Jane C's Reflective narrative
Cloud created by:
2 March 2013
Where are you coming from? What is the context in which you are working and participating in OLDS MOOC?
I am a lecturer and course leader in a UK University. I have managed e-learnign programmes in the past but would not describe myself as a Learning Technologist. I currently teach face to face but enjoy incoprporating online platforms as much as possible, both institutional (VLE) and external - such as Google Docs, blogs, wikis, Twitter and Facebook. My current goals within my teaching are to develop greater research and digital skills in my students.
What did you hope to achieve? What were your goals in joining OLDS MOOC?
I joined OLDSMOOC because I have an interest in this form of learning and because good learning design is something I feel I could learn more about and do much better! I didn't immediately make the link between the project and my own teaching but in desperation I combined the two with happy results :)
What did you do? What were the main events, interactions, practices and activities in which you participated? What were the obstacles - and how did you tackle them?
I have participated fairly consistently in the MOOC and been very active in completing tasks up until the last week when unfortunately I received notice that I would be moving house in 3 weeks! This has meant abandoning the MOOC, project and learning partner in favour of frantic packing.
The first week was incredibly frustrating as I did not (and still don't ) find Cloudworks to be an intuitive platform. In particular it proved almost impossible to select a project team to join and almost at random I started stalking a woman in Ireland who looked as though she might have similar interests to mine. The fact that we shared a Nottingham connection made the introductions a little easier, added to which she had an interest in the subject area of my course (Health and Social Care).
The lack of a social network integrated into Cloudworks makes connection very difficult - as does the lack of a logical site map. I constantly feel lost in here and this is not aided by the multiplicity of platforms being used, with emphasis shifting from Google to CW to Twitter to Slideshare....
What this has done though is taught me how very confusing it is when I switch platforms with my students and consistency is a principal of learning design that I intend to adhere to more rigorously in future.
What were the outcomes of your participation? Did you meet your goals? What went well, what didn't? What unexpected outcomes did you notice?
My biggest disappointment is that I didn't get to complete a basic design for the module I initially envisaged. I guess in such a short time frame this was not going to be possible and had I joined this MOOC with teammates who are actually involved in the teaching of my module alongside me, this could have been more productive.
Having said that, the best unexpected outcome was making a friend in Helen Crump and in actually meeting up with her face to face one splendid afternoon. Had I joined this MOOC with a team, such serendipity would not have been possible.
I would have liked to have undertaken the evaluation of a learning design last week. Evaluation and reflection are two things I champion. However, work priorities at the moment include the National Student Survey, Peer Observations, Module Evaluation Questionnaires and a Course Approval and Review process across our whole School , so on top of the packing, I probably felt a bit evaluated-out
What did you learn? What advice could you give others?
I do feel I have learned something about learning design and in particular I found the course features exercise in week 3 really useful. I think this is something I would take forward to use with my own team - and an opportunity is about to arise as we are planning an overhaul of how we teach research skills across all three years of our course.
Some activites were less useful for me, but that's OK. My advice to anyone undertaking a MOOC is not to stress about it (as my students would say). Do what you can, when you can. And have a partner to share the fun along the way. At times, the only reason I completed activities was because I didn't want to let Helen down. At other times, the only way I managed to do them at all was because she led the way. And sometimes, I got inspired and facilitated her.
Oh - and a final word: don't let badge envy ruin your day :)