Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Slow down, smell the roses

Happy New Year to all!

2012 was, as most people might argue, the year of the MOOC.  While the xMOOC (coursera, udaciy, edX, and Canvas Network) enjoyed most of the limelight, some traditional MOOCs (cMOOC) have also gotten some notice with the publication of research articles. One of the things that really took me by surprise was the massive amount of coverage that MOOCs got from everywhere! It went from me being able to keep track of MOOC comings and goings; through the research literature coming in in drips and drabs, and some blog posts, to me having to save articles for later mulling over! Truly amazing! That said, I have not read all of those articles, and I do want to write a year-end-review position paper on MOOCs and Higher Education based on that primary material.  If someone is interested in co-researching and co-authoring let me know :-)

This past year is also when I tried my first few xMOOCs (through coursera).  Before the year ended I also created accounts on edX, Udacity and Canvas Network and signed up for some courses so I can explore those platforms as well.  These platforms are pretty interesting when comparing them to the traditional LMS. One thing I noticed, in the current course I am following on Logic, titled Think Again, is that there is no facility in coursera to give students a quiz, but have the system randomly pick from a variety of candidates for that quiz.  So, if I wanted to teach a course, and have a Quiz, and if I wanted to give my learners opportunities to be assessed on that material multiple times (if they did badly on the quiz the first go around) but not allow them to do the same quiz twice, that facility does not exist. The creators of think again got around this by creating many visible quizzes for each week, and you only need to satisfactorily pass one of them.

The other thing I personally learned, was that I need to stop and smell the roses every now and again ;-)  I was taking a quiz for Week 2 in this course, but I didn't have time to finish it. My previous schema for online quizzes is that of the timed quiz, and if you don't finish in a specific time frame, your attempt is an automatic fail for unanswered questions. That said I started a quiz, but feeling tired, I elected to randomly choose answers to complete it - despite the fact that I could easily save my answers and come back to it later.  Needless to say, I didn't do quit so well in this quiz ;-)  I did slightly better on the second attempt, but I need improvement.  The one thing I observed is that when you have robograding for assessments (and that's your exclusive method of assessment), you need to  provide really good explanations as to why the answer was incorrect, and, if you can't take that quiz again, reveal the answer, and explain why it's correct.

That said, this course is quite enjoyable, and the instructors are quite the character.

Now...back to working on my course!
blog comments powered by Disqus