The title of this post bets on two things: 1. that you know what a MOOC is and 2. that you are familiar with Limp Bizkit’s outstanding (yeah, that’s sarcasm) 1999 song “Nookie.”
If you don’t know Nookie, you can check it out on YouTube.
If you don’t know what a MOOC is, well, that take a bit more explaining. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. It is just what it sounds like: an online course that is free (open) and huge. I enrolled in a Gamification course through Coursera and there were over 76,000 people enrolled. That’s not a typo. There were over Seventy-Six Thousand people enrolled in this course. It was insane.
Some schools are betting on MOOCs as the next big thing and it seems that almost every school is getting into the MOOC “business.” While I can certainly see them as a marketing tool, I don’t see a lot of quality learning going on. Now, in the interest of full disclosure I did not fulfill the requirements to “complete” the course. I didn’t feel like submitting my work for “peer review” or answering a bunch of questionably relevant quizzes. From an instructional design standpoint, the course was not exactly a shining pinnacle either. What I did was watch the videos, read the course materials, view the links, etc. I followed my learning path based on what the instructor (who didn’t instruct the course, so I guess he was more the course designer) suggested.
I was also enrolled in Coursera’s course on Best Instructional Design Practices for Online Learning. You might have heard about this one as well. It was so poorly planned that they cancelled it within a matter of days. Yes, the course that was supposed to show others the best ways to set up and deliver online courses had so little forethought that none of the assignments worked and they had to kill it.
I’ve been enrolled in some other MOOCs and, honestly, I’ve not completed them. I have the interest, I have the desire, but the courses just aren’t for me. While the huge hype about MOOCs certainly seems to be dying down, they are still big news: California is looking at a bill that would offer credit for MOOCs.
So, after doing some research, investigation and, yes, playing, I’m not a fan of MOOCs. But don’t get me started with badges. Okay, do get me started! Look for my next post to be on badges.