A Never Ending MOOC


Can you imagine a MOOC that never ends?
A MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. There are various kinds of MOOCs (cMOOCs, xMOOCs), but they all have a starting and ending date. The Moodle MOOC on WizIQ had a start and ending date, but something went wrong because the ending date changed. Moodle MOOC on WizIQ was scheduled to be a one month event. What happened that caused the learners to want the MOOC to continue?

Ongoing Learning
Learning never stops in the real world. So, why do we expect courses to end? Web technologies now allow learners to continue learning indefinitely, so why not keep courses open? MOOCs allow us to do just that. Moodle MOOC on WizIQ is an example of a free course that is open for anyone to join even after the scheduled dates. The Moodle MOOC on WizIQ took place in June, 2013 with 7 synchronous classes. Additionally, the course environment included two Moodle 2.5 sites (Moodle Experience and Moodle Practice) to enable the participants to engage in the features of the latest Moodle 2.5.

Allowing Learners to Learn
What motivates you to learn? Do you learn because of an exam or test at the end or for other reasons? Research has shown time and time again, that learners want to learn, but do not want to be coerced into it.

Asking Questions
Asking questions and not providing answers is a great motivator for most learners as it allows them to learn on their own or from one another and not just from the teacher. They can go beyond what the teacher and in many cases beyond the course content. For example, the Moodle MOOC includes an interactive Syllabus. Parents can add comments, make suggestions, and ask questions directly on the syllabus for others to view and learn from.

Learners Need Motivation
The results of the hole-in-the-wall experiments by Professor Sugata Mitra seem to indicate that kids will learn if they are provided with engaging activities, they get ongoing encouragement, but they do not get the answers. Spoon feeding does not seem to be a solution to effective learning. In fact, providing students with answers my be a hindrance to learning. Participants of the Moodle MOOC on WizIQ learned from one another as they shared information. However, they had to ask questions to get support from the teacher, one another, or from from the Internet. In addition, members of the course had to create digital artifacts as they explored the content and reflect and share their findings.

Rewards for Learning as Incentives
Everyone likes to be rewarded for doing good deeds. Being rewarded for learning and creating digital artifacts is no different. The participants of the Moodle MOOC were eligible to receive badges and certificates for completing all the tasks of the course. This was a huge incentive and one of the key reasons for the success of the MOOC and motivation to continue learning.

Live Streaming of Professor Mitra’s Presentation on July 26, 2013 in Calcutta, India

Passionate Learners
The participants of the Moodle MOOC on WizIQ didn’t want to stop learning because the course learning activities were socially engaging and fun. Additionally, members of the 3 Moodle Experience courses wanted to qualify for a certificate and get badges. The reasons for extra time to stay on the course included being on holidays, work load, health issues, and a slower pace.

Invited to Learn
You are invited to join the first Moodle MOOC ever on WizIQ at anytime. You can also join blending and flipping your classes with technology and TESOL courses to learn how to engage your students. If you’re an English teacher, you should join the first ELT MOOC in the world on WizIQ with many top presenters organized by Jason R. Levine, Mr. Fluency MC.


Dr. Nellie Deutsch is an education technology and curriculum consultant, faculty at Atlantic University in the MA transpersonal and leadership studies, teacher trainer, researcher, and writer. She organizes Moodle MOOCs and online conferences. She earned her doctorate in education and educational leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix Her dissertation research (available on ProQuest & Amazon) focused on instructor experiences with integrating technology in blended learning contexts in higher education around the world. Nellie offers free teacher training courses on teaching with technology, action research and Moodle for teacher courses to new, veteran, and future teachers who wish to teach online, face-to-face or in blended learning formats. She also provides online courses to teachers and ICT people on how to be administrators of Moodle websites. She integrates Moodle and WizIQ live virtual classes in all her courses.

Comments

  1. tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    A question that’s been bothering me, Nellie.

    What happens to all the fantastic information contained in the MOOC the day it is decided to terminate it?

    Does it just disappear from the “Ether of the Web”, or will you publish your “MOOC Memoirs”?

    I wouldn’t mind doing something like a very large “summary”, but I’m afraid that when someone has been personally involved in a matter they tend to be biased, and may not truthfully reflect the actual contents.

  2. tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    A question that’s been bothering me, Nellie.

    What happens to all the fantastic information contained in the MOOC the day it is decided to terminate it?

