#EDCMOOC getting ready for kick off

EDCMOOCAlong with over 40,000 others I’ve signed up for the eLearning and Digital Cultures (EDC) MOOC being run by the University of Edinburgh under the Coursera brand of xMOOCs.  I signed up for this MOOC months ago, when it was first announced that Edinburgh had joined Coursera.

I’ve dipped in and out of other MOOCs over the past few years and online learning groups before the term MOOC came into being.  There are one or two of these that I’ve completed, like the Google Power Searching course, others I’ve just lurked on, joined in some webinar sessions or joined in the conversations around the MOOC hashtags on Twitter.  The big issue for me with MOOCs that I’ve tried to engage with is time, invariably in the evenings I end up doing bits of work or I’m away for meetings for a few days and then having to catch up with emails.  Hopefully I will have time to complete this MOOC.

I signed up for the EDCMOOC partly out of curioisity but also beacuse I’m hoping to learn a few things which will be help me in my role as elearning lead in the School of Medicine. I’m hoping that the course and my personal experience as a participant will give me food for thought and insight into how we can continue to apply and use technology to enhance the learning experience for our students.

Unlike other Coursera MOOCs the EDCMOOC is being run more as a cMOOC than xMOOC.  II’m curious as to how this develops and works with over 40,000 participants.  There are some familiar faces from the UK HIgher Education and it will be interesting to see if these are the individuals that I have most interaction with.  There’s a Facebook group for the MOOC, and like David Hopkins I won’t be using this.  I’ve joined the Google+ community and will be following the #edcmooc conversation on Twitter.  Based on the level of traffic in the G+ community before the course has even started this could become a bit overwhelming.  I’m wondering whether individuals will create circles as the course goes on to try and engage in meaningful conversations.

As we get ready for the EDCMOOC to kick off later tonight there are a few things that I’ve started thinking about including:

  • I wonder if some particpants are feeling overwhelmed before they’ve started?  This MOOC is not a typical video lecture style Coursera MOOC.  Reading some of the posts in the G+ community it’s clear that blogging, Twitter and G+ is new to many on the EDCMOOC.  In the #MOOCMOOC that ran a few weeks ago some similarly struggled with this approach as they weren’t used to it.
  • With over 40,000 people signed up how do you find the people you’d really like to connect with?  #MOOCMOOC was run in Canvas (which is a nice VLE by the way) and everyone had a profile and was invited to post a welcome message, the numbers were such that you could browse through these and start a conversation.  It strikes me that it would be helpful to have some sort of tagging system on course profiles that allowed you to find people working in a similar field or with similar interests.  For example I’d be keen to see who else in doing the MOOC that works in medical education.
  • If MOOCS are really the future of higher education would enrolling for a MOOC like this be overwhelming for a young student?  Maybe not, but I’ve blogged before about whether our students have the necessary learning and digital skills to develop personal learning networks. I’m still not sure they all do.

So it’s time to MOOC and hopefully I’ll have the time to keep up with it and keep posting.