Mooching around MOOCs

I’ve been researching MOOCs by joining and participating in a few. I’m sure you don’t quite get the whole MOOC experience unless you’re signing up for something you’re genuinely interested in and with hindsight I was never going to get on well with Citizenship and US Immigration.  However, I had high hopes for the Anatomy of the Abdomen, (I once took an Anat. and Phys. subsidiary class) the discussion in the forums was good and there was lots of interaction with the lecturer, but I just couldn’t get through the videos.  I looked for more; an introduction to clinical neuropsychlogy, understanding the economy, basic dentistry… MOOC after MOOC of watch the video, answer the questions.  By video I mean 15 minutes of lecturer talking to the camera.

I want to be inspired and I want to go and find things out for myself.

That said, I do like the look and feel of FutureLearn, there is a discussion forum and comments function, you don’t have to follow the formula.

Some good MOOCs;

http://octel.alt.ac.uk WordPress based course by ALT in using technology in teaching and how to make a MOOC

FSLT14 http://vle.openbrookes.net/course/view.php?id=11 Oxford Brooks Moodle based Mooc First steps in teaching and learning – activity based, so if you don’t participate in the blogging, discussing and collaborative document making you don’t learn anything. You can earn open badges for completing the activities.

TOOC14 (Teaching Open Online Course) begins 10th March http://vle.openbrookes.net/course/view.php?id=12

OOE13 http://www.ooe13.org another WordPress blog, lots of inspiration to go and do something and to embed it in your practice (in this case teaching) Uses Credly for awarding open badges. Course runs for a whole year rather than in short sessions of 2 or 3 weeks. Lots of related networking and peer to peer sharing and discussion via Twitter also assignments shared via Twitter.

Interesting reading;

I found this blog post  http://degreeoffreedom.org/xmooc-vs-cmooc/ on http://degreeoffreedom.org who is attempting to complete a four year BA in one year through the medium of MOOC.

Great interactive learning ideas I saw today;

Using a Google document to collate a collaborative annotated bibliography by inviting collaborators to use the comments feature to discuss/reflect on the contributions. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I_ZO2KmbbJbzVLukxfVV6co_zFVT_OSW6uUYY1u7VPI/edit?usp=sharing

Using twitter to facilitate peer to peer learning amongst MOOC participants.  https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ooe13&src=hash

Hiya

Originally posted on Babi Tech:

Babi2.0 recently had her 1st birthday.  She’s been having fun with the Toca Band app but hasn’t quite figured out what makes it work. She keeps trying to recreate the music by wiggling her fingers over a locked smartphone screen whilst dancing, makes sense, that’s what she did the first time and it worked perfectly.

Other recent advances are that she has started to hold rectangular objects, phone, tv remote, toy with buttons to her ear and say “hiya, hiya, hiya, hiya…” Before 11 months she had been known to hold conversations via pasta and wooden blocks. She has identified the dvd remote as not being a phone because she points that one at the TV, usually during an emotional scene in a Tinkerbell as if to torment her big sister.

She attempted some interaction with Mwnci Bach, a more child friendly version of the popular talking cat and…

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Six tried and tested Android Babi apps

Originally posted on Babi Tech:

Android Apps

Baby Toy  – Babi loved it 10months+ nice pictures and it makes lots of fun sounds. The fun sounds can all be played at the same time so it eventually drove me mad! The phone locking pattern is a nice idea but was easily unlocked by my little one.

Talking Tom Cat (free version) caused no end of tantrums (“Eee-ow! Ee-ow! MINE!!!”) and as amusing as it was to hear Tom squawking back, the constant prompts to update or buy add-ons completely detracted from the  joy of having a very cute kitty talk to you. I appreciate that it wasn’t designed as a child friendly app, you can disable the “allow violence” feature, but even as an adult time-waster it’s more frustrating than fun.

Shoot Bubble Deluxe again not designed to be a child friendly app but lots of fun for little fingers. You tap the screen…

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The Plan

Originally posted on Babi Tech:

Purely because I thought it would be interesting and I don’t think it has been done already, I’m going to track my baby’s (and any other babies i can get my hands on!) developmental milestones – but rather than the block-stacking, finger-thumb-opposition kind I’m looking at the TV remote, mobile device, smart-phone, laptop sort of thing.

Now when I say track, I mean a mum style track, the occasional update when I get time off from scrubbing Weetabix off the wallpaper. I’m not obsessive enough to chart her daily progress and I don’t think that would be healthy for either of us.

To keep it interesting I’ll also blog about and review baby friendly apps and other baby techy stuff. If you know of something good or have something you’d like reviewing let me know. I’m a geek at heart!

I’d love to hear from anyone else who wants to share…

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Students’ perspective

I wrote in my dissertation draft (Version 1037.2) that the reason I was surveying students about their experience of initial assessment was because I thought that they were more likely to give candid responses than their lecturers.

I beleive that academic staff would have answered my questions about assessment based on; what they think they should say, what their organisations policy says is done, and what they think they’ve done. Whereas a student would say; “we did this” or “we didn’t do that”.

Now of course I have to find some evidence to back up my assumption.

Numeracy and Literacy initial assessments are apparently not happening

After throwing out the non-completers and the time wasters I have a set of 31 survey results. Admittedly not a huge sample but since each of them represents a student in a separate institution, some interesting patterns are emerging.

As expected, all of the students provided their university or college with their name, address and date of birth before their course commenced. All but one reported that they had also provided information about their existing qualifications, and the grades they had attained. All but one respondent provided their university or college with a personal statement.

The next most common information provided prior to the course starting was references, 17 respondents reported giving this information. Less than a third of respondents gave any further information before the course started and even fewer gave any of the information once the course had commenced.

Numeracy ability was provided prior to the course starting in 8 cases and afterwards in 1. Literacy ability was provided prior to the start of the course in 7 cases and not at all once courses had started. Which suggests that 23 of the colleges or universities sampled did not carry out initial assessment in numeracy or literacy. Either that or 23 students didn’t realise they were being assessed!