What we did well:
There were a lot of positive comments about the course, particularly relating to the progression, the "chunking” with small videos, the chance to try stuff out with a practice course on the latest version and the availability of the facilitators, so thank you for all of that.
What we could do better (and what action we've taken) :
While some people found them valuable, adding a personal touch to each week, others questioned their length/content and struggled with the time (EU early evening). We therefore plan to keep the sessions short and split the recordings into two - the tutorial and the live Q and A to allow for more focused viewing. We'll offer some different times as well, and go with the most popular globally. Some participants found it hard to watch the live session on YouTube and join in the course chat, so we'll explain this right at the start and add a help tutorial.
The display of forums and video downloads at the top of the page caused some confusion when first entering the course, so we're re-organising them to make it clearer for newcomers where to go and what to do. We'll have an extra section for resources which will house the video downloads and other explanatory screencasts.
The weekly books with text, video and documentation links have been reordered to make the videos more prominent, and we've added an extra page to explain how to navigate through the books.
Participants learned how to enrol users in Week 1 but since the practice courses are empty then, and won't be shared until Week 3, it made little impact. We've moved this aspect into Week 3 when participants will ready to get others trying their activities.
The workshop activity:
We do feel it's important to experience a graded activity with deadlines, so we included a workshop as a peer assessment activity (although participants weren't expected to create one themselves.) It was well received, but some people didn't notice the deadlines or requested more time. We will allow longer for the workshop and explain the deadlines at the start of the course so people are more aware. Participants who join later in the month receive a customised welcome message; we'll also include information about workshop deadlines there.
Badges and certificates:
So many "thankyou” message from participants who obtained badges; very gratifying! The completer badge is difficult to obtain and does represent a consistent effort throughout the 4 weeks. However, the point was made that many employers don't recognise badges but do accept certificates (if only of attendance or completion.) We can't promise anything, but we will definitely look into certificates for the next MOOC.
Length of time required:
We initially calculated this to be around 2 to 3 hours a week (I added up the estimated live session, watching the videos, playing in your practice course and posting in some forums) but the consensus seems to be that this is underestimated. So we are suggesting 3-4 hours - although of course it's as much as you want or as little as you can get away with really.
Mary's own personal reflections:
The first Teaching with Moodle MOOC included a group forum task and a wiki with a rather open-ended brief, both of which caused issues during the course. We decided not to explore groups at all this time round - the course after all focuses on basic teaching activites rather than student management. This resulted in the final two weeks running more smoothly. We set a very precise task for the wiki, which, while still not ideal, produced a lot less wiki chaos than previously.
The MOOC is for beginners learning to teach with Moodle. Although advanced Moodlers are welcome to join, their role is to assist the newcomers, not to discuss advanced stuff amongst themselves. Some beginners in the final feedback mentioned that they felt intimidated by the advanced forum discussions in a course meant for beginners. I think (typically) I was perhaps too kind (read soft) in politely asking advanced participants to post their question on Moodle.org and then marking it "Advanced”. Perhaps we should ruthlessly delete any post unrelated to basic teaching with Moodle?
The number of discussion threads resulted in many duplicate questions and so I think we need to explain and emphasise more about using the forum search.
That said, in the first MOOC, participants were overwhelmed with notifications of forum posts and some were quite vociferous about it. While some new participants still found the number of posts daunting (we need to make it clearer you don't have to read them all!) the new-in-2.8 feature of being subscribed to individual threads was clearly an enormous help in managing forums.
It's good to see how both participant experience and improvements in Moodle versions can enhance the delivery of subsequent MOOCs. Watch this space at the end of the next run for further feedback