A MOOC on open education: go on, enrol now!

It’s only just started, so don’t delay, enrol for the UK Open University MOOC on Open education. Yes, our old friend Martin Weller has been at it again, and this time it’s a version of the Masters unit H817, ‘Openness and innovation in elearning’ made available to all via the UKOU’s OpenLearn initiative.

As Martin explains in his usual mildly self-deprecating manner,

“Some points to note:

  • You don’t have to enrol to view the material, only if you want to contribute to forums and also to get course emails
  • Use forums instead of comments, there is one per week
  • When you enrol, nothing magic happens.
  • The OpenLearn platform has recently had a major architectural overhaul which does something fancy with Moodle and Drupal. But, erm, this means pages are loading slowly at the moment. Be patient and smile.
  • You don’t have to do every activity every week, it’s a pick n mix model
  • It’s a bit experimental, so don’t view it as a precursor for shiny things from FutureLearn
  • Be nice to each other and especially to me”

Now somewhat contrary to bullet point 4, I found the pages loaded quite satisfactorily, and the video I watched streamed nicely, with just a small amount of buffering near the end. It may be, of course, that I was enjoying the benefits of being antipodean, with not many users at the time I checked.

The course started on March 18, so is just getting under way. As explained:

“The topics you will study in the coming weeks are:

It seems to be gearing up successfully, with the comments indicating minor confusion over such issues as enrolment confirmation. The OpenLearn platform is quite good, though has a few little irritating features, such as the way it includes too much course information on every page – so much so that you have to scroll down to see anything new.

But these are minor quibbles. Explore it yourself and make your own judgements. More importantly, find some new and emerging perspectives on open education. And if you don’t yet know what rhizomatic learning is, you will find out.

You don’t even have to enrol if you don’t want to … just browse.

photo credit: heloukee via photopin cc
photo credit: Gideon Burton via photopin cc

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