Currently I’m involved in a number of MOOCs so I thought I’d write a quick post saying why a careers advisor is running around on-line doing such a thing. By way of introduction there are roughly speaking two types of MOOC going around on-line and I’m doing some of each by way of comparison. You have what I’d call content based MOOCs run by big organisation such as http://www.coursera.org, http://www.edx.org and http://www.udacity.com/ these as you may guess mainly are based around delivering content through on-line videos and then assessing the content through multiple choice questionnaires or peer graded assignments. On the other hand connectivist MOOCs tend to be delivered in a more adhoc, chaotic manner and mainly are based around a connectivist pedagogy (check this article by George Siemens for a rough intro http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm and also this video by Dave Cormier https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eW3gMGqcZQc) bassiclay they are about connecting people around a subject and allowing these connections to determine the shaping of the course. At the moment I’m doing four, two through Coursera and two what might be described as connectivist MOOCs.
So Why am I doing this? The story that brought my interest about is that I came across the idea of a MOOC while doing some research on Gilles Deleuze for an assignment I was writing on Careers Education for my careers guidance qualification. This led to me stumbling across Dave Cormier’s stuff on Rhizomic education (for example http://davecormier.com/edblog/2008/06/03/rhizomatic-education-community-as-curriculum/) and through him to the idea of a MOOC. But having come across it why would a careers advisor be interested? Here are my reasons:
1) Sometime in the future I hope to have a job as a careers advisor so actually knowing about on-line education and how it can benefit a student gives me greater knowledge with which to advise people.
2) Secondly as you my have guessed I’m job hunting and so doing a few MOOCs fills the time, allows me to learn stuff that advances me in some way and gives me something potentially a bit more niche to talk about at interview.
3) Thirdly I have a growing interest in how a MOOC may be used as part of careers education. Career is a lense on how we live social lives and so a course that explicitly connects people allows people to explore career in this way.
4) Linked to this a MOOC around career also pushes towards a more student driven way of teaching, as a participant you can tailor a MOOC a lot more to your own desires. Career’s work is about people’s lives and so has to connect personally and I want to explore how a MOOC might enable this more.
5) Finally I see careers work at least in the UK as based around training for work when I don’t think everyone lives their life like this or wants this training. I think Deleuze’s idea of the Nomad is a powerful alternative to this which fits more with how we normally experience life as more like wondering through, making connections, developing different strands that lead to different places rather than being trained for a great arrival. And as Cormier has talked about a MOOC around this idea of the Rhizome allows for this more (http://davecormier.com/edblog/2011/12/11/tough-questions-about-rhizomatic-learning-from-jaapsoft/ also check out this great presentation on Rhizomic education http://www.scribd.com/doc/93118032/Some-20×20-thinking-about-the-metaphor-of-the-%E2%80%9Crhizome%E2%80%9D-in-learning)
Anyway I just wanted to say I’m interested in how MOOCs, Rhizomes and careers education might fit together. My thinking has got not further than this put I thought I’d put my early thoughts out there. Its more of a gut that there may be something different at the end of the rabbit warren and its worth having a look.
Post Script 28/08/2012
The Open University have just announced this MOOC on curriculum design and MOOCs which looks right up my street!