Sunday, June 22, 2014

The calm before the storm

xkcd comic from xkcd.com

Being in my last few days of summer vacation for this summer, I've started thinking about all the things I have to do, and want to do, in my professional and school life. August is drawing nearer, and I have to buy some plane tickets to Edmonton, and also book a hotel room for my stay during the orientation week for my EdD program. I am excited, yet a bit "freaked out"; not the right word, hence it being in quotes, but it is in the ballpark. The unknown is something that makes me uneasy, but at the same time I know that I'll learn a lot, meet new and interesting people, and have fun while at it.

The one thing that dawned on me was this thought: can I still MOOC while I am taking part in a degree program? I started MOOCing back in 2011 partly because I was done with formal school (where I could get a degree for doing a course of study) and I wanted to continue learning. Going back to school means at I will most likely have to cut out some activities in order to properly manage my time. Luckily my train commute to work (2.5 to 3 hours per weekday) does provide me with ample time to read and brainstorm on activities. I've prepared quite a few conference posters, conference presentations, and proofread a lot of papers while on the train.

The wildcard is the MOOC. I've been looking at my coursera, EdX, eliademy and futurelearn lists of courses I am interested in and over the next academic year (September to May) I've got at least 15 courses. I am thinking to myself and wondering if I can keep on MOOCing while doing school work. I guess my plan of attack will be to continue on MOOCing (it is a planned dissertation topic anyway) and then axe MOOCs that would be low on my "completion list" if I need more time.

I am wondering how other doctoral students are balancing their school commitments with their side learning project commitments. If you are (or were) a doctoral student, share your thoughts :-). I know that when I ws pursuing my last 2 masters degrees (concurrently) I basically blocked everything else out pretty much, except for some Sloan-C workshops.

 

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