(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali's blog has now moved to http://blog.mahabali.me

OERs, MOOCs, and dieting

2 Comments

This is just a quick post re-capping thoughts from today’s twitter discussions and especially the #nwoerchat

First, I want to point out that I remembered Rebecca Hogue’s great work on a framework for describing MOOCs and was compelled to share it with folks on #nwoer to help tamper the conversation on MOOCs beyond the typical xMOOC with all its flaws (was inspired after reading Peter’s blog post). It seemed to resonate well, and I am glad, because Rebecca did a great job.

One of the questions in today’s #nwoerchat (Storify here, great job Peter on getting it up so fast! And both Sue and Peter for facilitating) was what does the ideal MOOC look like. And well, first, most of us agreed there was no one-size-fits-all learners, contexts, etc. We also had a few rhizo14ers (Sarah, Simon, Carol, Len, who else?) and we of course waxed lyrical about rhizo14 (in this vague way that I am sure annoyed other people and made them feel excluded – I am so sorry, I remember feeling that way about other MOOCs ppl talked about and said it was an amazing experience and difficult to describe).

Speaking of no one-size-fits all, I was reminded again of the analogy of education is like dieting: fads come and go, but the reality is that each individual has different needs and different things work well for different contexts. And speaking of food analogies, Simon took my suggestion and created a padlet where we can all post our food-edu-oer analogies! Here it is if you’d like to add to it

One of the very important other conversations I have had today on fb and twitter relates to the openness/closedness of MOOCs. It is lovely to have MOOCs where you can get in any time (but I said, never leave, as in Hotel California). Several ppl on the twitter chat agreed that the best MOOCs are the ones where they never end, or at least the connections between people continue long after the official MOOC is over. This all reminded me of an earlier post about what makes a good professional development experience and it would be great if people can add to the list I initially wrote (via the comments – and then maybe I’ll do a new post integrating/attributing the comments).

Another really useful thing that came out of the twitter chat (though I did not see responses other than my own actually) was the question of how/whether MOOCs feed into our teaching. For me personally, MOOCs have fed into my teaching in many ways:

1. I can get resources to use (whether articles in xMOOCs, or peers’ blog posts in cMOOCs)

2. My students’ blogs this semester are getting loads of comments from my MOOC friends – and this fits perfectly with the course outcomes that include an element of intercultural interaction

3. Some of my students joined a Twitter chat by a MOOC friend that was done for his students originally

Flower: open and closed. Wikimedia commons

Flower: open and closed. Wikimedia commons

Among many other ways twitter has helped my teaching, e.g. when I posted my “riddle” for teaching this semester, Mark posted a “Goha” story that I used in my very first class to help me explain the dilemma to my students in a humorous way.

I’ll stop here before this all becomes too personal to make sense to anyone but me (and maybe rhizo14 coz they know me too well)

Oh… ok, one LAST personal thing: I received a (physical) gift from Clarissa (from Brazil) today – loved it Clarissa. Cannot believe I now have a rhizo14 magnet on my fridge… evidence (not that I need it) that our online relationships are much more than just that :o) And this reminds me of an annoying article I read today about online relationships not approximating f2f. Guess what? They can be richer and deeper and more engaged. Some people are just not lucky enough to be able to build them.

I’m off! One last last thing – I found a nice image for “open” and “closed” which also reminds me of Peter’s post “MOOCs: a rose by any other name”. I inserted it somewhere in the middle of this blog post. 🙂

Advertisements

Author: Maha Bali

Associate professor of practice, American University in Cairo

2 thoughts on “OERs, MOOCs, and dieting

  1. I totally agree, Maha. I feel way closer to the rhizo tribe than I do to many folk I have worked with for years.

  2. please don’t leave out the Goha story. I miss them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s