    Does it just disappear from the “Ether of the Web”, or will you publish your “MOOC Memoirs”?

    I wouldn’t mind doing something like a very large “summary”, but I’m afraid that when someone has been personally involved in a matter they tend to be biased, and may not truthfully reflect the actual contents.

  3. How do you like to receive information?

  4. How do you like to receive information?

  5. tomhogers Says: August 2, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I am now a professional MOOCER!

    • Maybe you would consider doing a PhD on MOOCs.

      • tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

        Yes Nellie, but I’m afraid I won’t have enough time.

        Currently I’m coursing my second “Expert” course with FATLA which should end in Jan-Feb 2014 when I continue with the “Excellency” course and the PhD at the Caribbean International University in Curazao – all online.

        Anyway, by the time I finish all this I will have “Graduated with flying colours” from all the MOOCs and other courses you’ll have held. Won’t I?

        Thanks a million!

  6. tomhogers Says: August 2, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I am now a professional MOOCER!

    • Maybe you would consider doing a PhD on MOOCs.

      • tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

        Yes Nellie, but I’m afraid I won’t have enough time.

        Currently I’m coursing my second “Expert” course with FATLA which should end in Jan-Feb 2014 when I continue with the “Excellency” course and the PhD at the Caribbean International University in Curazao – all online.

        Anyway, by the time I finish all this I will have “Graduated with flying colours” from all the MOOCs and other courses you’ll have held. Won’t I?

        Thanks a million!

  7. I prefer text + multimedia and my students, too.

  8. I prefer text + multimedia and my students, too.

  9. How do you learn? Do you prefer text + multimedia of some kind or just text? Think of situations where you were unable to remember anything after the lecture, where you remembered what you learned, but you were unable transfer or use what you learned, or meaningful learning, where you had good retention and were able to transfer or use what you learned.

    • I prefer live interaction with the teacher, like on WizIQ, then studying material suggested and doing the assignments. That sounds very traditional, but it works for me! I get lost with too much freedom and then become unmotivated at times. So, my knowledge gaining isn’t continuous in the more free learning environment.

    • Text + multimedia.
      My mind tends to be interested in all that goes on around it and wander, so being engaged helps new things to stick.
      This is why I enjoy so much the ongoing interaction in the MOOC courses: the video, chat box, and presentation all together keeps my mind busy with learning. Being able to watch the recording again, allows me to see new things missed and cements those I remember. This tendency in myself creates and awareness for the need to teach students to be active listeners, and especially so when the teacher may be a little less motivating. Always glad for new ways, and suggestions on how to do this. It is a challenge but involves helping students to be self aware and self advocates in their own learning style; not relying only on the teacher to be responsible for their learning.

    • tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Yes, Nellie. There is so much going on, especially in MOOCs, that it makes it difficult to exactly remember things, or in which context they were seen or heard, or who said what. Thank God for the forums, chats, blogs, Google docs and, of course, the video recordings.

  10. How do you learn? Do you prefer text + multimedia of some kind or just text? Think of situations where you were unable to remember anything after the lecture, where you remembered what you learned, but you were unable transfer or use what you learned, or meaningful learning, where you had good retention and were able to transfer or use what you learned.

    • I prefer live interaction with the teacher, like on WizIQ, then studying material suggested and doing the assignments. That sounds very traditional, but it works for me! I get lost with too much freedom and then become unmotivated at times. So, my knowledge gaining isn’t continuous in the more free learning environment.

    • Text + multimedia.
      My mind tends to be interested in all that goes on around it and wander, so being engaged helps new things to stick.
      This is why I enjoy so much the ongoing interaction in the MOOC courses: the video, chat box, and presentation all together keeps my mind busy with learning. Being able to watch the recording again, allows me to see new things missed and cements those I remember. This tendency in myself creates and awareness for the need to teach students to be active listeners, and especially so when the teacher may be a little less motivating. Always glad for new ways, and suggestions on how to do this. It is a challenge but involves helping students to be self aware and self advocates in their own learning style; not relying only on the teacher to be responsible for their learning.

    • tomhogers Says: August 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Yes, Nellie. There is so much going on, especially in MOOCs, that it makes it difficult to exactly remember things, or in which context they were seen or heard, or who said what. Thank God for the forums, chats, blogs, Google docs and, of course, the video recordings.

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