On the last face-to-face day of my onground class last week, I asked students to complete the official university course evaluations (which I will receive sometime in the spring), but also my own unofficial evaluation, in the form a Survey Monkey survey with discursive (rather than quantitative) responses.
I asked them some general questions about the class, including:
- What aspects of the class contributed most to your learning?
- What would you change about the course and why?
- Please assess yourself as a student. What could you have done better/more/less?
These three questions were the ones that had responses related to the EDC MOOC. The course lasted 15 weeks, and the first 10 weeks involved non-MOOC work. The last five were raken up by the EDC MOOC.
A total of 33 students completed the survey.
I found the responses to the second question above (what would change about the course and why?) to be most interesting. 22 of the 33 students mentioned the EDC MOOC in their response, though one of them spoke of it postively, and several others spoke in mixed terms (found some positive things about our using EDC MOOC, but would not have included it in the course).
Of the negative comments, I found a few trends:
- Several students found the EDC MOOC “confusing.” I get the sense that this was because of its open structure, with students having choices about what to focus on, and having few formal requirements from the MOOC instructors, making EDC MOOC more like a cMOOC than the xMOOCs that are more common, and making EDC MOOC unlike their typically college classes. It would be interesting to see how they react to a more xMOOC-like course, with more imposed structure.
- Several also used the word “confusing,” but in a different way, highlighting the confusion between using the EDC MOOC materials, and my own Course Management System. This seems less an issue with the EDC MOOC itself, and more an issue about how I integrated the two. Integration is, of course, a frequent problem with blended/hybrid MOOCs/distributed flips.
- A few thought the MOOC was “too large,” which I found interesting, given that they could (and did) personalize it any way they liked. I think this goes back to the “intimidation” I discussed earlier, and some students’ uneasy feeling that their words would be seen by 10,000 people from all over the world.
- A few thought the MOOC was “extra work.” This was another aspect of the integration problem by me (though one student seemed to equate the MOOC with “extra” work on top of our regular class work, which is strange, because we didn’t really have any additional work once the MOOC started).
Several were also very pleased with the MOOC content, and with the large size.
And interestingly, with the last question I asked (their self-assessment) a number of them admitted that they kind of blew off the MOOC and didn’t take it as seriously as they could/should have. I think this is partly the nature of the MOOC, which stressed independence (and which I also emphasized, stepping back more than I might have in a different course), though this could also be a matter of timing (the last few weeks of the semester put other demands on them, and the MOOC was a convenient place to put in less work). Still, this is ultimately another integration problem, if they were able to put in less work but still manage to meet the requirements.
I have not done much analysis of these students responses, other than the above. I should also note that they were purposely open-ended, and I do not have any quantitative evaluations of the MOOC aspect of the course. But I think the responses are valuable. I have included them below:
What aspects of the class contributed most to your learning?
[5 MOOC-related responses]
- The weekly detailed instruction helped. Blackboard was exquisitely organized and the MOOC was “the cherry on top” of this learning to bring it all together and use the information I learned.
- in a way, the mooc videos contributed the most helpful and fun part of the class, even though i would not reccomend MOOC to anyone due to the confusion.
- I really liked the MOOC and that the class was mainly conducted online it allowed me to be responsible for my own learning with the guidance of the teacher
- I think that the group discussions contributed to a lot of learning but being able to socialize and communicate with a vast amount of people on the MOOC was a really big contribution to learning.
- The online mooc assignments with the youtube videos.
What would you change about the course and why?
[22 MOOC-related responses. 1 was positive, several were mixed positive and negative]
- I would change the EDCMOOC learning, because I found it to be boring and confusing
- I would take out the Mooc, as cool as some of the videos were it was very difficult to operate around the site and was very annoying using both.
