Archive for the ‘OcTEL MOOC’ Category

One of my reasons for participating in this MOOC was to provide me with an opportunity to ‘catch up’ with some of the Literature and resources available around TEL so I thought I would look at some of the resources for week 0. I started with the short video by Dave Cormier on What is a MOOC? This was a useful introduction to what a MOOC is and I can see that it would be useful to use to refer staff to who have read about MOOCs but are not sure what they are. I particularly liked the fact that this definition talks about the MOOC as ‘a networked’ environment. The fact that you can choose what ‘success’ is for a participant is a different way of thinking for academics. That said I struggle with this approach to learning – maybe this is a reflection of my age (or is it my learning style ) that I prefer the route to ‘what I need to do’ to be set out for me and I experience a sense of achievement being able to ‘tick off’ what I have done. One of the most surprising things to me is that I find the concept of obtaining badges a motivator. I did not expect this to be the case, I have no background in ‘gaming’ and collecting rewards.

I then went on to look at Dave Cormier’s 20 questions and answers. I thought there were some interesting posts on this especially the point where he states ‘I wouldn’t suggest MOOCs are for everyone’ – maybe this means MOOCs are not for me? He then goes on to say that motivation is the key. I like to think I am motivated to learn (I have already completed 2 MOOCs). The end comment of this Blog is what I found most thought provoking when he states ‘why do we teach’ and responds that he teaches “to support peoples ability to deal with uncertainty – MOOCs work for that”.

On reflection one of the reasons I chose to undertake this particular MOOC was because I struggle with this concept of learning. I find it difficult to participate in face to face groups and the idea that this Blog is ‘public’ fills me with fear. However, I am going to continue with this MOOC and reflecting on my learning – who knows by the end of this MOOC I may have changed my mind. I have joined 2 groups and although I have not posted anything yet I am enjoying reading about other peoples experiences – maybe I am already starting to change my views…



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As the header of my Blog indicates I am relatively new to my post as a Learning Technologist in a higher education insitution but I would not have taken this career change (after 12 years as a professional Librarian) if I did not believe that technology can be used to support learning. However, I am not an advocate of technology for its own sake – the learning must come first. I read a recent post on Steve Wheelers blog around this topic which I found very interesting . I do not feel comfortable when staff indicate that they want to use technology because paper is old fashioned or they feel pressured to use technology but have not really thought about why they are using it. For me it is more about ‘Blended Learning’ with the ‘blend’ being described by Garrison and Vaughan (2008) as the ‘thoughtful integration’ of online and face to face teaching.

I was unable to attend the week 0 webinar ‘live’ but I listened to the recording of the webinar which reassured me that it was natural to feel overwhelmed but to set out with some key questions/objectives.  One of these for me is to write regular blog posts about the course as I set up this Blog some years ago but never felt brave enough to use it. I also wanted to have experience of learning online. Supporting TEL is my job so I am keen to learn more from other peoples experiences. If this helps me to move forward with my goal of CMALT that would be good as well.


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I am a bit apprehensive having signed up to the OcTEL MOOC as there seems so much going on in different forums. Having read some of the advice what I need to do next is plan what I want to get from this course. Having set up a wordpress Blog sometime ago I thought my first step for this MOOC would be to use it!

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