Final assignments will be coming towards the end of July.

  8. I’m sure there are more reasons. With more time, I could write a litany of reasons why I could drop out of the MOOC.

So, the videos suggest that I focus. What is it I want to accomplish? I want to experience the MOOC. Hmmm. Yes, sounds a wee bit general. Well, at the very least I want to be present for the presentations. I plan to take notes during the presentations and blog about them.

Notoriously, I get bored during online presentations. When that happens, I start checking email, doing other work, and by the end of the presentation, I have no idea what was said. Sometimes I don’t even realize that the presentation is over. (Yes, people, if your name does not disappear from the interface when the synchronous session is over, they’re on to you!) But, taking notes forces me to focus. Blogging, forces me to think about the notes. Comments posted to my blog help me consider different perspectives.

Before blogging more, I’m going to surf the eduMOOC site a little more to see if there are other things that I will want to accomplish through participation.

Must go crush more mint for my lime juice.