- If I have to change one thing about the course, I would not do the ED-MOOC. I thought some of the material in that portion was a bit repetitive, and I thought it was a little confusing having to use website in addition to using blackboard to post assignments as well. I liked the information that the MOOC provided, but I think that it would be just as effective to learn it and not have to use the MOOC system.
- I did not like participating in the MOOC. I did not find it enjoyable and thought I would have gotten more out of doing other activities and discussing more in class. While I enjoyed the videos in the MOOC, I think it was simply too large.
- I would not change anything about the course except for the inclusion of the EDC MOOC into the curriculum. The MOOC did not really help in my learning of any of the course material, and although the videos and content we explored online was beneficial and interesting, I think we could have learned more without the inclusion of the MOOC.
- It was a well orchestrated course that I would not change. Balanced well and the MOOC was perfectly set.
- I would take MOOC away, I did not really take anything away from doing this and it did not help me as much as our normal class lectures did because it was confusing.
- I would change the amount of time for the MOOC and/or take the MOOC out. I was not a fan.
- EMOOC wasnt my forte. The videos had a very interesting concept but everything seemed so difficult to comment.
- the MOOC i think it was i bit confusing and felt a bit weird taking a class with so many people
- NO MOOC.
- I wouldnt use Mooc, i thought how you had run the course through blackboard was more than enough, and you can take the videos from mooc, or similar and make your own type of course, i feel that MOOC is extra, and to be honest a hassle.
- Honestly, I was no a fan of the MOOC.
- I would not do the EDCMOOC again. It was too confusing, but I did learn a lot about technology.
- Perhaps not doing the MOOC as it is very confusing to navagate.
- I would probably change the MOOC because it was really confusing.
- As interesting as it was, I would eliminate the MOOC from the course. I understand that it had to do with the values part of the course, but it kind of took away from what we did prior to it.
- Next time, I would not use MOOC in the course because it took away from how businesses use social media. It focused more on how we as humans view social media, but I feel like we see these changes in our everyday lives.
- The only thing that I might have changed in the course if having to do EDCMOOC. Although, I did learn new things and it was interesting, I did not think it was necesssary to do.
- Final project, have edcmooc be the final project only, no additional.
- I would change the lectures and probably scrap the online Mooc class. I did [not?] find the Mooc class interesting or worth the time.
- the MOOC was unnecessary, too much extra work and really did not contribute to learning. Was kind of a waste of time.
Please assess yourself as a student. What could you have done better/more/less?
[9 MOOC-related responses]
- I think that I could have put a little more thought and effort into some of my discussion posts. All together I think I did a pretty good job, but some of them I have to admit I slacked off on a little and did not put in my full effort. In the MOOC, i should have strayed away from commenting on only the YouTube videos (in addition to the discussion posts on the forum), but it was the only thing I was comfortable with. Other than that, I would like to think that I did a good job in this class; I always had my posts done on time with over the minimum word count and I tried to be the best student that I could possibly be in all of my work.
- I think I did a fair amount of work for the class. I could have focused more time on the MOOC to maybe get more out of the experience.
- Overall I think I did okay in this class. I worked really hard on the blog posts and group projects, but I could have participated more in the MOOC and the MOOC Final Project. With online classes I don’t seem to really take them seriously and with 10,000 students in the MOOC who’s really look at my stuff.
- I could have done more with the MOOC and got really involved but it really just didnt catch my attention. Other than that i believe i did well in class.
- I could have spent more time with the MOOC instead of dismissing it.
- I could have been a little better with watching every video on MOOC to its extent I somewhat skimmed through videos to get the important pieces out and may have missed information and for the classes discussion boards I could have contributed to conversation or started conversations by commenting on other students posts.
- As a student I could have read more comments and discussion forums on the MOOC website to get a better understanding of what each video was trying to say. Sometimes I would watch a video two or three times and still be unsure of the message.
- could have read and participated more in Edc mooc.
- I think I am a very good student I am just spread thin as far as my workload with all my classes. Adding on a MOOC was unnecessary