Monday, April 22, 2013

Language MOOCing

This past week, crazy events in Boston aside, two new MOOCs began: LTMOOC, on Blended Language Teaching, and the Phonetics and Phonology MOOC from the Virtual Linguistics Campus at the University of Marburg.  The Edx course on the Ancient Greek Hero took a hiatus week to allow people to catch up.  I am still sticking to the Ancient Greek Hero course, and I did try to catch up with the scrolls, a secondary reading that's meant to be "fast reading," but apparently I am not fast enough (I seem to be taking my time).  In any case, my strategy for the Edx course is to read the main reading, and participate in the course, and worry about the scrolls later.

As far as the language MOOCs go, I decided to stick only with the Phonetics MOOC.  Blended learning is something that I already know about since I am an instructional designer, and given my applied linguistics background I can put 1 + 1 together; so with limited time and resources I opted to just keep an eye out on the LTMOOC.  It would be interesting to talk to the Instremia guys at some point, but I don't need a MOOC for it. 

The phonetics MOOC, thus far, is pretty interesting.  I've been interested in the topic for a while, and now the opportunity to learn a bit more, in a novel way.  The interesting thing about this MOOC is that it really brings me back to around 2001 when I was taking online workshops through ICIA and getting my CTS certification. The user interface, the teaching style, and the exercises really are a throwback to those old days of self-paced learning. 

Don't get me wrong, I really like the subject (which means I am highly motivated), and as an instructional designer now I get to see this setup with a new pair of eyes, but the learning experience is a solitary one.  There are forums, but they are not really well integrated with the course.  All of the learning modules are available from the start (which is a nice plus!), so learners can proceed at this own pace.  For example, the recommended pacing means that we should be on Module 1, but I am already on Module 3. Who knows, maybe I will complete this MOOC before I leave for vacation :)

More on the MOOC learning experience as the modules progress.
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