Moodle MOOC on WizIQ – First impressions

I am very happy with my decision to join the „Moodle MOOC on WizIQ„. MOOCs are a topic which you just can’t keep away from when working in the e-learning sector – it’s everywhere. Therefore, it is a good thing to participate in different kinds of MOOCs in order to get first-hand impressions. A Moodle MOOC is a good occasion for me because I am responsible for supporting academic staff at Heidelberg University in the use of educational technologies (which means mostly Moodle).
Traditionally, the first week in a MOOC is for orientation and thinking about what to achieve. In the Moodle MOOC we have different kinds of platforms (among them two Moodle installations: one for discussions and assignments, another one for Moodle practice). I was surprised at the number of introduction posts to write and profiles to edit (I think, I got them all), but it sure is an important thing.
The MOOC opening cermenony on May 31st was quite impressive and a great example how to create an inspiring atmosphere and help the participants really enjoy being online. The input from Martin Dougiamas was very interesting for me because of getting insights in Moodle 2.5 and the priorities of the further Moodle development. I also liked the course session on Saturday where we got instructions for the course and the course environment. Nevertheless, a session scheduled the third day in a row was too much for me, so I skipped the session on Sunday and watched the recording afterwards. Sunday was the first sunny day in weeks and a walk by the nearby river Rhine and its rising floodwaters got my attention instead.

I think the challenges in this MOOC (in addition to the usual ones like keeping up the motivation, trying to activate the participants and offering technical support for a large number of participants) could be the very different experience levels of the participants and the many countries (and time zones) involved. When I read about the course, I wasn’t sure, which kind of experience level would be addressed (for Moodle beginners?) and I think, it was a very good idea from the facilitators to offer different Moodle courses for different experience levels. It was a little bit confusing at first to get to the correct Google document in order to choose the course – there was so much information about the platforms and Moodle courses. I like the concept up to now and the course concept (e.g. how to offer a MOOC with the topic „Moodle“) is one of the things which got me interested in this course. And which also lets me think about the course out of the facilitator perspective although I am a participant. The technical and organizational support is great (a big thank you to Nellie Deutsch) and I look forward to the next days and weeks in „Moodle MOOC on WizIQ“.