Sunday, August 12, 2012

MOOCMOOC: the micro-mooc

Well, MOOCMOOC starts today, and while #change11 was an experiment in the massiveness of a MOOC both in terms of registered users and in terms of length (36 weeks), MOOCMOOC seems to be an experiment in how small a MOOC can be.
I heard about the MOOC from the usual suspects, and while I do have my doubts about MOOCMOOC, I signed up (a glutton for punishment? Or curious soul? You decide). The point of MOOCMOOC is to explore what a MOOC is, in thir own words:

In this week-long experimental online course, we'll be investigating exactly what it means to participate in, create, and even envision a MOOC (massive open online course). We'll be questioning what a MOOC is, how useful this educational format can be, and the new and innovative opportunities toward which it points.

The daily topics include:

  • discussing/brainstorming about what a MOOC is ("a mooc by any other name" type of thing)

  • xMOOC, cMOOC an communities of learning

  • pedagogy, and pedagogy in MOOCs

  • learning outcomes and assessment in MOOCs

  • your plans for your own MOOC

  • reflections in learning

Don't get me wrong, I think that these are important topics to explore, theorize and test, but a micro-MOOC doesn't seem to be the right format. First, as Rebecca pointed out, you really need time to actually read, reflect and post (and have others read, reflect and post about what you posted). The time allowed for each topic is barely enough to read and reflect, much less have a meaningful conversation and debate about the topic.
It seem, to me, that this μMOOC (micro MOOC) is built around the workshop model, where there is a subject matter expert at th helm who directs and supervises a highly intensive learning experience (although very rarely have I gotten a ton out of highly compact workshops, personally speaking). This, to me anyway, seems fundamentally oppositional to what MOOCs are. We'll see!
The final fly in the ointment seems to be timing. Let's assume that we can get all these things done, it's almost th beginning of the semester (or the school year if you are in K-12). People who are the audience for this MOOC are busy and probably don't have the time to make this MOOC as successful as it could be.
I think this MOOC may be the first MOOC where is am going in as a lurker. :-)

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