Sunday, September 08, 2013

How to Teach Online MOOC: Aloha Discussion

Author: Mathieu Plourde {(Mathplourde on Flickr)
This week marks the beginning of the How to Teach Online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). What is a MOOC you may ask? According to the, a repository of MOOCs across the web,  MOOC is "an online course aimed at large-scale participation and open (free) access via the internet." A MOOC is very similar to university courses but typically do not offer course credits.

This will be my first time participating in a MOOC, and I'm excited that it is being offered through my local community college, Leeward Community College!

The first activity of this MOOC is to introduce yourself to the community, so here it goes!

1. What is your intention for this course (why are you here)?

My intention for participating in this course  is first to get an idea of how a MOOC works. I've heard of MOOCs in the past and have heard about some great MOOCs that have been offered. If you check out, there are some great MOOCs being offered all the time, for many different categories and professions. My other intention, of course, is to become more familiar with the concept of Online Teaching and the tools available for being an online teacher.

MOOC Crib Sheet created by Jeannette Shaffer
(for a 2011 ISTE Workshop)
2. What issues do you think are important?

I think, first and foremost, we need to have an open mind about Online Teaching. Many universities now offer degrees online, but we are still slowly venturing into the world of online teaching/learning with younger students, especially in elementary and middle school. There are two sides to the concept of online teaching for younger students, but I feel there are many benefits to this option.

3. How will you contribute?

I feel it is extremely important for anyone to be an active participant and a community contribute in their Professional Learning Network and in any MOOC. Because a MOOC is free and typically doesn't offer any sort of credit, most people that choose to participate are there because they want to gain new knowledge and meet new people in their profession. To get the most of your PLN or MOOC, you have to be active and you have to contribute. You won't get much out of the experience or if you are a lurker.

4. How would you like to see the community develop among participants?

I want to see deep, rich conversations about the topics of this MOOC. Only through these conversations, will this MOOC be successful and participants come out of it with a deeper understanding and plethora of resources for Teaching Online.

5. How will you overcome the fear of learning in the open and the frustration of using new technology?

I find it amazing that 90% of the people that register for a MOOC, usually don't even participate. For me, learning and gaining a better understanding of my profession is a passion and a driving force. We have to be more comfortable with new technologies, because they are constantly arriving almost on a daily basis.

It's not too late to register for the How to Teach Online MOOC yourself!