As the month-long Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction MOOC comes to an end over on learn.moodle.net and the course becomes read-only, it would be great if people who participated (and also those who didn't) could continue the conversation here about what went well and what we could do better
Well...I don't know how others felt but I was totally out of my comfort zone and too overwhelmed by it all. The forums I thought were a little distracting for me as I did not have the time to interact I just felt like an outsider...it was a really strange feeling, considering I spend most of my day in the Themes forum, where I feel at home because I know what I am doing and know the subject well enough to feel confident.
I had not realised how hard distance learning really is.
Three questions I have asked myself
- What was I expecting to learn?
- What did I actually learn?
- What do I want to learn?
I am not really sure what I was wanting to learn,
But what I actually learned was that I am hopeless when it comes to learning. I hate having to read how to do things, as more often than not I get things wrong, and then get frustrated.
The fact is I am annoyed with myself, because I did not finish the course.
I missed the chance to join the course from the beginning. I came across this course only 3 days ago. Now the course is on 'Read-Only' mode. Today I completed going through all the activities for Week 1. All the video tutorials are clear and precise. They are extremely good. Now I have a clear understanding about different types of activities. Thanks so much for allowing me to continue following this course even though it has come to an end. You have done a great job!
Mary E, hi
a very quick note to ask, if it might be OK to include some/all of your comment here in a research paper-as an opener? You will be acknowledged, of course. I respect your agency, and therefore any probs do drop me line firstname.lastname@example.org- and the idea can be dropped.
During the (great) Moodle mooc I realised that for these "massive" courses the forums need some development.
If I compare to a Coursera course I took recently each participant could start their own forum. This meant you could subscribe to some forums and not others. The equivalent to subscribing to a "thread" on the Moodle Mooc.
The other point that made forum use more interesting/efficient was that each user could give a posting a star so you could easily spot an interesting forum with lots of stars.
I have to admit I didn’t get too involved with the forums unless I had a question about an assignment. I didn’t feel bad about this as my primary focus was to engage with the prescribed material. This is a bit like my life in general. I am interested in loads of things but don’t have the time or brain capacity to engage with all the online related discussions that are taking place around them. I have to be selective to stay sane and give myself time to go for a walk.
My experience of them in the past is that they are great for getting help on specific problems as you might encounter with assignments generally. For general discussion that is instigated by participants there is little appetite for participation. For discussion that is let by a tutor or facilitator then the debate can stoked up a bit and more people will participate. I am sure there is an interesting study out there which explains this.
I have been wanting to sit down and think this course through and write something ... but I have been too busy having fun on the LearnMoodle course.
Thanks Mary & Helen .... as I said before ... you are amazing Moodlers!
I thought the structure and the support given through the parts of the course I was able to do were excellent. The enthusiasm brought by the attendees (as well as those working on the MOOC themselves, both in the spotlight and out of it) was great to see
The size and success of the course did highlight the issues with forums and forum management - the need for being able to subscribe to individual threads for example
Unfortunately for me, the timing of the course coincided with major activity at work and I came to understand just why there is huge drop out from free MOOCs around the world. Still planning to review the rest of it in read-only mode when things calm down a bit, but like Mary I was left disappointed (with myself) that I wasn't able to complete the course with everyone else.
Good Afternoon Mary,
My name is Marion Pope and I participated in the Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction. I completed all of the acitivities, but did not have a grade for the Database: Food for Moodlers activity. I was hoping to earn the Completer Badge. I can be reached via email at email@example.com. I work for Sampson Community College in the US. I enjoyed the course and even though I am a Moodle Technician I learned a lot that I can take back to my faculty.
I am delighted to have completed my first MOOC. It must be my age, however, but I would like to have been printing out a certificate for myself rather than trying to figure out what to do with a badge. Now I did find the first badge I got quite motivating and novel so I am not entirely against the concept. I also do some work with primary schools and I think a younger audience would prefer them to certs. Having written all that I have banked my badge in openbadges.org and maybe when I have a few more I will have a different opinion about them.
On a less petty note, I do think the facility to generate certificates for those who successfully complete a course is needed in Moodle if it is to be considered for delivering MOOCs generally. I think there is a plugin available but I don’t know enough just yet about how plugins work. This idea is only based on my experience of watching a member of my family complete a course with Coursera who printed out a certificate which is now proudly displayed in her kitchen. I also was looking at few other systems for delivering MOOCs and the feature did appear to be standard.
