Big Q/ little Q

My primary reason for signing up for ocTEL was because I wanted to experience a cMOOC. I have tried to get along with this format before, but have always dropped out quite early, overwhelmed by the quantity of material and the unstructured nature of the ‘course’.

I suspect that this is because my existing PLN is well developed and largely meets my CPD needs. It is well focused for my interests, but I wonder if I am in danger of not hearing alternative voices/ideas.

In contrast with my previous experience of cMOOCs, I’ve really enjoyed a couple of xMOOCs that I’ve taken. On reflection, this may have been because I went into the cMOOCs in an exploratory way – let’s see what this is about – rather than with a learning aim in mind, whereas I joined the xMOOCs because I was interested in the specific content. So this time I will follow the advice “Set your goals, so that they may guide your path” and then try to be more structured in my engagement.

I have decided to take as the focus of my study in ocTEL, my ‘big question’:

In relation to technology enhanced learning in higher education, what is ‘enhanced’ and how do we know?

This question is addressed specifically in a recent paper by by Kirkwood & Price (, but I think it also provides a good framework for general reflection.

And this makes my ‘small question’:

What is a cMOOC and how does it work?


2 thoughts on “Big Q/ little Q

  1. Good luck with ocTEL! I’m trying to engage as both a tutor and a participant. Last year I was a tutor but only really got involved with the two weeks I was ‘teaching’ (moderating?). I’m also hoping to experience a cMOOC properly, although already I feel a little overwhelmed with the different number of spaces in which we can interact. I’ve seen requests for LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ groups, plus there’s Twitter, blogs etc.

    I’ve completed three xMOOCs and whilst I enjoyed them, I found the discussion was mainly between participants and moderators rather than between participants.

    • Thanks, Julie. I hope you enjoy it too.

      The current xMOOC that I’m working on (The Analytics Edge from EdX – includes quite a lot of helpful discussion amongst participants, mostly focused on specific activities/learning.

      One really good aspect of this course is an online competition ( where we use the skills we’ve learnt so far to address an analytic problem. This has resulted in lots of participant discussion – in fact the moderators are not active on the kaggle forums at all – and lots of learning.

      Participating in the competition has been great for consolidating what I’ve learnt up till now – both the practical skills and the underlying theory. And I’ve found it really challenging and enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s