Originally published here.
I chatted with a friend the other day. She participated in the other MOOC I followed end of last of year, ITyPA. She had been, more than me, very involved almost from the beginning by making a very good use of Etherpad-like documents (hosted by Framapad): managing people, succeeding week after week to produce a synthesis of what people had read, wrote about, picked up here and there from past experiences, etc.
When the MOOC ended – last video was shot mid December 2012 – she, along with a few others, decided to capitalyze on what had been produced, not only by themselves but also by others. The point was to go beyond the little community they had built up over the 10 weeks the MOOC lasted.
That MOOC is said to have been a success, the 4 who conducted it, received great reviews from their peers. 3 months after, one can still read articles, every now and then, about it. After all, it was said to be the first MOOC in French.
Why was it a success? I’d say my friend, along with a few others, was very instrumental in making it so. Still, out of 1300 who registered I couldn’t make a list of more than, what, 30 attendees who were really involved, who produced something, anything.
A success, really?
I, for one, constantly wondered where the center of gravity of that supposedly massive course was. The 4 speakers, because it was a cMOOC, purposely never got involved, never gave a hand to anybody be that to create a blog or choose a platform via which one would communicate with other attendees. After all doesn’t ITyPA, the acronym, mean Internet, Everything is there to learn/teach ? It was first and foremost everybody’s business to create and manage one’s own knowledge management.
None of that with this MOOC. Does that make it a lesser cMOOC ?
I believe the number of people who attended this one is way smaller, I understood many of them were rather young. This would have made any review by one’s peers quite tricky given the difference in age, culture, maturity and language in my case.
I would say this MOOC taught me less than it actually confirmed how the learning process should be like for any chance of success. A blog is definitely a plus if only for gathering infos but most importantly bring about any cathartic process. This is how I realized, some 10 years ago, that I had to take a chance and leave my job, take another one, move to a different city, then abroad.
Also, learning with like minded people. It is what I missed most in this case, a few, 2, occasions excepted.
I was curious about the badging process. Credential is what lacks the most in MOOCs, in my humble opinion. How, what, where and when people learn comes second to what will rate their achievements (or the lack thereof), in the end. This still needs to be worked on but the idea is there.
Next MOOC is due to start on the 18th of March. It is about project management, one never knows enough about it. I am confident that having attended MOOCs will definitely be an asset because it not only gave me tools but helped me decide how to build my PKM.