Anyway it is a small thing and overall I learnt plenty and enjoyed the course. Thanks to everyone involved in its delivery.
There was an (anonymous) activity "Final Feedback" in the MOOC itself. Is any sort of compilation available? I gave a long answer, wish I had kept a copy.
BTW, this thread is very short compared to what we saw in the MOOC. Or have some posts gone missing? The last submission, 5th October, is too close to that fateful day.
+ The huge popularity:
Thousands of people talking about Moodle and getting to know what it looks like.
+ The friendly and helpful atmosphere:
People were friendly, polite and forthcoming.
- The huge popularity:
There were people who haven't even heard of Moodle! They only knew that there is a MOOC going on.
Seriously, there should be some kind of admission test. They should be tested whether they've read the syllabus. This is common practice.
- First teacher then learner?:
The course was about 'Teaching with Moodle'. How many of the participants knew about 'Learning with Moodle'? We all have gone through the conventional schooling and know what one can do in a physical classroom. That is of course a prerequisite for teaching in a physical classroom. Why doesn't that apply to the virtual classroom?
- (Reading and) Understanding written instructions:
There is a big difference between written instructions on a web page and commands shouted by somebody standing in front of the class. Obviously if one doesn't understand the former that person is going to have a hard time and, in a highly interactive course like this, destined to give others a hard time too.
Here again, an admission test could alleviate the problem.
- Full course ready doesn't mean the full course is open at day one:
For example, people were supposed to request a practice course - only in the second week. But the instructions were visible in week one, and somebody asked about it in the forum. Then others got aware of it and it was the topic of a couple of very active threads already in week one!
The full content should be in the course but opened one-by-one.
- Request for practice course
Should not be manual, with an unknown time delay.
- Registration was possible till the last hour
That policy needs a revision. Literally during the last hour of the six week course, people registered, introduced themselves and started asking what needed to be done!
- Completion tracking and deadlines
Were not clear to me. I had the feeling one could start anywhere and go anywhere. I may be wrong.
- Need some hard facts:
The general attitude (as seen by me) was that, everything is right in some way. You can't make mistakes. I personally need some hard facts to cling on to.
- Teachers, really?
I got the impression that a large part of the participants were helpless continuously, 'Where is my badge?', 'Where am I?', ... Imagine what havoc that'll play in a classroom!
- Group size 10 optimistic
The size of the group for "group teaching" at 10 was too optimistic. Solving that problem took too long, apart from the "contentious" discussions, that the active teachers grouped into a single thread on their own.
- Huge proportion of dropouts
Considering that over 30% of the participants claimed to be experienced Moodlers being there to help, the dropout rate was very high.
- Moodle forum tool is insufficient
The biggest problem was that one can not close a thread. The other problem is more of planning. In a MOOC of 9000 people, an open any-to-any discussion is going to tax any forum!
thanks for this, really useful.
If you get a chance do see the following links, reason being, the first is a paper that relates to a research project about the MOOC: Teaching with Moodle ( focus was specifically on pedagogy and learning oppts), and the second is a related forum thread about T&L-so context related.
The conclusions in the paper include reference to 3 outliers from the research, which not only appear to head-up the items you have outlined in your feedback, additionally it is recognised in the paper that such items are worthy of further study :
1. The role of evaluation in terms of (the outlier in the practice courses analysed)
2. The impact/role of previous participation with online courses (this was an outlier from the participant data)
3. some reference, but not enough links across the data, was made with techy infrastructure of the MOOC (the third outlier)
Uh, please feel free to make comments about any content in my/this post...I know you are not shy ;0)
Sorry to disappoint you. I had a look at your paper https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oH9mAxcElaEVuzuFd-OL9BE1kdZm_UFnwK6sBpYY39c/edit, it is completely not my subject. Contrary to your belief, I am shy to make comments on things I don't understand.
Seriously, since your work focuses on the MOOC "Teaching with Moodle" http://learn.moodle.net/course/view.php?id=2, I would have thought its Final Feedback http://learn.moodle.net/mod/feedback/view.php?id=37 is your best resource. May be there is a compilation somewhere.
I think you raise an excellent point, thanks for that. Yes, I do have the feedback. And, yes I did look at it during the research process.
