Hi, I’m a statistic. I’m one of the many people who sign up for a MOOC, in this case, Introduction to Game Design, offered through EdX and then quit. I love learning, but it’s time to admit that MOOCs are seriously boring.
I work at a computer for most of my day. Watching videos, regardless of how many scenes of a person walking and talking like it’s an episode of The West Wing, is more of me sitting at a computer. I don’t care if the videos have interviews with famous people. I’m at my computer being a passive watcher.
When you think of engaging learning environments, what comes to mind? For me, there are people. There are discussions, questions, answers. Sometimes there are lectures and sometimes there are activities. It’s a mix. I’ve had great lecture-based courses, but it’s a much different dynamic being able to interact with a person than watching a screen.
If I want to know something to help me in a programming task, I’ll use videos and hunt around online. But, if I want to learn something in-depth on a subject, I turn to books. Will a prospective employer be more impressed that I read a handful of books on technology and writing, new media, and the effect of technology on communication or that I “completed” a MOOC on said topic? Of course, I can’t ask the author questions while reading, but as a medium, books are far more engaging. Moreover, I learn better from books.
Why Aren’t MOOCs Fun?
This is the part where you respond. If you enjoy MOOCs, please share your thoughts below about why they are enjoyable and how they engage you. If, like me, you struggle with MOOCs, what is it for you that impedes the learning process?