When I did a review of the MOOCs I had participated in over the last few years, I totally forgot one of the early providers — Wikieducator. Like Prof. David Wiley’s first large (as opposed to Massive) open online course around 2008 or so, Wikieducator began offering courses on a wiki structure. If you haven’t been exposed to wikis they were a popular option to allow groups of people to aggregate content and share knowledge quickly and easily on the web; the name “wiki” comes from the Hawaiian slang term “wiki-wiki” which means “quick-quick” and is what they used to call the little shuttle buses that get you from terminal to terminal in Hawaiian airports.
I was reminded of wiki-style MOOCs a couple of weeks ago because I went back to work and my director sent me on a ACCC workshop on the changes to Canada’s Copyright Act. How is that linked to Wikieducator you might think? Well, they were re-offering their popular Open Content Licensing for Educators workshop ( Dec 3-14, 2012) so I signed up for that again too! I think it will be critical to be comfortable with open content licensing as we move forward with some of the more forward-thinking changes to our Copyright Act.
I liked the fact that they provided options for learners:
- you could set up an account on their Moodle site to receive announcements through email and post to the discussion forums;
- you could setup (or use an existing) WikiEducator account and use their microblogging tool (WE Notes – WikiEducator Notes );
- you could set up identi.ca or Twitter accounts to interact with peers
I found the materials were well designed and thought provoking. I particularly like the case examples that were available to work through. Where I got stuck (as per usual) was in the creation step — I just ran out of time to create something that shared what I had learned. The run-up to the beginning of a new term at my College just becomes too hectic for consistent participation and moving through a course like this with a cohort (within a set period of time) is just too difficult right now.
But I’ve got a purpose (I need to share knowledge around open content licensing with the instructors I work for/with) and I have set myself some specific objectives so I’m sure that I’ll be referring back to portions of the learning content as a good example of how to move forward by spring 2013!
One criticism (and it’s one that is more my issue perhaps than that of other learners) is that I found the use of microblogging tools for discussion of learning was just too fragmented. It seemed as though each person was setting up individual discussions and there wasn’t any easy way to see which discussion I wanted to jump into unless I took the time to read every post – which I didn’t have. I’m sure there is a strategy that would have helped but I didn’t figure one out in time and gave up.
But I’d recommend Wikieducator sessions if you want to engage in “real” open content, not the pseudo-open that is increasingly offered by MOOC-model learning options.