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Group Meeting: 29 July 2013

Posted by on Monday, July 29, 2013 in Meeting Notes, Reflections.

Image is royalty-free and in public domain from photos.com.I’m certain that Derek Bruff will have something to post, but I’d like to make a few thoughts known, in relation to today’s conversation.

First and foremost, I feel that my learning is facilitated by contact with others.  I’ve come to that conclusion.  I can successfully complete assignments and process material on my own, but the actual learning takes place when I am able to collaborate and synthesize with others.  It’s a surprising revelation for me.  Perhaps I’m not as introverted as I think that I am?  No.  I’m pretty introverted.

We talked a lot today about what collaboration with others in the MOOC environment would look like.  Some felt as though it can be achieved 100% through technology, while others went to the other extreme.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  But, I do feel that we were all in agreement in that there needed to be persistent relationships in the process; otherwise it does not seem like learning.

Another point that resonated with me today is whether or not the MOOC environment is best suited to present opportunities in learning for college credit; or for professional development; or perhaps something in-betweenAll threeNone?   The one thing that I can say is that this experience has convinced me that language learning through this type of medium is not appropriate.  I am one for the blended model.

I, myself, still feel a sense of cynicism towards this class.  I feel as though we are basically going through a set of motions towards an undefined goal.  Will this goal ever be revealed to us?  Are we learning?  Are we training ourselves?  Are we familiarizing ourselves?  Are we being subjected to a ploy on behalf of Coursera and PSU?

<<Time for a tangent, with the requisite anecdotal revelation about myself.>>  I will now reveal myself as a fierce online student.  I am taking a certificate programme (Canadian) through St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, given in conjunction with the Canadian National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  Yes, I will be certified as a professional genealogist!  I must admit that the amount of enthusiasm that i have towards my GIS MOOC is minimal, in comparison to my genealogical studies.  I’d also say that my interest level in both topics is similar.  I could almost posit that my interest level in GIS is stronger, as it is work related.  Read:  paycheck.

I hate to say it, but my response to the big question about “why should I take a MOOC-based course”  is still all of the above (professional development, intellectual inquiry, get some college credit) and none of the above.  I still really don’t know which one is my best match for the GIS MOOC.  But, alas, this answer would be wrong on my exam and force me to have to take it again– because you have to score 100%!

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