Reflections on OLDS MOOC Part 2.

Continuing my nautical analogy from yesterday….

The voyage has finished – was wound up today at a Google Hangout “convergence session” but many of us are already planning our next cruises and some, like me, are already sailing back to some of the islands we visited on this MOOC.

Old ship's log

Used with permission.

Part of what I signed up to on this OLDS MOOC voyage was to keep a ship’s log and the easiest way of seeing all entries is to use the search box on the left and search for “OLDSMOOC”.  I had thought that using the WordPress Category function would be the best way of extracting the entries but it appears not – it does show them but not in truncated form so you don’t see multiple entries on-screen at the same time.  Anyway, there is quite a narrative there so maybe an OLDS MOOC badge can be applied for. I’ll have to investigate.

This will be my last OLDS MOOC blog entry and what I’ll do is give my impressions of each of the places we visited.  Here goes.

Initiate Harbour.

sailing lesson

Used with permission.

I wrote all about this in yesterday’s blog post but it occurred to me today in the hangout that one thing not done in the harbour was what I call a ‘Readiness to Study’ questionnaire. On the Oxford Brookes’ course Designing your online course  we did quite a lot of work on this and so I was surprised not to have encountered it on oldsmooc, either in the content or as a participant.  This is not to say it wasn’t there – Initiative Harbour was a busy place and I may have missed it. Nevertheless, I was allowed on board without any check on my seamanship or whether I could swim.

Inquire Land.

Fork in a path.

Used with permission.

I liked it here though wandered off by myself and got lost. One of the reasons for getting lost was that I was looking for a path – a route to contextualising Learning Design. Instead I found lots of paths and no sign posts. The guide book explained all about them but I wasn’t sure which to take.  The captain of the big ship reckoned we could choose whichever path we wanted but as I’ve said before I just wanted to be told which is the easiest path.

Since writing about my desire to be spoon fed yesterday rather than going out and working it all out for myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was right, in a way, to expect this.  Here am I, a novice at Learning Design, being taught by experts in Learning Design who have just designed the MOOC I am studying on.  I think I was right to expect that they would tell me what works for them and what doesn’t.  However, I didn’t find any personal reflections or advice and maybe this is because they are unsure themselves and are waiting for the feedback on the MOOC before knowing whether their theories stand up (?).

About two weeks ago I sailed back to Inquire Land and had another poke about because what I wanted was some tried and tested workshop activities to use with my academics.  I spent some time (wasted time?) working out that I didn’t need the Ecology of Design Framework, Personas, Scenarios and Force Maps – not all of them and I remember I tried to complete the Scenario-based Design Template and thought it was too time consuming (see blog Scenario-based Design – not for me just now) and just felt I wasn’t seeing the wood for the trees. When I revisited the island I just chose to use Personas and Force Maps and I repurposed the OERs available and ran my first workshop on Personas.  This worked well though I have some further revisions to make and feedback I want to supply – all will come as soon as I get a spare minute! (as will my persona workshop templates under CC). I have yet to deliver the Force Maps workshop but this is ready. I just need a time when the participants can attend.

Ideate Island

people selecting tools

Used with permission.

In week three we found ourselves on Ideate island and I got really really lost.  Here I was looking for they way forward and I was presented with a huge toolbox. Select your tools I was told.  Well, I didn’t have the time to rifle through the box let alone pick up each tool, work out how to use it and make anything with it.

So what I did was use the basic tools the captain of the big ship threw at me.  I was still confused and wrote up this confusion in the forum here: Week 3 – have I understood? I also blogged about it in The Wood from the Trees.

Apart from the multitude of individual tools, one major obstacle I had was trying to to use both the OULDI model (used as a template for OLDSMOOC) and the 7Cs model.  I need a model to take to my workshops that will facilitate an efficient design process, ideally one that is tried, tested and backed up by published research.  For me to present both models in a workshop is not helpful. It is interesting to those interested in Learning Design per se but not to those who just seek tools to create a course. The problem is that both come with tools that are useful, so I imagine I will be mixing and matching.  It would be beneficial to me though if the captains of the big ships all got together now and thrashed out a single model.

