I started the Digital Analytics and Learning MOOC – DALMOOC, this week. George Siemens and his co-conspirators describe it as a dual-layer MOOC, although it seems to me that dual-track would be a better term. The idea is that one can complete the MOOC either by following the traditional path of content followed by assignments or by following a social path where one is given a problem to solve and then finds some kindred spirits, goes forth and solves. This sounds great in theory. My reality of it hasn’t been great so far.
First, I’m not clear where to go to find the problems and connect with other learners on the “social” track. I’m looking for some sort of hub for this layer of the MOOC and haven’t found it yet. Second, The first assignment seems to be to gather information on learning analytics tools. One does this by downloading an MS Word document and filling it out. I am hard pressed to think of a less social way to approach this task.
Finally, I worry that the course may do a wonderful job of teaching about tools, while leaving out important stuff like how to figure out which data is important and useful. That’s the most important thing to learn about learning analytics.
Hey Jason – thanks for the feedback! Hopefully by next week, ProSolo will become a good place to connect with other learners. It has to get populated with people in the first place, and then all of the processing behind the scenes should start generating suggestions. Facebook does that automatically because it already has millions of users once you join, but we started cold with this new system and 0 users, so it may take some time. Sorry about that.
Also, the worksheet is part of the non-social layer, so it was designed to be pretty independent. Some have been posting it in the forums and in blogs, so it can be turned into a social activity if you like.
We also intentionally avoided the term “track” because that implies you are locked in to that “track” once you choose. The desire was for learners to be able to go back and forth between the two as the want, which in effect would create thousands of custom “tracks”. So we are hoping that you and others will create their own track out of the two layers we have provided. But I agree that layer is not really the best term to use. It was used early in the design experience and unfortunately stuck. Kind of like the term “MOOC” itself 🙂
I see your point about “track” It sounds as if you are describing a ‘multi-path MOOC’