Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 192: I'm Enrolled in a MOOC!

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a relatively new phenomenon in higher education.  I've been following this development thanks to news and stories in my alumni magazines from Wesleyan, Middlebury, and UW-Madison, all of which are now involved in some way with delivering content via the MOOC.

Here's the wikipedia entry:
A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education which began to emerge in 2012.

And here's a fun graphic about the term, MOOC:

I've been very curious about this method of delivering distance learning but hadn't yet found an appropriate opportunity to enroll in a course to try it out.  One of the biggest providers of MOOCs is Coursera, which has partnerships with a number of universities across the world.

In one of my industry email updates, I learned about a MOOC focused on philanthropy and giving, created and taught by a professor from Stanford.  So I figured this would be a good chance to experience a MOOC and also learn something directly relevant to my field.

Giving 2.0: The MOOC began yesterday and runs for 6 weeks.  So far, I've only watched a few introductory videos for Week 1, as this is an incredibly busy week at work for me due to our Annual Conference and related activities.  Once I've got a more typical work schedule again, however, I'm really looking forward to exploring all of the aspects and components of this course, especially the various communication tools provided to help students interact with each other and with the instructor.

More updates in a later post, I'm sure!


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