However, the research was designed after the MOOC ended, thus the following feedback questions (8) and the responses ( I have given the flavour of the generic nature of the repsonses too) for the MOOC did not align with the focus of the research questions (pedagogy and learning oppts) but in the main-that data would be useful for further work in terms of a bounded-case unit in itself, that is, in order to evaluate the course in general, however, you will notice that there are occasions where the data links with the oultiers of the research.
Here are the questions:
1. What has been your overall impression of the Teaching with Moodle
Very generic =Great! Fantastic! Etc etc........
2. How did you find the tasks you were asked to do?
More time. Time of year etc, generic comments about course structure/infrastructure (linked with an outlier from the research)
3. What was your experience of Moodle before the MOOC?
This links with an outlier
4. Have you used another Learning Platform?
Linked with outlier (experience)
5. If you have used another Learning Platform, please say which one(s)
6. If we ran another MOOC on a different aspect of Moodle, would you be interested?
Unrelated to RQ.....yes/no answers with generic annotations, in general.
7. Has this course encouraged you to think about further training, such as a course with a Moodle Partner?
Unrelated to RQ...yes/no answer with generic annotations, in general.
8. We are keen to hear any other general feedback that you have for us!
Length of course, further training, MCCC
That said, there were comments about features for L&T but no reasons....that was hard to code....without putting my own reason (stamp) to it.
Decision=not to include as a data set, based on the above rationale.
Thanks for this oppt to talk you through my thinking-very valuable.
Thanks to all who gave feedback here on our original Teaching with Moodle MOOC. This is to let you know we are just over half way through our second run of Learn Moodle and that there is a discussion space about it over on the Teaching with Moodle forum: Feedback on Teaching with Moodle MOOC. (If you are doing the MOOC second time around, feel free to add your thoughts to that forum thread)
We have made some changes to the course, and are continuing to modify it as the course progresses, based on your suggestions from the first run. Here are a few examples of what we have done so far:
- We've added "completion info" buttons in forum descriptions to clarify what participants have to do to get the activity marked complete.
- We're making it more mobile-app friendly, with the help of our Moodle mobile app developer Juan, who is monitoring the course and improving the app based on experiences in the MOOC.
- We've made the wiki (which last time was somewhat unwieldy) more structured, and set different pages for participants to contribute in different languages.
- Courses requested are automatically approved (as opposed to manually previously) which means no waiting for eager course builders.
- We've offered the (updated) videos for download in high and low resolution for participants who cannot access YouTube or have slow internet connections.
We plan to run the MOOC on a regular basis and so will be constantly adapting and honing it
I think the resources you used for that course are great.
Would it be possible to download or/and reuse some of your documentation for an internal online Moodle course that I am trying to put together?
Hello there. All the videos are available on our HQ Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/moodlehq and you can still view the course in read-only format.
I'm wondering if the course will be run again at some time in the future? And, also how long it will be left available in read only format.
Thanks so much,
Hi Cheryl. There are no plans for Moodle HQ to run the course again in the near future, but as you have no doubt seen, the course is still available in read-only mode and certainly the accompanying videos will be on our youtube channel indefinitely.
this is good to know, many thanks. Confirmation of HQ's no plan- to run the course again in the near future- is good to know.
we live in busy times eh. No need for a response, hectic here as well. I will nag-on with others too!
a quick update. I have been thinking about the Learn.Moodle MOOC, and I have also been thinking about the research we did. Going to pay some attention to that-fit it into my list-although I am far too busy to fit a chat with MD onto my list at the moment...I will need to contact him about that MOOC thing and 'near future thing'.....mmmmm...but too busy at the mo
I think an annual, established MOOC would be a valuable thing to do. So, those in this thread asking about another one in the future.......don't lose hope! Near future is like a piece of string metaphorically speaking....
Hi Dawn - yes- just to clarify: Moodle HQ has no plans to run the MOOC again. From our point of view we wanted to show you could use Moodle as a MOOC platform and I like to think we did that
Yes-got you Mary.
Understand. Of course Moodle scaled up nicely....as a MOOC platform, and so 'think we did that' is indeed- spot on...it achieved a bit more too....will focus on getting that out in the public domain as soon as poss..... Makes sense to share the research. Also makes sense to focus on the roadmap....GUI, Gradebook etc.