Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bonk's open course - End of Week 4 - No badge

I had every intention of earning myself a badge for Dr. Bonk's open course - but no! I got distracted during week 3. I got a call from a friend who wanted to get together in person, face-to-face, so I did that instead of attending the live session. (I have a policy of ditching online activities for face-to-face activities unless money is involved (or I'm the presenter.) Unfortunately that broke the spell to some extent. It's better to KEEP UP.

I did listen to most of the recording for Week 3 and did review the readings. Week 3 was on collaboration. I know there are cheerleaders for collaboration as if that's the best thing ever, but my own attempts at a collaboration assignments were successes. My adult learners living in many time zones were not all that enchanted with the idea (even though others who teach in the same program have brought this off with a lot of aplomb.) In one group on semester, one student simply flaked out and did not do his part. The other students were extremely upset. They feared that 1) their grade would be affected and 2) that the student would get credit even though he did none of the work. My reassurances were not sufficient to calm their nerves. The students did not enjoy the process. I did not enjoy the process. What were the learning objectives for that assignment? I can barely remember! Mostly I remember that the students were unhappy. Mostly the students learned that collaboration was a risky proposition. As I noted I do understand that some instructors make it work. However the idea of tackling a collaboration activity in the future just makes me groan. I read through a lot of the discussions for Week 3, but I did not have a charming, original contribution to make about collaboration. So... no badge for me! I did make some comments here and there in this course, so I stretched beyond my usual lurker status, but I'm not comfortable I fulfilled the requirements for a badge.

Gerry McKiernan picked up Bonk's AUDIO | The MOOC Halftime Report. Interestingly Dr Bonk guessed that he'd attract faculty who were "petrified about teaching" online. I'm not certain there was an actual survey... It would be interesting to know more about the participants.

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