One of this week's assignment in the Design Thinking Action Lab MOOC is to join or create a learning squad. Learning squads are small groups or teams of up to six people that agree to work together for the group challenges in the course. Exactly what this will entail isn't yet clear.
I didn't make the decision to join (or start) a learning squad easily. I knew that if I was going to join a squad, I was going to need to make a commitment to those who wanted to be on the squad with me. So having made that decision, I tried to create a learning squad, but found that the system did not permit me to because I had registered to audit the course.
Although I applaud venture lab for allowing students the ability to choose to audit the MOOC rather than enroll in the MOOC, I don't agree with their decision to limit learning squads to only those who are enrolled. I can see why they might think it is a good idea, afterall why would you want someone on you team who isn't going to commit to it? However, I don't know that it is fair to link a person's desire to enrol in the course with their willingness to participate in a team. Personally, I chose to register as an auditor because I wanted the freedom to pick and choose assignments, and I don't really care about the certificate. But the limitation of not being able to join a group felt restrictive. For me, a large value in the MOOC isn't just in the material being presented and the chance for focued self-reflection, it is also in the opportunity to interact with others.
So I have changed my status to enrol and I have created a squad for anyone interested in exploring the content of this course within the context of education. If you're participating in the the Design in Education learning squad, I would be happy to have you join the team.