Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention

In starting a new MOOC this week, I was reflecting on the Change11 one that I participated in last year. I never really continued with it, and thought I would document a bit about why.

One reason is that I never felt the need to officially “drop out”. I figured there was no point to do something as such because maybe one day I would wake up and want to make a comment or post or something about some topic involved in the change11. There was no benefit to declaring any such thing.

Another point was that I found the weekly change in topic pace too fast for me. I’ve commented on this before (also here) so I’ll leave it at that. I also commented about the socialness of it, which probably had something to do with it.

Thinking back to when I was trying to make time to keep up with topics in the change11 MOOC, I remember feeling that involvement there was pushing aside some of my own, or better said, other learning that I wanted to undergo. Stacks of books that I’ve been meaning to read, topics that I’ve been meaning to dive into and articles that I’ve found and saved – these all seemed to have priority over the topics that were coming at me through the change11.

This isn’t to say that the change11 topics weren’t interesting, they were, but maybe at a lower priority than the other topics that I wanted to spend some time on. I read somewhere a while ago, I forget where, that the reason why drop-out rate for this open style of learning is so high is because people aren’t used to this style of learning and prefer to be spoon-fed information. I wonder if this is the prevailing thought on the subject, as my experience was very opposite. My involvement in the change11 dropped mainly because I didn’t want to be spoon-fed topics that were of less importance compared to ones I preferred.

Since then, I’ve been reluctant to join any MOOCs (the change11 was my third one, I think) that weren’t high on my priority list of topics to study, or covering a single, tight topic of study. Which brings me to the #oped12 course that started this week. I would say that open education is a high priority on my list right now, more of an encapsulated topic, and important in the sense that credits for my MA program are involved…so I imagine it will more conducive for motivation to participation. The course actually looks fantastic, and the material is well suited to this type of course design, being a relatively new distinction. As I mentioned on the course homepage at AU, this is a great class to end my MA on.

One question I am considering, and will try to think about during the course, is about the difference between participating in such a course while paying a tuition fee and while not. It’s an important question I think because, well, it’s a lot of money. Was it the right decision to take this course when it’s available for free? I could have done it, and chose another one for credits. What’s the advantage that AU students have that are paying for it? And, please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting a slant either way and would even think there’s a strong case to be made for credits as being the only advantage, if that were so. It’s a useful question to consider, if anyone has some insight?


6 thoughts on “Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | Connectivism |

  2. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | Social Mercor |

  3. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | Networked learning |

  4. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | ACS Dialogue on MOOCs |

  5. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | Aprendizaje abierto en plataformas |

  6. Pingback: Reflecting on MOOCs and Retention | Ida Brandão

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