MOOC’s

Recently I was reading about learning trends for 2014 and I came across the following article: http://www.clomedia.com/articles/5644-three-trends-shaping-learning .  To save you some time, they mentioned that three trends they see shaping learning are:

  1. MOOCs
  2. Digital badges
  3. Competency-based learning

I thought today I would blog about MOOC’s as I recently completed a course on Gamification through the site Coursera.

First of all – what is a MOOC?.  Acorrding to Wikipedia, a Massive Open Online Course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs).  I am going to use the course I mentioned above I took through Coursera to explain my experience.

The Gamification course was 10 weeks in length where each week you had to watch a lecture (usually broken into 8-10 pieces) that was about 1-1.5 hours each week.  The grading was as follows:

  • 4 Homework Quizzes (multiple choice) — 35% of final grade
  • 3 Written Assignments (peer assessed) — 5%, 10%, and 20%, for a total of 35% of final grade
  • Final Exam (multiple choice, covering the entire course with emphasis on the second half) — 30% of final grade

During the 10 weeks, there were also discussion forums available for people to ask questions and participate (there were10,953 total discussion board posts), plus some Google + Hangouts with the Professor.  I found it to be a great experience…and slightly odd to be in something so “massive”.  Here are some statistics from the course.

  • 78,000 registered participants
  • 46% said it was their first MOOC
  • Student Demographics:
    • 169 countries represented (US = 24%)
    • 62% male
    • 77% working or otherwise not in school
    • 83% have a university degree; 43% have an advanced degre
  • 51,341(66% of registrants) accessed the course
  • 4,510 (5.8% of registrants) scored 70+ (which is higher than the average for MOOC’s on 4-5%)

Although at the end of the day 5.8% passed, this is a higher score than the average 3-5%.  But this course was free, available to anyone (though the course was only offered in English), and pretty informative.  And really, after 10 weeks, over 4,000 people completed all the lectures, assignments, tests and passed the course.  Pretty impressive looking at it that way.

BTW – in case you were wondering, I was one of the 4,510 that passed the course. 😉

Overall, it was a positive experience for me and I would take another one in the future.

So, anyone else here take a MOOC?  Or want to take one?

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