My MOOC experiences

conversations and learning in the digital world

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear #edcmooc


I am reading a lot of negative comments about the course on the forum and in some posts. Participants are complaining about “absent teacher”, “no videos and quizzes” and no “formal assessment”.

I am thinking MOOCs are not for everyone, especially not for those who think MOOCs can be compared with face to face learning. As Hamish said, it’s a happening. We are still in the revolution phase. Nobody yet knows fully, what MOOCs are capable of and what they can and cannot achieve. It is still too soon to reflect and draw conclusions. I read an article somewhere which said that we cannot compare MOOCs with the same metrics drawn for classroom teaching. We need a new metrics system that would incorporate all the aspects of moocs.

I find it ironic that people who detest traditional classroom teaching styles complain about the absence of “teaching leadership” or lack of “talking head lectures” in a mooc. The concept of a student has changed to “learner” and “participant” with a general acknowledgement that such a person does not like to be spoon fed by the teachers, especially not an adult learner. Perhaps it is time to look at the concept of “teacher” in a new light. Perhaps, just perhaps, teacher does not have to be a person, it could simply be experience itself or it might have been so all along.

There is a Buddhist saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. Maybe something is preventing these people from being able to learn, their own stubbornness, biased pre-conceived notions about what a mooc is or isn’t and how it should or should not be, wanting to do it their own pre-decided way, or perhaps they found the truth too painful to face, or they were simply distracted with their mundane life, this list can go on.

Instead, when one is ready to learn, the teacher does appear, maybe in the form of instructors, or maybe in some other forms such as Google, Facebook groups, g+ community, peers, PLNs, Tweets, blog posts, images, videos, artefacts and so on! When you are ready to learn, the teacher suddenly appears and you start to notice things which were there all along but you only just noticed it in a meaningful way. With further intrinsic motivation on your part, you can dig deeper, learn more, be more open and receptive to gain knowledge and understanding. It is all about opening your mind and being receptive!

On another note “When the student is not ready, the pop quiz will appear.”


14 thoughts on “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear #edcmooc

  1. Pingback: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear #edcmooc | Contre l'Éducation. Tout contre. |

  2. Well put Maddie. I especially like that you emphasise the own responsibility to make the most out of the offered content and resources. And therefor create your own learning success. As somebody pointed out in a twitter chat, “Mooc is what you make it”. And maybe it was just luck but I have been in a good group and learned a lot (if I hadn’t been in this group I had probably looked for one). It is possible to do courses like the EDCMOOC on your own but you may not get out of it what everybody with a good connection does get out of it.

    • Having a peer group in a mooc is very important. We get lost in the forums where most of us are talking at each other instead of with each other. You need a fantastic peer group to feed your thoughts!

  3. Hi, Ary,
    I agree with your observations. I found the structure and delivery of this class particularly refreshing and was really glad that it did not have recorded lectures. I really liked the Google hangout and its simultaneous Twitter session with the team and think that it has a great potential for large classes. The e-learning and digital cultures class can serve as a model to other MOOC classes.

    • Thanks! I didn’t have much faith in Twitter before this mooc. I really didn’t get it you know but now I know the power of it! The Google hangouts were a boost and were held at appropriate time during the mooc. I also enjoyed the image competition. It put the zing back into the course for those who thought it was all too much!

  4. For better or worse, I have spent most of my life working in one capacity or another that requires people to make changes and get out of their routine way of thinking and behaving. My conclusion over many years is that most people just plain hate change in any form or fashion.. But conversely those that not only embrace change, but initiate change in their lives are the ones that happily thrive in life no matter what the circumstances. Bottom line,either attitude is a choice.

  5. As Deborah pointed out, those who initiate change are innovators, some may see it as innovation and embrace it, others may see it as change and resist it. Maddie, you are exactly right saying that MOOCs are not for everyone. You do have to be self-motivated. Wonder what that says about detractors? The EDC MOOC was a positive experience for me and encourages me, as a teacher, that online learning can create engaging environments!

    • Yes, I believe mooc are not for those who aren’t ready to change and open their minds to new innovative ways of learning. I am really interested to hear from teachers and professors who took edcmooc and have started applying learnings from it with their students. Hopefully in the next chat!

  6. Pingback: What a Scourge, Tham Fuan « Ian Teh

  7. I like your post and love your quote: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. I wrote a post (in Spanish – ) and i agree with most of your comments.

  8. Pingback: Reason & Existenz

  9. Pingback: Why be surprised about MOOC retention? | Monastic Musings Too

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