After finished all three weekly sessions and let all the experiences sinked in, here I am, ready to crystallize my opinions towards this new learning model.
Talking about MOOC, a massive open online course, this is my first time being involved with it thoroughly. I never heard of these specific online courses before, even though they has been introduced as a new educational model for several years.
Because I really want this blog to reflect on only the concept and the context of MOOC alone, so I’ll skip and not mention about any systematic problems that may caused some inconveniences during the course. In my view, that’s not really the main point of MOOC anyway, it’s just some external factors that can be fixed separately. But this new learning experience model instead, that matters to me for this blog.
I found it was quite an impressive experience, especially in week one. I loved every single step of it. What I see in my stand, MOOC is a new learning practice that work very well for top universities. Apart from how it allows unlimited participants around the globe to get involved and provides educational tools to support all non-native English speakers, they also build a diversified digital community in terms of nationalities, ages,occupations and most importantly different culture perspectives. It aims to lead participants to create new connections.
I really like how there is no right or wrong in particular topic or each discussion. And I enjoy to see why some strategies work for one culture but not for another. It is also suited people like me as it takes less afford to speak out (comment) some issues or ask questions in a group, whilst compare to in the class circumstance it might take me forever to get participate somehow (Asian culture!).
However, there are some drawbacks I became aware of in the end of week two. Taking online course means you’d be more isolated and have no interaction with classmates. Ever since we started the course, I reckon we have little activities or opportunities to socialise with classmates. I don’t want to blame it all on MOOC, but when people not spend enough time together (new postgrads case in particular) it becomes awkward especially when we need to form a team for group work later on. And even though MOOC is provided as a two-way communication platform, I can’t help but thinking that face-to-face interaction is more vivid and more engageable.
So to put it in a nutshell, MOOC is a new interesting learning experience for me. It enhances and diversifies the main course as well as knowledge itself. But maybe not right at the beginning of the academic year?