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?
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 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
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.