So I recently joined the OLDS MOOC, which is an “Massive open online course” focusing on Learning Design. The only time before I’ve heard the term “Learning Design” used, was when I first read Etienne Wenger’s book about Communities of Practice. In one area of the book Wenger talks about designing learning and makes a model for designing a learning environment: Four dimensions of design for learning (Wenger, 1998, Figure 10.1, p.232)
I have been really happy with the model, since it was the first time I saw a model that seemed to first of all focus on “What is learning in it’s simplest form” and next “Which mechanismens does learning consist of”. In my studies for the cultural leadership diplom I’m currently taking, the focus was to use this learning design model to create an environemt at the workplace, where learning was part of everyday life for me and my collegues. Funny enough the model made me think of, how little I have been inspirered to keep learning when not in education. It’s like my education as a music teacher all focused on how I could teach the best, and not how I could keep getting better when first I started working. That was probably why a lot of people told me to stay after my bachelorsdegree, which I would not since I had the idea that I would learn way more working in a school – than in keep studying. I’m pretty sure I have learned more working, thoe I can’t say how much I would have learned if I have keept studying at the musicacademy. Now I’m back on the school bench taking a diploma which I can study while I still work – this for me, seems like the perfect model. To study and at the same time use what you learn in “real life”, and that’s why I desided to sign up for this MOOC, to get even more inspiration I can use to change the way I teach.
MOOC is a whole new way of studying for me. I still don’t really know where everything is happening, thoe the assignments for the week is really well written. It’s more the communication part that is really hard to get into, and from what I can read from other participants – I’m not the only one trying to find my way around all those diffent places where information and conversation takes place: Cloudworks, Google Groups, Google+, Twitter, the Website, Scoop.it and so on. I’m used to drive my car all the way to the place where I study, take a cup of coffee and start talking/learning with the orthers who participate in the study. In the diploma it really works, since a lot of the focus is on the conversation, creating meaning together (Jerome Bruner) and trying out if what we learn is how it works in the real world. The MOOC could have the same great effect, if I just could find the place where I felt comftable to study with others – I haven’t found that yet, and since it was last weeks assignment, it seems hard to find where the actual group-making is taking place, probably since it already took place?
Note to self: Next time you want to join a MOOC, find out before the actual MOOC starts – so you can prepare and save time for it.
Goals and projects
One of the things I personally think can make this MOOC really effective when it comes to learning, is that you are motivated to set goals and not least make a project where you can try what you learn. Just like I do in the diploma. The only “problem” is, that I entered this MOOC because I wanted to figure out what Learning Design is and how it is to be part of a MOOC. I’m not nearly getting to the “Goals and projects” fase yet, which seems to be the place where you find others to study with. I not afraid that I won’t find anyone to work and study with, I’m pretty sure it will come when first I get the hang of this way of working, but until then I’ll have to accept the fact that I really don’t know what I’m working towards at the moment.
Note to self: Next time you sign up for a MOOC, spend some time thinking of what you more precisely want to get out of the study and how much time you want to spend.
I have spend a whole lot of time finding articles, blogs, discussions and other kind of text I should read. It’s now ready for me to digest in the next 6 hours on my trainride to Stockholm.
See you on the other site