Last week marked the end of two MOOCs for me: BlendKit and the The History of Marriage in Film. Since Sonia has already summed up the BlendKIt experience, I will focus on the film course. Our MOOC group met for one last time this week to watch the last film (The War of the Roses, which we all agreed was the most entertaining of the bunch) and to reflect on the experience of forming a MOOC discussion group. Overall, we found the MOOC itself to contain interesting information; although we agreed that it lacked the formal analysis we had hoped would come toward the end and generally felt that the post-1940s era wasn’t adequately discussed. But perhaps, this is partly due to the MOOC format. How much can one really cover in 5 weeks? And how can you make a course palatable to a very broad audience? Certain choices have to be made that might not please every participant.
We did agree, however, that meeting for the MOOC group fundamentally changed our experience of the course. In fact, we are hoping to begin another MOOC later this summer to see if the experience is the same if a different course (such as art or history) is taken. Here is a list of points that we agreed upon that sums up our MOOC Group experience.
- Forming a group and meeting once a week made us feel more accountable for the course material.
- The group kept us motivated to keep going past the 3 week marker, which is the usual drop off point.
- Meeting weekly to discuss the films allowed us to explore points of interest that were not discussed in the lectures, such as formal analysis.
- The MOOC Group enabled us to better reflect on the MOOC form. Each week we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of this online course format. Part of this discussion also entailed thinking about how MOOCs might impact our own students.
Overall, this was my favorite MOOC of the three I have taken. This is in part due to the subject matter. But the main reason I found this MOOC enjoyable was due to the MOOC group. It was everything I liked about being in class, minus the stress of papers, exams, and deadlines.