Struggling with #edcmooc – and learning from it

I’m surprised at myself – I thought I would take to a MOOC like a duck to water. But I find myself resisting delving into the materials and taking the time to consider them.

And I wonder if this is a phenomenon of MOOCs – especially ones where there’s no stick (the threat of failing an exam, for example) or extrinsic motivator (I’ve spent cash on this so I have to do it). One thing’s for sure, when I find the time to look at the materials, it’s late at night and my brain can’t engage properly.

And so I find myself wondering if I am alone in this: am I the only one that – perhaps surprisingly – is finding this harder than I thought? There are 1000s enrolled, so I would think not.

But it is making me question the whole online learning experience – and perhaps this is good in itself. After all, there is a new culture of learning being created through technology and watching our reactions to how we learn is almost as important as the material itself.

Right, that’s it: walk to clear my head then catch up on week 1’s materials.

“Kirk out.”


2 thoughts on “Struggling with #edcmooc – and learning from it

  1. I know what you mean about how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to get the work done in an online class. I’ve found that I had the same problem even when I paid for classes. The issue for me is that if I don’t have the social feedback, I have trouble making it a priority. If it’s not a priority, the online class becomes the last thing I do in the day or the week, and then I’m left tired and harried and less than fully “on” for the coursework. There are two things that I’ve found that help me with this problem.

    The first is to have an in-person study partner. I did one course in 2012 with my housemate and that was great. We’d sit down together every week to go over the course material, watching the videos together, talking about the readings, etc. That made the whole thing a lot more fun and it provided the social pressure on the occasions that one or the other of us just didn’t feel like doing it.

    The second option is to create a virtual version of that social environment. Pick a couple of people in the course that you are going to “follow” and make it a personal priority to read their posts and comment on them each week. Or pick a single forum (the class forum or one of the facebook or G+ groups) that you will check in on regularly and make that your study group. Even that virtual social group can help give you give the coursework a slightly higher priority, moving it earlier in your day and/or week.

    Hope that helps!!

    • Thanks Lisha,

      Some really good tips on how to motivate yourself in a distance-learning world. I particularly like the idea of creating the virtual version – how very pertinent!

      Really good to have your thoughts.


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