N°5- Moocs

What is a Mooc? I had no idea until this was introduced in my Technology and learning session a few weeks ago. I quickly looked it up and learned that is it

“an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.”

(“Massive Open Online Course”)

A free course that anyone can take online… imagine the possibilities for learning? I learned that the first MOOC emerged from a movement by Dave Cormier of the University of PEI. Considering I am from Canada and in education one would assume I would have heard of it. I was then intrigued, can this online platform of free education really work?

We were asked to investigate this by taking a Mooc ourselves. I decided to do something that was completely foreign to me, “Dog emotion and Cognition.” The reason being my dog walker had recently quit because of my unruly bulldog. So I set off to learn about her emotion and cognition and hopefully improve her behaviour as a result. The course was through a Coursea platform. I found the layout of this very easy to follow and user friendly. See image below:

On the left hand side were the individual lessons that you could click on and every week there was a quiz to complete to get to the next week. You received email reminders of the upcoming quizzes so you could stay on top of the lessons. The lessons were taught via an uploaded video. See below:

This for me was engaging enough to keep me interested. The tutor compared dogs with other animals and explained what cognition was. I however lost interest after two weeks. The reasons for this were mostly due to the lack of free resources available. The course was based on a book written by the tutor which I did not want to purchase and to test my own dogs cognition alongside the course material I would have had to purchase a app called “Dognition.” Whist they offered two free dognition activities, the rest needed to be purchased for 19 dollars, something I was not willing do when the course was advertised as free. I also lost interest due to the lack of community, none of the other students communicated with each other. Perhaps had we been able to discuss our own experience with the material present I would have stayed on to finishing the five weeks.

I would not say my Mooc experience is negative despite me not completing. The coursea platform has inspired me to look at creating something in a similar layout for resource sharing with my students. I have also really understood the importance of community amongst the students and would like to create a platform that can bring a sense a community through this resource sharing.

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