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MOOC MOOC is an open online course on MOOCs hosted by Hybrid Pedagogy. The course is a collaborative work between English and Digital Humanities Program at Marylhurst University and the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Technology.


The course platform, built on Canvas supported by Instructure under the CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, is https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/612829/


      Screenshot of MOOC MOOC homepage.


Course description


The course could be seen as a meta-MOOC, a mini-MOOC, running from 12 to 18 August 2012. Each day is filled with a to-do list of activities, a number of useful references to explore, questions to provoke to reflect on the main reading provided by the teacher(s), and a set of tasks to be completed by the end of the day. Participants can get access to each lesson from the website home page or under the Pages menu on its sidebar.


The main purpose of MOOC MOOC is to examine the pedagogical approach, the sustainability of the form, and alternatives to MOOCs.


Teachers and teaching assistants include Sean Michael Morris, Pete Rorabaugh, Jesse Stommel, and Robin WhartonThere is also a list of students as official registrants, which makes it easier for them to collaborate with each other.


How to participate


A comprehensive instruction and step-by-step guidelines on how to participate in the course are available at its home page, as shown in the screenshot above. Basically, one who wishes to join needs to set up a Canvas account, specifically for the course. At the beginning, MOOC MOOCers are encouraged to set their notification preferences in their Canvas in order to be updated with e-mails, text messages, even tweets as the course is running. The next step is to join the community by introducing oneself and sharing experiences related to MOOCs.


     Screenshot of Pete Rorabaugh’s introduction.


MOOC MOOC also involves the use of Twitter and TweetDeck or HootSuite to keep track of what is going on and update one’s own thoughts, questions, responses, and so on. For starters, consulting an introduction to Twitter might be helpful and following Dashboard makes it easier to stay posted. Students can share and discuss their ideas, thoughts using the discussion forums or Twitter chat and do the given tasks by themselves and/or in collaboration with others. While the course is now closed, the website and these functions are still open and available.


MOOC MOOC also enables and encourages collaborations among learners. Most of the activities are calling for interaction and cooperation. Participants can set up their network of collaboration easily by using Etherpad or Google Docs.


     Screenshot of MOOC MOOC Collaborations


Another way to communicate with all MOOC MOOCers is using the announcements.

     Screenshot of MOOC MOOC Announcements.




MOOC MOOC is a non-credit course so no certificate is given to the course takers on completion of the course.


Further information


For further details about MOOC MOOC, please go to its website.


MOOC MOOC Effectiveness


The course has involved more than 600 registrants and approximately 3000 unofficial participants and a growing number of new participants joining in after the course finished.


In this week-long experimental online course, participants were given opportunities to experience MOOCs in terms of participating in, creating, critiquing their educational practice, and even envisioning new and innovative opportunities to their future.


Considering what it was set out to be, MOOC MOOC could be seen as a success. Like other meta-MOOCs pioneered by such connectivists as Siemens and Downes, MOOC MOOC has been served as a great opportunity for MOOC organisers and participants to, whether explicitly or implicitly, experiment and examine the form, pedagogy, and process of MOOCs. The experiences, skills, and knowledge related to MOOC-style learning are, as Morris (2012a) observes, evident throughout MOOC MOOC.


The majority of participants’ experience in the course has been so far reported as positive. Lugton, one of the MOOC MOOC participants, has set up a blog for reflections on the course, demonstrating “a good model for how well learner self-assessment can work in practice” as commented by Wharton (2012), one of the course facilitators, in his blog post.


On his blog, Lugton has written extensively about MOOC MOOC. In his opinion, it is a great example of discursive communities creating knowledge together (Lugton, 2012a). Visual (2012) also shares this, in her own words, “incredible” experience telling her interesting story about collaboration in MOOC MOOC in her blog. She also stresses what amazed her about the course, which is also thought provoking:


  • collaborating with strangers from all over the globe in seconds
  • watching people write, which makes me feel like a voyeur, but I accept that
  • synchronous, friendly, last minute collaboration on a massive project - that lat minute part was so fun.  
  • learning that my personal strengths happen to be in brainstorming, and revising

Visual (2012, para. 29)


Through these stories, it seems that both MOOC facilitators and participants were, at first, confused and almost lost in a chaotic giant network of connections. Yet it is part of the learning that MOOCs aim at (Siemens, 2012e). Immersed in this complex information-rich environment, learners would attempt to navigate and orient themselves by adopting new approaches to interacting with information and with each other, as marked by Siemens (2012e). However, learners are not left in the situation of “swim or sink” as they have constant support from the course facilitators as well as their peers. Concerning technical support, learners with low level of digital literacy can still efficiently taking part in the course since useful instructions for all technology-involved activities are sufficiently provided in the website.


During the course, participants created and shared artifacts in groups, which helped them communicate their understanding of a particular topic in a dynamic and enriching environment of intertwined social networks where peer learning and teaching also happened. Recommended readings and other sources of references are provided as conversation stimuli for students’ own exploration via discussion with their fellow learners.


More importantly, MOOC MOOC provides a great example of meaningful learning in the sense that it has significantly inspired further engagement and study of this education mode, in other words, self-directed lifelong learning, regarded as the ultimate goal of education. Lugton’s (2012b) initiative to set up a site exclusively for updating cMOOCs and his increasingly enthusiastic participation in other MOOCs is great examples of this.


In short, MOOC MOOC has not only proved the potential educational use of MOOCs (Friend, 2012) but also suggested a new promising approach to education in today digital global village. 

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