I’ve been thinking a fair bit about the EDCMOOC course that was delivered through Coursera and I want to note what I think went right and what could be improved.
Unlike many of the other students, I like messy learning. The sort of thing where you’re overwhelmed with ideas, concepts, thoughts and half-baked ideas, and you muddle through and wrestle with some of the ideas – then pick what you want to focus on, and move forward with that. I wasn’t put off by this approach – it’s a sound pedagogical approach for me, but clearly not everyone is in the same space as I am.
I really, really like Coursera’s peer marking structure (when it works). I would’ve preferred a more robust scale and rubric, as I’m a bit of an easy marker. There were areas that I was stretching for connections to the content, if I had clearer marking objectives, I probably would’ve been able to give better feedback. I don’t think I gave terrible feedback at all, but it would’ve been better had I been able to interpret how the instructors (or facilitators in this case) would’ve liked to see. Again, I know why they chose the path they went down, and I agree with their approach pedagogically, but as a user/student, I needed just a little bit more.
The course has to be considered a success due to the sheer number of resources added to the course – starting out with four videos, and then watching the discussion boards grow with other resources was wild.
I purposefully chose to use other media to contribute, and I’m not sure how successful that approach was – twitter comments I made about the course seemed to be received well; blog posts were less viewed and commented on. I do cultivate my twitter feed much better than my blog, which is a bit sad I suppose. I could’ve pimped my thoughts and ideas through the discussion board (and a good web marketer would’ve probably done that for the positive linkbait it would be) but that felt, well, like a late-night TV commercial… I’m not selling a flowbee or a slapchop, in fact I’m not selling anything.
I was motivated by the piece of paper. I never really thought about it, but I was engaged because of the carrot at the end of the stick. Despite how ultimately worthless another piece of paper is, I wanted it. What can I say? I don’t have enough trophies in my life I guess.
It was interesting to see how many of the people I follow were part of the EDCMOOC – however that didn’t seem to generate any discussion outside of the discussion boards.
I wonder what would happen if all students rejected the peer marking approach. Is that the fault-line that no one will talk about?