Connect Cove.


Used with permission.

I spent some time in Connect Cove looking at the Pedagogical Patterns Collector. I blogged about this here: Week 4 Problems and Questions. However, I didn’t have enough time to follow the captain’s instructions.  If I had – if I had actually created a pattern, shared it, commented on someone else’s, developed it and revised it –  I might think differently about it, but to be honest I cannot at this time see that I will use it.  Probably short sighted. However, in the short term such practices can only increase the time it takes to design learning activities even though in the long term time might be saved.

In the past I have spent much time and effort into getting people to share resources in repositories and never with any success. Either they don;t or they do but don;t tag the items properly so no one can find them.  A few good souls embrace the concept and engage but in the end they have just rehoused their resources where others see no purpose in looking. A cynic’s view of sharing 😦

Curate Archipelago.

man wearing glasses with CC written on them

used with permission.

I found Curate Cove very interesting and enjoyed using some of the tools. I blogged about this here – OERs – Part 1 images. Confused over Attribution and in a couple of posts after that.  I still don’t know where to put the attribution though and I still think it odd that if Yishay creates something under CC and David White changes it and then I change David’s OER then Yishay’s contribution is unacknowledged, but I think that is how it works.

The other thing I learnt in week 6 was that there are lots of CC images but not so many courses or other fully formed learning objects. (I blogged my disappointment). However, I have used some of the OERs on Cloudworks to do with Leanirng Design and need to make my versions available in exchange.

One responsibility I have in my job is that of reporting the scanning of copyrighted materials to the CLA and so I am particularly aware of copyright on our VLE.  So it was interesting to note that not all images on the OLDSMOOC site are attributed (and still aren’t) – Is it just unrealistic to expect them to be I wonder?

Evaluate Isle.

Used with permission.

Used with permission.

This was a place I was particularly interested in as I am currently looking at ways to evaluate existing online courses and have been looking into using Quality Assurance check lists and other QA tools. See my scoopit page – Quality Assurance in Online Courses.  I thought Captain Reeves would give me a tool to measure and fix everything, but not quite.  I blogged for an easy solution – Evaluation – Isn’t there an off the peg solution?  and did find something on the island which i picked up but have yet to examine properly – FevaTools -Formative Evaluation Tools for Online Course Design.  I’m hopeful and will report back in this blog.

Return to Port Plenary.

boats in harbour

Used with permission.

And so back to harbour.  You may think from all my negative comments and criticisms that I was not pleased by OLDS MOOC.  Not at all. I learnt a hell of a lot and was able to talk to world leaders in the field of Learning Design and engage in conversations with interesting people from all over.  It was an excellent opportunity and I heartily thank all those captains of the big ships for letting me join the expedition and for not telling me to get lost even though I resolutely refused to engage in any of the planned island activities.

I got the feeling from the final Convergence Session that some of the captains were also somehow disappointed with the way things turned out.  I say congratulate yourselves.  Those of us who tried to follow in your wake had a blast.

What next?

Sailing into sunset

Used with permission.

For me I will revisit the islands in my own time and collect useful items from the beaches – things I can use in my institution to help others design their courses.  I am not principally a learning designer and nor are the people I seek to help. I am what might be called a jobbing e-learning manager concerned with a whole range of learning technology issues and those I seek might be much more interested in writing about post colonial English literature than in writing Design Scenarios.  It’s been fun. Thanks to all.

A final thought.

This MOOC was about the broad subject of Learning Design and the tutors sought to teach it by encouraging the students to design something. Fair enough. Another course might have a narrower approach and present just one route to learning design and present it through case studies.

Maybe OULDI could offer to the world a course which says here is our approach, here are our tools, this is what we (and others) have done with them.  I’d sign up. I might even contribute as I’ll be using (and adapting) some of the tools myself.

Au revoir OLDS MOOC!

One comment

  1. Au revoir Bob & thanks 🙂

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