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5 March 2013
Itana Gimenes Design Narrative
Where are you coming from? What is the context in which you are working and participating in OLDS MOOC?
I am a professor of Software Engineering at the Universidade Estadual de Maringá (www.din.uem.br/~itana) which is located in the South of Brazil. When the MOOC started I was on my holidays’ break so I had more time to dedicate to the activities. When classes started it was more difficult to stick to the course, but I managed to go through most of the activities. My interest in the OLDS-MOOC was both by the MOOC itself, as I would like to have an immersion experience, and for the topic Learning Design (LD) because I’ve been applying it in the development of a software engineering course. I first heard of LD at the Open University in 2011 when I was in a sabbatical license. Many of my students look at MOOCs in Computer Science, so I would like to understand better to be able to talk to them about this kind of courses and the issues around them.
What did you hope to achieve? What were your goals in joining OLDS MOOC?
I hoped to have an immersion in a MOOC experience. Issues I would like to experience include: (i) the technology applied and check how effective they were; (ii) the organisation of the course and its ability to guide the learners; (iii) certification; (iv) level of participants’ interaction; and, (v) quality of material used.
As far as LD is concerned, I had a previous experience in the application of OULDI so, I would like to enhance my knowledge by studying alternative approaches and tools.
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 taken the course seriously looking forward to go through all the activities. I thought this was the only way to make a good judgement by the end of the value of a MOOC, and at the same time learn more about LD. So, by now I only left week 4 partially incomplete because I had been away for one week. To help me with the journey I planned to apply for the badges 1, 3 and 6 weeks and the achievement. I also enjoyed doing the reflections as a mean of reviewing my activities and register my own judgement of what I have done.
My learning journal already has many issues that I could reproduce here; I’ll highlight some. The main event in the beginning of the course was to form a group and set up a project. This was a very difficult task. I published the project proposal, but there seems to be few people from my subject area interested to join the project. I ended up doing a project with a colleague I knew. However, due to time synchronisation working in a group was a problem, so I had to proceed with the project on my own. This was not actually a bad idea because I could proceed in my own speed. Obviously I lost interaction and feedback.
At the beginning of the course I missed real lectures, I was hopping to see the key people involved in the course talking about the subjects, so short videos was frustrating, but further I got used to the strategy and slides with audio did helped me.
In week 2, it was quite useful to learn about Personas, Force Maps and EoR. The similarities with software engineering design made the understanding of the concepts easier, actually across the whole MOOC. In week 3, I felt there was a gap between the knowledge acquired in week 2 and week 3. The 7Cs framework mentions Personas which do help to draw the scenario. This means that force maps and EoR were not considered, or maybe that one can use whatever they like to get here. I didn’t know EoR before but comparing what I see in our EoR, I think it does help to get to the course map view, maybe more effort can be placed in making them coherent, like Environment, People, Tools. I studied the concepts of week 4 but for time reasons I skipped the tasks.
I find week 5 productive and one that I had more feedback. I had the opportunity to see authentic learning and will consider it in further research.
I was following the convergence sessions, but at week 5 I was tired of people complain and discussing the MOOC issues and not taking the opportunity to discuss the subject of the week. Week 6 worked really well, both in terms of feedback and interaction in the convergence session.
Week 7 was great, definitely the one I most learned. I knew several of the concepts but I was able to understand them in the context of LD. The material used was rich and important to consider in further research.
My frustration is not to have enough feedback even in a course with so many people involved. Surely I have not given enough feedback to people too, minha culpa!
I would say that the tasks designed for the week were a bit long, in particular in week 5 and 7.
Overall, I am very pleased to have completed the MOOC. I think it was a success.
What were the outcomes of your participation? Did you meet your goals? What went well, what didn't? What unexpected outcomes did you notice?
I have achieved the goal of experience a MOOC. I had enhanced my knowledge o LD and come to know many tools and references that I surely use in my own research. By this time my understanding of education issues has improved a lot. I have produced the artefacts required along the course, the development of them was very important to consolidate my knowledge of LD.
What did you learn? What advice could you give others?
I have registered many issues in my reflection not much to add in this section. A summary phrase would be: I can be a better lecture after this course and I am aware of more tools and material to use in my research, so I am quite happy with that.