Momenta Learning

A blog on topics related to Elearning, online education, and instructional design.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sensemaking artifact (week 1)

This week my sensemaking artifact is a video presentation about MOOCs and what I would change about them. I hope you enjoy it, please leave any feedback on my blog.


  1. Julio

    Very Good. I like the recommendations
    I will use these for some plans I have

    - shorter vids
    - Teach a skill
    - less information
    - More Activities
    - Cap Numbers or pre-filter
    - More frequent cycles

  2. Hi Julio,
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. It appears you are suggesting modifying MOOC's with traditional instructional design. I see inherent problems with that

    CMOOC course design is not like a traditional course, as Stephen Downes wrote, “with topics and readings arranged in a nice linear order, and more like a network, with a wide range of resources connected to each other and to participants. And the course is much less about acquiring content or skills, and much more about making these connections, and learning from what emerged as a result of them...What I begin with is the observation that each person has a different objective or motivation for taking a course, and has different needs and objectives (it’s a lot like dating that way – we think that everyone wants the same thing, but we find in practice that everybody wants something slightly different)...In our MOOC it was important that we not tell people what they ought to learn or what lessons they should take home from the presentations we made and the conversations we led. People perceive what they are looking for, and often only what they are looking for, and our well-intentioned attempts to guide their cognition could just as easily lead to participants missing the information most important to them. Similarly, we did not attempt to define how participants should interact with each other, but instead focused on supporting an environment that would be responsive to whatever means they chose for themselves.

    So if we edit the videos and make them shorter we begin to tell people what they should be watching. what if we cut what learners wanted to see? There is no real instructor in a cMOOC. there are facilitators to help guide the networked process of learning. there are no one size fits all activities. You do not have to transfer information to skills. you choose what is best for you to practice.

    However, you have some great points. Maybe most teachers who want to learn online are not ready for connectivist type learning. Maybe the best approach is to change the design of the this MOOC to hybrid model that includes traditional instructional design.

    One of the course outcomes I would like to see it a long term community. I hope you will consider being continuing on and help to grow and build a community of inquiry others can benefit from.


    1. Hi Greg,

      This post was not directed towards a MOOC like the one you guys are running. I have been involved in the production of MOOCs of the Coursera and Udacity type. Yours is the first one I encounter that follows the model you describe. I welcome the approach you are taking on this MOOC and I find it fascinating because you rely a lot on the interaction between students and between instructors-students through the use of blogs, which Coursera also uses but not in the same way you are.

      Thank you so much for the feedback, I appreciate it.



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