I feel that I have been challenged by the latest Coursera SEO Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that I have done.
I was carefully taken through the detail of what I needed to know by the host Rebekah May from the University of California Davis, earlier quizzes had tested my knowledge as we went along and when it came to the formal quizzes (the ones that count towards your final grade and being able to continue the course) – there was no easy way to pass.
Twice in the module I had to go back a second, or a third time to make sure I had understood something before I could pass the ‘multiple choice questions. This was straightforward: I could listen and watch through all the video content – around two hours worth. Or try to identify the segment of 6 minutes or so that might give me the answer.
I took notes throughout this Coursera MOOC on SEO.
I am an active listener. These are sometimes enough to help me pass the quiz.
In this course the ‘Multiple Choice Questions’ and answers were carefully written and planned. They were a learning experience in themselves. They made you think. It made the learning stick.
For the last part of this module on Search Engine Optimisation I went back five or six times and was forced to concentrate, obliged to properly look at the extra reading and only then did I pass with the requisite 80%. You need to focus. You need to clear your head of other distractions.
Putting demands on the online learner in an online course, such is this MOOC from Coursera, is crucial
I’ve done online courses where 40% is acceptable as a pass mark and doing only 50% of the course is enough to count. This diminishes the learning experience and value.
Finally, the end of module assignment, probably far tougher than had been planned for, really did need the 8 hours as suggested to complete.
Once again, knowing my peer group, I knew that I would not be let off easily so I took my time, took care, did a draft, ‘slept on it’, added to it, checked again, then did my utmost to follow the requirements to the letter to make it easier for others to assess it. How I learn is informed by another Coursera Course from Barb Oakley: Learning How to Learn! I know that effort, that ‘time out’, that not understanding is part of the learning process … you just have to persevere.
So is it better than f2f ?
‘Better’ isn’t the case, rather it is a worthy alternative if you have 10,000 or in some cases 144,000 people completing the course. Online is certainly an excellent form of blended learning that supports face to face, while face to face, say the Oxbridge Tutorial system, is excellent for a tiny minority and per head being taught at a huge cost.
[…] the system can be moderated and applied to the online learning that I am always doing: currently on Search Engine Optimisation (Coursera), Photography (Coursera) and French (Rosetta Stone). As well as the MAODE, and two further MAODE […]