I’ve been thinking about the pace of MOOCs, and then got bent on a track to make the animated GIF from one of my all time epic movies. The later thought was that this actually applies to any course, and of course a course (Wilbur, where are my oats?) has to have a schedule.
But… it is the pace of a MOOC which creates the pressure when one cannot keep up with the rowing. I felt that having really missed the start of moocmooc over the weekend while I was offline at Unplugd12
And if we are not quite the super hero that is Number 41?
Of course, nothing stops me from jumping in late to Moocmooc and from tweets I can see people are doing interesting creative work. so I am not bashing the effort at all. I am the fail point here.
Once again I SUBDNSU (Signed Up BUt Did Not Show Up). You see, as Stephen Downes had pointed out a few weeks ago, in a course where one is not putting down tuition dollars and the process for getting accepted is clicking the button, one really has not much commitment on the table.
I am more wondering about the fixed pace of open courses as being a challenging hurdle for those opting in. It seems almost a set up for the term I think does not truly apply anyhow– dropout.
As the commander increases the pace from battle speed to ramming speed, who else by Charlton Heston in his most buff days could keep up? I’m not even the dude who fell over clutching his heart, I did not even pick up the oars.
And that is my fault, not the MOOCs.
So I wonder, is the one speed driving the boat the nest way? I am not sure, for how else do you get the communal effect if people are not doing the same work at the same time? Yet this is the base model- one pace for everyone in the boat. The pace for most MOOCs seem like a regular drum beat- every week, every week, every week (though the CodeAcademy ones are set more for self-paced).
I would maintain that ds106 is one that can be dipped in and out of or sampled in different order, without that sense of “missing out”– though one could say the main course has the drum beat of the course at University of Mary Washington. Today I was just brainstorming with Jim Groom how we might take the UMW syllabus and generate a generic one that anyone joining at anytime could pick up their own pace (or someone teaching a course could model theirs around). The “work” always ends up being aggregated into the Assignment bank and that can happen at any time
Like I said (or maybe meant to say) — I am just full of questions, not answers.
I will leak that I am toying with a new variant of an open learning experience. This is in the less than half baked category.
If I say I am going to teach a course, it means of course (of course), that I know the content or the material or the topic and bring it to you as participanst.
Let’s say instead, I were to set up a process where I might say, “I do not know how to do ______ (a topic, skill)” who wants to spend ________ (amount of time) learning it with me? So not me as teacher, but a group as learning something in parallel.
The process might be:
- Define the thing to be learned, what I would be able to demonstrate at the end as my “work”. Yours might be similar, it need not be the same, but similar. That’s up to you
- Identify people that have skills, experience in the area, or resources to rely on
- Outline the steps needed to accomplish it, and the needs/materials required
- Complete the steps
- Produce a prototype
- Get feedback and refine
- Call it done
So the outcome would be both a process and my own product. Now my first thoughts are to something technical- I know one thing I have wanted to do is build a web based creative writing tool that would leverage the content form a twitter account, and I would want it so people could tweet content to that account to be included. The thing to learn would be how to use the twitter API to gather the content, and wrap it into my own kind of site.
Or another thing I have wanted to take on is leraning how to do one of those data fetch/python magic/gephi generation of data visualizations that Tony Hirst does.
Or maybe it is something like learning how to bake a cake.
Is this viable? Sensible? Is it any different from the Roman ship?
Still the pace of these course IMHO bears some consideration.