The first time I heard the term “MOOC” was during the beginning of the Master’s, it was Dr Lisa Harris who spoke about it for a while, mentioning the importance of participating in it within the course. By that moment I felt quite curious about it, and I instantly looked up for the meaning of its initials, after reading them I started to imagine a world of possibilities.
The word Massive specifically highlighted the whole meaning to me, would it be a series of live video streaming lectures that could be watched from people all over the world whilst users shared their comments and beliefs while being answered simultaneously by educators? I didn’t know exactly what to expect.
In Mexico online courses aren’t the first option for students in terms of learning, one reason for this is the low quality of the education in terms of the use of technology in both private and public sectors. One thing I can rescue from this is that the MOOC’s incentivize the use of digital means and enhance the importance of the technology for the future of education.
By the moment I started participating within the modules I realized my assumptions weren’t far from reality, however as the weeks passed my expectations for my first MOOC lowered.
My observations land in the platform’s functionality, I consider it can be significantly improved to achieve a more meaningful interaction in order to build a higher interpersonal communication online; it can be based in the Facebook’s user friendly algorithm. For example, to consider the possibility of mentioning someone with the “@”, showing who liked your comments and sharing the most relevant comments for you.
On the other hand, talking about the content of the information inside the platform I could perceive an evident effort from the learners towards the structure and the narrative of the information and the general encouragement towards the learners to express their thoughts.
For this being my first time studying in the UK I’ve already experienced a new way of learning which challenges my capabilities and that includes the participation in the MOOC as well. From what I’ve learned, the more the education is being shared, the richer it gets, I consider that the spirit of education itself is to be opened to the community.
I believe that the MOOC’s model of education has quite of potential regarding the immediacy of the information and the reach of the material. However, I consider that it will hardly replace the great value of traditional education such as live lectures.
I consider that education is directly attached with emotions, at the end of the day the knowledge is shared between two human beings and that bond is what makes learning valuable. Open online courses are just a communication channel to exploit the share of knowledge but the authentic meaning of learning face to face is feeling the lecturer’s passion to give away the information for the learners to take away for their entire life.