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?