I started my second MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) September 9th. The format and how this MOOC is being run is a totally different experience from my first MOOC. The first MOOC I took was hosted by Coursera. This one is hosted by Blackboard’s CourseSites. The topic of this MOOC is “Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials.” My first thought was, I’m glad this wasn’t my first MOOC or I would have never continued.
The “M” in MOOC is for massive. That is supposed to mean thousands and thousands for most of the MOOCs I’ve read about. My last MOOC had over 65,000 people enrolled. This one has a little over 1,400. Not so massive.
The Gamification MOOC that I took provided small-chunked videos for each week’s session. These were pre-recorded to provide better video and sound quality and were probably edited to keep the flow. The videos were interesting and easy to watch. This “Badges” MOOC provides one live session each week. Then, they post the recordings for later viewing for those who are not available to watch it live. If you’ve ever attended a live webinar, then you pretty much know how this live session went. There were technical difficulties with video, the sound was inconsistent, presenter and her speech was off, slides didn’t show, and people kept typing distracting and rarely relevant comments while the speakers were talking. The live session had a posting of how many people were logged into the live session. The most I saw was 281 at 15 minutes into the hour-long session. There were only about 200 on it when it began. I have no way of knowing how many have watched the recorded session. At the second week’s live session, the most I saw logged in was 190 a little less than half way through it.
They do have the recorded sessions available via Blackboard as MP4’s a day or so after each live session. I watched one of the recorded sessions and it does not look like they have edited the live session at all before posting it. Too bad, it really needed editing.
The Coursera Gamification website worked like a dream. I didn’t realize this until I had visited the Blackboard CourseSites website. It’s come to a screeching halt both times I’ve visited it in the last week. I’ve even tried different browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) and get the same snail-paced response time. It is incredibly annoying.
CourseSite finally put up this on their website a graphic of a moon with “SHHH! CourseSites is temporarily unavailable…”
Now I’m three weeks into this MOOC on badges and it looks like Blackboard’s CourseSite website is finally moving a lot quicker. Wow, wonder how many participants they lost because of this?
Tried to submit assignment. Got error. Then it looked like it submitted a blank assignment and I couldn’t delete it nor add my assignment content. Ugh. I finally was able to submit my first assignment on the third try.
Before the first session, they recommended that we watch a YouTube video on Mozilla Open Badges. However, at the beginning of the first and second week’s live sessions they put the same video up and recommended (again) that students watch the video. Hmmmm. Annoying. I watched it before the first session like they had recommended. Looks like they got the hint (from the comments on screen) to put a different video up the third week.
All the technical stuff aside, I will say that the content presented about Mozilla Open Badges has been very interesting for this MOOC. Especially since I new very little about the subject prior to this MOOC. They have had several different subject matter experts presenting various topics about Open Badges which gives the learners distinct perspectives about the concept. That has been beneficial.
Will I continue?
Hmmmm. That is a good question. The jury is still out on this one. Who knows, I might be part of the 91.5%, the enrollees who don’t complete a MOOC.