What we’re Learning from the Deeper Learning MOOC (DLMOOC)

DL MOOC groups

(a guest post from Karen Fasimpaur)

P2PU is a partner in the Deeper Learning MOOC (DLMOOC) being put on by High Tech High, MIT Media Lab, and the Deeper Learning Community of Practice.

Three weeks into this, we’ve learned a lot already and wanted to share some of that with you here.

First, here are some quick stats from DLMOOC so far.

  • As of now, we have 3,800 registered and over 1,600 on the G+ community. (It’s always hard to tell how much overlap there is, but this is a pretty high conversion rate from my previous experience.)
  • The web site is very active with lots of comments and over 3,000 unique views per day on several days since we’ve started.
  • We have had over 900 views of the first panel discussion and over 500 of the second. Those numbers are growing as people are watching the archives over time. (It’s going to get harder to sort out week by week numbers as folks are taking part on their own schedule as we’d hoped they’d do.)
  • The DLMOOC community has done great things with our open licensed content such as producing MP3 versions of our panel discussion videos and ebook versions of our weekly readings.
  • The social media buzz has been great. See the storify for week 1 and the storify for week 2 for some examples of some of the great things going on.
  • People are writing some really meaty blog posts about deeper learning and taking what they’re learning into their classrooms. We’ve set up a blog hub to aggregate this work.
  • The deeper learning story bank now has 10 entries and more in the works. This is a nice example of user-created content and an asset that will outlive DLMOOC.
  • Several folks are getting newly engaged with tools like Twitter because of DLMOOC. We just love this!

There are a few things we’ve done in this MOOC that we really feel strongly about.

First, we’ve designed the MOOC so that people could participate in a way that is flexible and even come and go as they like. The course is 9 weeks long, and each week is relatively standalone. We’ve also encouraged a #noguilt ethos about participation.

Second, we’ve intentionally designed this as a cMOOC, encouraging rich connections among participants. (See my recent article “All MOOCs are NOT Created Equal” on page 11 of this issue of OnCUE.)

In order to foster creations, we encouraged participants to set up small groups to explore topics of particular interest to them. This has gone very well. The community has embraced the idea of groups and has taken ownership for setting them up, with about 30 groups in G+ right now. As expected, f2f groups have been harder to get going than virtual ones.

Finally, as you’d expect, we’ve tried to really model deeper learning in the MOOC itself. While it is “a course” and there are readings and panel discussions, we see those as jumping off points for the real work of the course – putting it into practice in participants’ own learning environments. We wrote about this here, and we’re seeing more people take up the challenge.

Participants  tweet out of their comfort zones

Still “enforcing learner independence” (as Dave Cormier puts it in #rhizo14) is always a challenge. And so we march on, knowing we will learn more as we go. Stay tuned for another post when we finish this round of DLMOOC. (And it’s not too late to join! You can sign up here.)



Back to Blog home