Saturday, February 22, 2014

Enjoying My First MOOC from Duke University

A MOOC was recommended to me by a fellow Washburn Leadership alum and since I had not taken a MOOC, I decided to try it out.  After all, the class was free, and it was about higher education.  The name of the class is "History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education".  We are more than halfway done with the course, but I am finding it very interesting.  We only have two weeks left of the class.

So far, I have done fairly well on the quizzes.  Along with quizzes we also are to watch videos from the instructor Cathy N. Davidson and I have enjoyed watching the videos.  The videos are split up into smaller videos so you can watch at your leisure, on your mobile device, etc when you have time. The course is put on by Duke University and they have done a very nice job with the delivery and class content.

The other interesting piece of the class is peer assessments.  For this assignment, which so far we have had two, we are assigned the task of writing 500 words about a topic.  We write up our comments or views on that topic and then we evaluate up to five other authors from the class.  Essentially, we are giving a grade based on our review of their writing.  This is done by at least five people for every essay that is written.  The average of the peer assessments is then used to assign the grade.  A interesting process to review the 1,000's of students taking the class where it would be impossible for a instructor to review all of the assignments.

The other important piece of this class is of course the discussions in the forums.  It took me a little bit to get into the forum posting on the site, but I have the hang of it now and I have been participating in the discussions.  The other area of interest is discussion outside of the course.  Using the #FutureEd Twitter hash tag, I have been discussing with others in the class about topics from the class.  For me, discussing using Twitter instead of the forums is easier as I am almost always on Twitter or have it close by most of the time.  I created a saved search for #FutureEd so I can jump into any discussion.

This course while being done through Duke University is presented on Coursera web site.  I have already started reviewing the Coursera site to find additional classes that I can take after this one is finished.

If you are interested in taking this class, watch their web site ( for future classes.