Moodle HQ Community Educator and resident “Moodlefairy” Mary Cooch took some time in her busy month, to pause, collect her (and her students’) thoughts, and write about what this year’s instance of the “Teaching with Moodle MOOC” has meant – a habit we would all do well to cultivate.
On her own moodleblog.net, Mary Cooch wrote some remarks about her experience about this 6th MOOC. She first wrote a mid-course post, then some before-the-end words, and end-of-the-line remarks. She intends to follow-up with a post when final participation statistics are compiled.
In relation to the students’ voices, she classified them into two groups: “Smiles” and “Sighs”.
The “Smiles”, or the parts of the month-long course for which Cooch is thankful, enthusiastic or relieved, there are the large participation, repeat customers and completion rates. Volunteers, who know Moodle and join mostly to help others, are always a delight. She admits that some “hero regular Moodlers” even give better answers than herself, particularly for non-English speakers, which conforms to the guiding principle of collectively constructed knowledge. Cooch mentions many who go the extra mile, to not only answer questions but to make feel welcome as many as possible.
A bonus smile would have to be the use of Moodle Mobile. It has been available as a medium for the Moodle MOOC before, but January 2017 is poised to be the year when it took off as a meaningful channel that can deliver a standalone MOOC experience.
Going into the less desirable, yet still important “Sighs”, Cooch finds frustrating the common and recurring misunderstandings that take place. Students fail to follow through on instructions and take a bit long in finding out why their check boxes were not ticked off. As the MOOC delves into the more advanced topics, there is growing excitement, but also growing confusion. Language (sometimes mixed with cultural) barriers, and zombie questions, that keep getting raised no matter the dozens of times she and fellow students settle over and over again, complete the set of exhalations. Nothing a new deep breath in, and a genuine interest to service the learners’ needs cannot sort out.
All in all, she ―and Moodle learning and engagement teamster Helen Foster, also Moodle HQ Community Manager― is again witness of the value behind the Moodle MOOCs, as places to learn, interact, collaborate, network and much more.
What do you wish your students realized more quickly? How are you helping them out to do it?