Yesterday I wrote to a number of colleagues to enquire about their willingness to be involved in a Small Open Online Course (SOOC).
The SOOC I have in mind is an introduction to the Observation and Analysis of Performance in Sport.
I am clear that it is a SOOC rather than a MOOC.
A lead from Stephen Downes in today’s OLDaily has helped me think more about the essence of the SOOC I am proposing. Stephen linked to Jim Shimabukuro’s post A Sign of How MOOCs Will Impact Colleges (11 August).
Jim concludes his post with a consideration of the transformational potential of MOOCs:
The promise of MOOCs is their inclusion in the creative design of individual programs of study for degrees and certificates, and the force that will drive it is the most intimate, natural, and informal sort of dialogue that transpires between teacher and student. In this scenario, the teacher becomes guide, advisor, and facilitator; and the student, an active participant in the planning. Together, they will explore all the learning resources in the world to generate an individualized plan that meets the student’s goals and the college’s standards.
I am hopeful that the SOOC I am proposing will articulate with a formal qualification framework. I am very keen to learn more about open badges and how they can be integrated in the process (I think Erin Knight provides an excellent insight into these opportunities and David Wiley a great example of how it does work).
Jim’s post led me to a delightful post by Laura Pasquini (28 July) Online Learning: More Than Just a MOOC. I am sorry I missed its posting late last month. In her post Laura shares and points to some great resources. I liked her observation that:
I enjoy engaging in PD to improve my skills and add to my knowledge repertoire. Across various personal and professional spheres, I have learned a great deal at formal conferences, workshops and education sessions; however, I am also proud to say I learn a great deal from my informal training and development environments that are primarily cultivated online. I think that MOOCs provide a set time period for professionals to learn about a specific topic and engage with others in a similar informal fashion. What is neat about this classroom is, that although the course might end, your network and learning artifacts continue to thrive outside the specific learning environment. (My emphasis)
Laura was a participant in CCK09 and she had the opportunity to meet many of the people I had met on CCK08. I have had the same experience of thriving outside a specific learning environment and empathise completely with Laura’s sentiments.
This morning’s visits to Stephen, Jim and Laura have helped me think more carefully about the SOOC that might connect a community of practice. I am thinking that the connections we can have through a SOOC can be strong if they are built on an intrinsic interest in learning.