Right. So in case you are crazy like me and plan to take several simultaneous MOOCs whilst also holding down a full-time job and maintaing some semblance of a family at home with a kid/s… I will assume you are already a hyper-networked individual who is also a lifelong learner…
Here are some tips:
1. Do your ownthing. You don’t HAVE to finish each MOOC, do each assignment, read every reading. It’s not like you did that in every course you paid for, did you??? Oh, you did? Well, you’re not paying for this one, you are doing it for yourself, so do only what will be useful for yourself! If a particular reading goes over your head or bores you, ignore it. If a Google Hangout comes at an inconvenient time, just skip it (and watch the recording later, or not!) I finished a MOOC once where i almost never watched the lectures, but i did the quizzes and assignments and some of the readings and saw some of the powerpoints. I learned a lot of what I wanted to learn. I took another MOOC where i was not crazy about the content but had some great interaction in the online discussion.
2. Find synergies between different things you’re doing, either between MOOCs or between a MOOC and your work. I actually did all three once, when I did the assignment of #edcmooc as a video reflecting on the MOOC’s themes with regards to the #readmake project, and posted that video as part of #readmake AND presented it to my colleagues at work! I am thinking that in future, I might for example blog about the topic, but also maybe post part of that text in discussion forums as well. Beforehand, I used to tweet my quick thoughts, then build them into a fuller idea for a discussion board posting
3. Network. I have found that maybe one of the most useful aspects of a MOOC that fits with one’s area of work (vs. one that meets only a personal interest) is that you can network with people whom you might want to keep knowing and learning from/with in future.
4. Get others at work excited and participating in the same MOOC and use it as group professional development (I am still working on that one, but I think it will happen one day, as I become more discriminating about which MOOCs are likely to be most useful and still be manageable)
(Added in March 2014 after taking rhizo14):
5. Find your favorite social media platform that the MOOC is using (twitter,facebook, g+, blogging, or combo) and have your mobile device notify you of changes (e.g. Responses to your tweets, facebook posts, etc.)
6. Set your goals for why you’re taking the MOOC (but feel free to modify them later!)
Some other tips on a more logistical front:
1. Read or watch videos while commuting… If you can. I think most folks already do that
2. If you can get your hands on the material for the MOOC beforehand, start reading or skimming thru it in advance. It’ll help you know if you’re going to like the content of the MOOC, and give you a headstart when the MOOC itself starts
3. Keep some sort of mobile device near your bed in case you get bouts of insomnia (which I do all the time) and feel like some late-night MOOCing.
Last tip: relaaaaaax and enjoy it. Happy MOOCing
P.S. in case you hadn’t noticed, this ain’t no manifesto, but i thought it would be a cool title!