Saturday, October 27, 2012

Coursera mLearning fail

The other day, seeing that there were a couple of videos in the HCI that were available. Since I didn't have time to watch them during lunch, and as established coursera has no offline viewing for their courses, I decided to try my luck with the iPhone while commuting.

Since I do use coursera, and I do watch videos on my iPad when I am at home from time to time (on wifi), it would make sense that I would be able to do the same on my iPhone. Thus with 20 minutes left in my commute, and two 17 minute videos to watch, it seemed like a no-brainer. Well, the image I got was the image on he right, in plain English: video not playable.

What gives? This can't possibly be a technology constraint, so it must be a course design and delivery constraint. It reminds me of the continuing discussion (well, a series of post in actuality) thinking about the constraints that LMS/CMS design place on teaching and learning, based on the assumptions that go into designing an LMS. It seems to me that coursera designers (platform designers) envisioned learners with butts in seats, in front of computers, as if they were in some sort of virtual lecture. The design consideration doesn't seem to be inclusive of other ways of consuming content; and yes, learners consume content ;-) we need to get rid of this negative association that surrounds consumption (more on this on a later post). Learners don't just consume learning content in front of a compute, in the office or on the laptop while sitting on the sofa, but they consume content, even learning content, while commuting or working on something around the house, like gardening. Course content design and delivery needs to evolve in order to keep up with this.


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