back on a mooc with #moocmooc

#MOOCMOOC is getting started today, and it looks promising, with a modest enrollment so far (early in the day). Here’s the starting point. The platform, Canvas, also looks interesting – not quite roll-your own, but a far cry (thank god) from D2L. The platform can make all the difference. And the duration, a week, is ideal – not just opportune, coming at the end of summer, but an easy span of time to commit to. Sort of an end-of-summer romance.  Remember those?

So far MOOCMOOC seems to be firmly a cMOOC, and yet there are a number of participants who are more familiar with xMOOCs. It will be interesting to see how that possible tension plays out. Jamming together the prim and proper, managerial, xMOOCs-wil-save-our-skin types with the cMOOC let-me-learn-in-peace,-thankyouverymucn types – it will be curious to see just what each will bring to the table, and how each will engage the activities. If MOOCMOOC is about testing a hypothesis,

The Experiment

This MOOC is an experiment. Not a “will it work?” experiment, but a “let’s test an hypothesis” experiment. The hypothesis is the MOOC. The tools we’re using to test it is MOOC MOOC.

then, here’s mine:

My thinking is, and I hope I’m off the mark, that the cMOOC types will actually experiment by producing and testing, while the managerial, xMOOC types will discuss definitions, sustainability, the salvation of education by shrewd and wise management. That is, they will want to discuss their positions rather than testing the MOOC waters by production, curation, remixing, giving back. Hope I’m off base.

And of course I understand that this is not stated as a formal hypothesis and that engaging in a MOOC is not a formal experiment, and what I’m really doing isstating my area of interest and curiosity. But as I was composing my intro to MOOCMOOC, I realized the reason I’m looking forward to this MOOC is that it offers the opportunity to play around a little: experiment, improvise (as Pete Rorabaugh mentions), step outside the teacherly role  for a while. A MOOC might push boundaries of learning, but it can also become – or be taken as – a reason for learners to push boundaries, to side-step the complacent, the given, to step a little out of line. It may be out of their control, but when an institution, a university, provides that opportunity publicly, as in MOOCMOOC, it’s bound to aggravate the powers that wanna-be.