I’m still pretty new to MOOCs. I look to the MOOC as a way to participate in a community of practice and to encourage me to learn more about the subject of the MOOC.
Being a novice MOOCer, I find that I go back to the weekly resource page of the MOOC in search of direction. In this age of way too much information, I see the role of educator changing from a disseminator of information to one of a curator of information. I look to the creators of the MOOC as curators who help guide my learning path.
Since the MOOC has many participants, like myself, who have spent most of their education in a didactic setting (being lectured at), I struggle with too much freedom in the sea of too much information. Lost because I don’t even know where to start, or what the purpose is. I’m looking for a scaffold to help me on my journey.
It occurs to me that the scaffold I am looking for are learning objectives. Not the old fashioned behaviourist learning objectives (we all remember SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely), rather I’m looking for learning objectives from a complexity science perspective – that is, something that helps constrain my exploration without containing it.
So, rather than learning objectives that start with “After completing this module, learners will be able to …”, something more like: “In this week, learners may choose to explore: …”.
Of course, the introductory sentence is the easy part. If behaviourist objectives are SMART, what do objectives need to be to be appropriate for a MOOC? That is, what are the guidelines for creating MOOC learning objectives?
My thoughts are that MOOC learning objectives should be:
- Focused. LO should help learners focus their way through the vast amounts of information available.
- Open. LO should be open to multiple interpretations, such that learners can find their own “answers”.
- Accessible. LO need to be accessible to participants with varying levels of experience in the topic.
Using these guidelines, and the content on the week 1 resource page, I came up with the following learning objectives:
In this week, learners may choose to explore:
- The history of online learning
- The themes that are emerging from current events in online learning
- How social media can be used as a tool to keep current with online learning developments
So, my questions to you are:
- What features do you think are important in MOOC learning objectives (assuming you think they are important)?
- What learning objectives would you set for week 1?