The MOOC Wrap Up

November 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of homas Ryberg

Photo courtesy of homas Ryberg

I have yet to receive my final grade and certificate, but the class was completed last week.  Here is an estimate of my personal involvement:

  • Course was 6 weeks long;
  • Readings were extensive.  Each week I spent approximately 2 hours reading and reviewing the majority of the materials;
  • Lectures: usually 3 per week; ranging from about 15-20 minutes each;
  • Online videos: this varied, and most videos were under 20 minutes, but sometimes they were as long as close to an hour;
  • Quizzes: 6–took about 10 minutes to complete;
  • Written assignments: to be done thoughtfully and within the requirements of the rubric, about 1+  hours to complete;
  • Peer review: we were to peer review 5 classmates, and then ourselves.  1/2 hour per week;
  • Forum participation: varied depending on the topics.  I followed about 6-7 topics and commented about 40-50 times total.

To total that up, this 6 week course took approximately 5-7  hours per week of effort. 

As mentioned in the last post, there were many things that I learned.  I want to bring just a couple of observations about the MOOC process through this particular course:

Positives:

  • This particular course through Northwestern was well-organized and thoughtful in its purpose.
  • The lectures were well done and engaging, and not dry at all.
  • All material tied together well.
  • Most materials were readily available online; I checked one book out of the library to use as part of the course.
  • Older materials were supplemented with newer articles for relevancy.
  • I learned a lot.

Negatives:

  • Interaction via the forums became pretty unwieldy as some topics would have hundreds of comments.
  • Redundancy of comments after about a week made following some forums a waste of time.
  • The time needed to complete this course successfully was underestimated.
  • Some of the materials seemed dated.
  • Lack of professor evaluation of assignments.
  • Peer grading could be difficult as some students did not have English as a first language.

Overall, the course was great and the professor engaged and committed. Going back to my first post on the MOOC, I had set three goals for myself:

1. Set aside the time to do the readings and assignments

2. Set aside the time to contribute to the online discussions or forums

3. Be dedicated and consistent.

Dedicating time each day to work on this class allowed me to be successful, and these goals served me well.

Would I take another MOOC? Absolutely!  But I would definitely make sure that the timing was right for my home and work life in order to be successful.

Learn more with these sites and articles:

Coursera

Will MOOCs Change the Way Professors Handle the Classroom?

An Early Report Card on MOOCs (WSJ)

So is it lonely in MOOClandia?

Massively Open Online Course: A First Report Card

Top 10 Misconceptions about MOOCs

A Direction for Online Courses

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