10 Observations of the Handson MOOC (Pilot2)

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Image Credit: Leo Reynolds https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/ CC BY NC SA

We are in the end of the HANDSON MOOC and whilst we await the formal evaluation of the course;  here are some observations on what happened during the course.

1. We expected about 100 students but nearly 1000 participants  registered, (although half of them were from Greece).
2. Of those, more than 100 were active on most of the learning activities whilst, based on the literature, we expected much less.
3. It seemed that the participants found most of the learning activities useful, but if we were to to pinpoint one which they were especially enthusiastic about, it was Persona.
4. Although the participants obviously liked the method of Persona, they did not understand it completely, especially the fact that Persona does not represent an average user, but tries to model exemplary behaviour. We gave them a template, which seemed to be useful but a worked out example of a persona, created by us would have better served the purpose.
5. Heuristic evaluation, was for the participants the most difficult part of the course to understand. The examples given were mostly from user-interface design and we thought the participants struggled to make the link to their teaching practice.
6. We as a design team agreed on a minimalistic Learning Design Studio approach but finally we tried to put, (not entirely of course), the learning activities and content of  a 10-weeks cours (OLDS MOOC) into a 5-week course (Hands-On ICT). The next version of the course needs to carefully examine what to take from OLDS MOOC, what to leave out, and what we, as a consortium, could add to it.
7. We expected an increase in the cognitive load of individual participants because of jumping from one environment to another (Moodle, ILDE, Google Hangouts) but this did not seem to be the case, in general.
8. Learning Design Studio as the course format of Design Inquiry of Learning is quite convenient as it implicitly implements various instructional design solutions. However, we need to go beyond it and improve the course design set up integrating solutions from other learning and instructional design theories.
9. Regardless level of prior knowledge and skills of the participants, they can be positioned on a continuum from very external to the very internal learning locus of control, depending on how much structure in the content and learning activities they prefer. The current design of the HANDSON MOOC assumes that most of the learners are with external learning locus of control.
10. Our course’ co-facilitators did a great job. It is a real challenge to give feedback to at least 50 participants every day, some of them at different stages of the course. It is inviting for sharing this experience and formulating written guidelines.

Post written by; Slavi Stoyanov, Peter Sloep, Open University of the Netherlands


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