September 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Next Thursday, September 12, the UvA MOOC Introduction to Communication Science will start again. It will be a new version of the course which attracted almost 5.500 students worldwide last February. Personally I am very enthusiastic about it because now I will have more time to focus on content and analyze technical developments. In the first MOOC, I mainly watched videos and completed quizzes for my research. Now I want to use the forum further and also would like to explore the additional material to develop other ideas as well. This will be another way also to evaluate the MOOC in my own perspective as a student and researcher of new forms of pedagogies and e-learning. So, what to expect in this new version?
April 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
As part of the learning experience of a MOOC, students not only watch lectures and read articles or texts. They also have the chance to virtually engage with other students, teachers, and monitors of the course in a forum. There, they can ask questions, send opinions and post other additional materials they might find interesting. Although MOOCs do not present a learning formula, within its interface, the forum is the first option for interactivity. Indeed, courses developers are looking for other interactive possibilities such as social networks and wikipages to enable connectivism, but forums always have been popular among e-learners and online communities, even before web 2.0. Along with e-mail, it was one of the first digital tools to be used in courses.
March 29, 2013 § 2 Comments
Although I only experienced learning without Internet in a small period of my life, I must say that I can’t image one without another. With full, everyday access to this medium, our relation with technology changes, in the same way as our jobs and even personal lives. And I believe the web can offer incredible opportunities for users interested in building their own career path, improving their knowledge in a specific field or even get expertise in a totally different area. This is probably why MOOCs are becoming so popular. With their digital tools and flexibility (for schedule and assignments, for example), students have many possibilities to create the course they want to do on their own. With access to lectures and further readings, they have the liberty to explore what they want: create communities (online or even offline), build their own websites about the topic, write a blog about it, even enroll in a complete course or many other possibilities.
March 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
I found this week’s UvA MOOC topic fascinating: a short history of communication science. It is interesting and also very difficult to grasp in only eight short videos – a challenge I must say. From Greeks’ sophists to modern media theories in the 19th century, the field has been through many developments. In addition, I found important that the lecturer emphasized again the scope of the course. In the very first video, Rutger de Graaf explains that yes, communication occurred before Ancient Greece, but only during this time there were proper records and studies of communication as a “science”. It is also interesting how uses a specific vocabulary to introduce the student into an academic topic. This is not easy because students have many different kinds of backgrounds. However, more complicated words and expressions such as ‘meta level’ are explained within the speech.
February 28, 2013 § 2 Comments
After joining the kickoff for the first UvA MOOC, it was impossible not to be curious. How many classes would we have? Where do students come from? What kind of doubts participants will have? Will they join the forum, create a Facebook group or even a Meet Up? Where will I look for additional information about the topic?