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Michael's OLD-MOOC learning journal - week 1 review

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Michael Bromby
16 January 2013

Okay, so it's been a baptism of fire signing up and getting involved with my first MOOC.  After nearly giving up a few times, I've persevered and followed the advice of some others who have either floundered or just got on and done something!  So, I'm up to my knees with various online tools (passwords aren't such a problem, but I have felt that I'm moving around from one thing to another and doing 'bits' rather like starting out a jigsaw puzzle) and I think I'm reasonably comfortable now.

I've found a few participants from my institution so that's reassuring to see some familiar names around the MOOC although I've deliberately tried to find a different set of people to form a Team and Study Circle: I can always fall-back on well-known colleagues if I need to do so in the future.  My Team (I think) will be looking at small changes, doing something small (but significant) and that suits me as I'm not exactly time-rich in relation to this project.  My Study Circle is Edinburgh-based, which is a nearby city and I think it's nice to have some variety.  Hopefully we might even get to meet up in person, but I suppose this maybe depends on how well we get on, what time we have and what we'll be asked to do in the future weeks.

I think we've achieved something this week.  I've not read an awful lot about learning design, but have picked up a couple of discipline specific papers that I've been meaning to look at for a while, so that's progress for me.  Not really sure if the mind-map worked out as it should have done.  i did add a couple of nodes with some next and links, but I think a lot of people were put off, or perhaps still yet to complete the task.  Learning design, for me, is very subject dependent.  I teach law, so our learning activities are often centred around 'learning to be a lawyer' which is okay for the professional route, but many don't go into practice or indeed want to learn about practical aspects of the law.  Learning design must therefore reflect the substantive, jurisprudential or theory of law on the undergraduate cirriculum, but still address the employability agenda for would-be-lawyers and graduates with a law degree who do something else but still want those skills.

Final thoughts - the technology hasn't been working well for me from the iPad, and also experienced problems loading up the MOOC pages when travelling on a train, but that's the national infrastructure and not the MOOC's fault.  Time may well become and issue - I really don't want to work weekends (what: an academic with a weekend life?!) so I worry about being an early starter on Thu/Fri and then playing catch-up on Mon-Tue which are busy work days for the old 9-5 that pays the bills!

Can I have a badge now please?!

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