Immersed and battered by MOOCs

Our discussion has just begun and I’m already feeling more immersed — and just a bit battered — by the world of MOOCs.  The EdX course I wanted to take is announced as beginning “Spring 2013,” but I note other courses have fixed dates assigned already.  When will the course actually start? I don’t know yet, and I have found traces of fruitless inquiries on the net.  Does this mean I’ll need to check every day or will they notify me when my course begins?  This is an unsettling way to begin a course.

Further on the battered side, this unsettling start is NOT as strange as that encountered by participants in a recent (failed) Coursera course on how to design MOOCs.  This was highlighted by Slate here a few days ago in an article  called “Online Class on How To Teach Online Classes Goes Laughably Awry.”  More first person details are here.

This shows another aspect of the wonders of teaching in front of 40,000 students….

Oh my!

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2 Responses to Immersed and battered by MOOCs

  1. Paula Russo says:

    I registered for the EdX course, “Human Health and Global Environmental Change” which was listed as starting in Spring 2013. They have now updated the start date to May 13, a bit late to be useful to our discussion.
    So, while I am waiting for this course to start, I have registered for an introductory statistics course which begins on February 20. I may not learn a new subject but at least will get to see how the subject is presented in this setting.

  2. Sue Denning says:

    This same shifting start date happened to me as well, but not as drastically. I am curious to understand why these shifts happened – was it because course materials weren’t complete? When I first started building online courses, we used to say it was okay for a course to start before the instructor had finished building out all of the individual modules, as long as the instructor was a few weeks ahead of the pace of the course.

    I wonder if Coursera (or the individual institutions) have a requirement that all course materials be complete before the course begins. Also, since these courses are free, I wonder what kind of internal reviews the courses need to go through at their institutions before launching.

    I haven’t researched this at all yet, but if anyone has any insights, please don’t hesitate to satisfy my curiosity!

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