Value in a Learner’s Point of View on a MOOC – Part I

Value in a Learner’s Point of View on a MOOC – Part I. AKA, Snap Your Fingers, Part I.

See, I did it, I really did complete my online poetry course!
See, I did it, I really did complete my online poetry course!

Now, I may get all academic here, but a writer’s got to do what a writer’s got to do.

I am writing fewer than a handful of shortish pieces as a learner, who can offer a reflective piece on my involvement, in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera, for Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) from September to November of 2014, offered by the University of Pennsylvania, and managed by professor Al Filreis.

There is value in hearing from me, a student and taking into consideration my experiences in a MOOC, particularly ModPo offering year-round learning. There is a great deal of online debate that I witness, particularly tweets and articles via Twitter, and I want to add my thoughts to the conversation. I will state, undeniably, that I think that a MOOC is an accessible, valuable, and continuous method of pedagogy, relevant to higher education and a wonderful tool for outreach.

I’ll speak to the following:

• Goal setting and showing up to do the work is imperative to a MOOC.

• Learning in a MOOC community creates personal connections between learners and professors, TAs, community TAs, and other students. The set up of the course is important and the variety of materials, some interactive, allow for both teaching and feedback and for a give and take process to occur. There is quality in learning en masse where everyone contributes their knowledge. Because it’s a community, personal relationships are built both off and online, in addition to meaningful connections to the content and Coursera. Bonds are built, and a community is formed, connections are continuous and ongoing, and this matters.

• The materials and how they are used is essential. Cost, time, and how the MOOC is taught and what it means to a learner are all factors worth consideration. Short and long-term goals and how they affect a learner, will give you an idea on why a student learns and the way that schooling happens.

I will flesh out why I believe in the above statements as I bring more personalized thoughts, along with more “I” statements about THIS (capitalizing THIS is a ModPo thing) topic, on my blog. And I’m hoping to get some likes, akin to ModPo finger snaps, which is similar to applause. I don’t know why finger snaps are in, in ModPo. They are cool, but it may be that the audio can handle the finger snaps better than thunderous clapping, or maybe it’s a cool ModPo thing. Or, perhaps it’s a poet thing.

See how I did that? I went from being all academic to being my goofy, writerly self. And that is celebrated in poetry as well.

You too can check out ModPo HERE.


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