Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.0 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCWe’re off … not quite! The Coursera and University of Edinburgh MOOC on “E-learning and Digital Cultures” starts next week, although with all the chatter surrounding it you’d think it’s well under way already (good publicity?).

The contact we’ve had from the organisers in the run up to the start of the MOOC (and I was able to speak to Jeremy Knox briefly at the Durham Blackbord Users’ Conference) has been really good, via emails and Twitter (my main two channels of contact) and I’ve had the ability to interact with the organisers and fellow students on the various social network platforms that have had areas set up (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Google Maps) – to be honest I’d prefer to choose just one to concentrate on, I already feel like I’m being pulled in different directions.

I will not be joining the Facebook group as I use Facebook  purely for family & friends – I keep work and Ed Tech passion to Google+, Twitter, and here on my blog.

Considering the fact I hear that the MOOC has upwards of 36,000 people signed up for it I think it’s be prudent and very sensible to concentrate on your preferred platform (Twitter, Google+, etc) as well as the Coursera platform, and stick there otherwise it’ll be too difficult to keep up to date with what is going on.

I have also added my blog RSS feed to the ‘EDC MOOC News’ feed so this post, and any others with the #edcmooc hashtag in the title will be on the participant blog list.

So, the ‘course’ will be divided into two ‘blocks’ of content, each block will be two weeks long and “consider a key theme emerging from popular and digital culture”:

  • 1st block: “utopia and dystopia”
  • 2nd block: “being human in a digital age”

I’m looking forward to creating my ‘digital artefact’ for the final week, and submitting it for peer review (no idea what that’ll be about, but it should be good!). This artefact needs to be “designed to be experienced digitally, on the web. It should therefore contain a mixture of text, image, sound, video, or links, and be easy to access and view online.”

PS. If you’re doing the MOOC, don’t forget to set up and complete your Coursera profile – here’s mine!

How have you found the hype of MOOCs (in general) and the run-up to the EDC MOOC? What are you most looking forward to in this MOOC – the course and content or the pedagogy behind the MOOC, the learning resources, and Coursera?

Here are links to the other pages that will form the series of posts on the Coursera MOOC:

  • Hi David, I have enjoyed your twitter posts. I see you have looked at some numbers, Andy Mitchell posted on fb with some stats about how many were actually active on these platforms, but he removed the post when some people had less than favourable reactions. A shame, I hope he reposts it because I’d be keen to know how our early participation correlates with completion rates at the end. And I’m not inclined to do the maths on it myself, he likes that stuff! I’m looking forward to course content now, and just quietly observing pedagogy and student engagement o the side!

    • Hi Angela – I’d certainly be interested in the figures once the course has been completed – how many sign-up, how many started, and how many dropped out (and when), and how many completed.

      All the best, David

      • willa Ryerson

        Hi David, What’s this about setting up a Coursera profile? Please advise. Some of us in the early “over achiever group” have been wondering how the course developers will accomplish peer reviews. How will we be divided into groups, will there be large forums,what’s the criteria used for peer reviews and evaluations?
        Lots of questions before the course even begins. Willa

        • Hi Willa – have you logged in to the Coursera website? If so, click the little arrow next to your name (top-right of the screen) and select the ‘profile’ option. There’s little you can do but it’s a start, and I don’t know how these details will relate to the course and what we do on the Coursera platform, but it’s a start?

          All the best, David

      • Andrea

        HiI David, I have been reading your post, not having so much time to engage in all the different platforms suggested by the Cousera team and also the ones created by the participants/ students, I find it a bit overwhelming .So I DO hope it all clears up once the course has started, because I really want to complete the course and dont get infoxicated in the way, All the best and thanks for the input

        • Hi Andrea – I hgope it’ll become clearer too, but if not I’ll just have to limit myself to my notes, my blog reflection posts (this is the first, expect one per week .. hopefully!), Twitter and maybe a little foray into G+. I think that’s all I’m going to have time for.

          Good luck, speak soon.

          All the best, David

  • Chris Swift

    Hi David, the pedagogy behind the MOOC has been interesting to me. How people have interacted thus far, how groups have formed, how people have reacted, what I/we have been learning so far (or not) , how people at different tecchy levels, access to interent have fared etc etc. This particular MOOC is also about the tools its been using, so it’s been quite meta in some ways, as another student pointed out. I am most interested in how people have been seeing little ideas from other people and trying it out themselves. With thousands of people on the course that has the potential to be very powerful. And for or some people this will be their first exposure to a PLN like this. I’m also as equally fascinated by the more abstract concepts of the course too!

    • Hi Chris – like you I’ll be looking at both the content AND how it’s presented/structured on Coursera. It looks to be a good course anyway but getting the insight into two very powerful organisations in eLearning (Coursera and University of Edinburgh) is a bonus.

      Let’s just hope I can dedicate the time needed to get through the course and not fall at any of the hurldes along the way.

      All the best, David

  • Roger Heaton

    Dear David,

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and thanks for many informative and useful posts, in fact I signed up for this MOOC after reading your post back in July. My reasons are the same – to learn something of course but also to see how they do it. I teach in a university and use a great deal of tech for teaching and assessment. We move ever nearer to distnace learning particularly in post grad courses hence my interest in this. It’ll be useful to follow your comments as we go – I had hoped to do something similar if I have time. My not very good and often neglected blog is here:

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