In the final week of #octel we looked at evaluation and feedback and this was also a chance to look back at the course and see what we had learnt and if we had answered our big question.
Looking back over my Blog posts I feel that I have learnt a fair amount and have crystallised a few thoughts that I was playing around with, however looking back over the course materials I am not sure that what I learnt was always what the course had planned to teach me.
My question is – is that particularly a bad thing? and then with brilliant timing John Graves posted to the octel g+ group this speech from Stephen Downes, which reassures me that no its probably not a bad thing.
Looking back to my Big Question – “How do we get staff to engage with and create a culture of TEL that improves learning” have I come up with an answer? Well no I haven’t but I would be surprised if I did, I expect that question is likely to be my life’s work. I do however think I have a few more fragments of the answer, so I will take that as a success.
As for evaluating the octel course itself, was it a success? What about MOOCs in general how can their success be measured. We were given a nice ocTEL badge to say how brilliant we are, but was that what I took the course for?
I wonder if there is a danger in mistaking the qualification for the learning?
This is not so serious when its a course taken for interest such as ocTEL, but for a lot of education the stakes are much higher, as you will see from this article Riot after Chinese teachers try to stop pupils cheating, valuing the results much more than the process can cause problems. This article by Professor Sugata Mitra about Allowing the internet in exams would sidestep some of the cheating issues and is more likely to measure what students can do (as a result of their learning). So is the success the network – going back to the Downes speech earlier, I would say it probably is. In which case ocTEL was successful for those that engaged, we formed a community and learnt a bit and then moved on (some brief engagement and brief learning, some longer engagement and more learning – most with some level of success).
This is a fairly rambling post, but that is because I had a number of ideas bouncing around left over from the course – and that (to me) is probably the most important success.