Update on my adventures in MOOC’s:
Last week I had signed up for a MOOC – Reading to Learn Science. When I had signed up, I realized that the course had begun two weeks ago! Needless to say, this week has been very busy but I was able to catch up and submit all assignments on time! This week we were just introduced to the concepts of Literacy. Being a science teacher, I was aware of these concepts, and thought I actively participated in helping my students read science literature correctly, but what I have learned is that I was wrong!!! And, I am glad that I was wrong, otherwise I would feel as though I had maybe signed up for the wrong MOOC. I am realizing how important literacy and science are in creating an inquiry based learner. Without good literacy skills, we will not produce students whom are capable at in depth inquiry. Literacy is very important for a student to create a valid hypothesis in order to test data, it is important for our students to be able to read the data in a graph correctly or any graphics and relate the to the text itself, as well, literacy is very important for peer reviewing.
The layout of a MOOC is really very easy to follow. The course I am enrolled in only puts up a “session” for 20 days, you must complete your session in that time. Session 1 contained 5 videos we had to view. Within each video there were questions to answer – the video would stop and a question would pop up, once answered you were shown the graphical data of how the others in the course had answered the question. And then the video would resume once more. After all five videos were answered, we had to work on and submit two assignments. The first one was a reading assignment. We were asked to read Literacy and Science, Each in the Service of the Other and answer questions (pre and post reading). The last assignment asked us to find three articles that we were going to be assigning within the next few weeks and discuss which elements of the articles would give our students a hard time and why, what parts we thought our students would not struggle with and why, and finally why we chose these articles. I chose two articles from my Forensic Science class and one for my Environmental Science class.
I find that I really like the flexibility that the MOOC allows for – you are encouraged to work on it at your own pace and on your own time. But the one thing I am a bit disappointed about right now, and it could change, is the lack of connectivity that there seems to be in the discussion / chat around the course. This could be because people are in the same boat as me and signed up after the MOOC began, or that we are all still trying to navigate the MOOC successfully. I hope that there is more conversation in future sessions. We have also been placed in teams, somewhat like the breakout session groups that Alec and Katia put us in, I am in team 13205 – there are 10 of us. There are 410 teams total with 10 people in each = 4100 students in the MOOC.
While researching more into MOOCs, I stumbles on a COOL course (collaborative open online learning) which is something that I am very interested in for my students. The idea behind a COOL course is that it will add value to upper secondary classes – I am thinking grade 11 and 12?
Now on to Session 2!