Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Better Outlines - Increase in Learner Success

OK, so it's week two of ChangeMOOC and I am looking at  the Course Outline which points me to a Google Spreadsheet. I see that the topic this week is Mobile Learning (über-cool!) and I am asked to go to another page where supposedly I will have access to some content, activities, and other things that one would expect in a learning module.  Now there are two problems here:

(1) Too many clicks:
Perhaps I am spoiled from CCK11, but CCK11 was much more organized in terms of content.  The Course Outline page for CCK11 gives you links to each weekly module, and each module in turn has recommended readings, viewings, and activities. So, to get from MOOC homepage, to content it's two clicks.  In contrast, Change is three clicks to get to the guest host's blog/webpage/CMS, and then it depends how deeply the content is buried.

(2) Clear content postings per week.
Now, future weeks may fix this problem, but this week the problem is the same as EduMOOC: where's my content?  As soon as one goes to the mobile learning blog, all there is there is the blog page.  You don't have any indication of what is a #change11 blog post, and what is not; there are no seeding questions that I can discern, and there are no readings for Change11.  There are approximately 100 blog posts, but do we read all of them? Just the ones that are interesting? Anything in particular to impart?

I think structure does go a long way toward increasing learner success (don't ask me to cite anything because I don't have anything on hand - I am sure I can find something though ;-)  ) - therefore I think that a more functional course outline is a great first step for ChangeMOOC. The second step is to make sure that weekly facilitators have something tangible for people to do or read before participating in the weekly discussion.  People can elect to go off the beaten path, but only if a beaten path exists.  If there is no path, some people will sit and have a picknick, others will form groups (protection in numbers) and others will wonder around (or wonder off!)
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