I passed! But what does it really mean? I am intrigued by the trend in MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) so I decided to take the Google Powersearch one.

On reflection I have been wondering whether it was worth it.

Firstly I considered my motivation, if I am honest I wasn’t motivated by the subject but more by the trying out of a MOOC so maybe that was not necessarily the best approach.

Did I learn anything? Yes I learnt a few advanced search techniques. Am I likely to use them? Probably not as I am not likely to use them regularly and so I am sure my long term memory will soon discard the knowledge.

Did I enjoy it? In part yes, but it was an lonely experience. Even in the discussion areas the comments were superficial and lacked feedback or engagement (they were effectively one way from the student).

Will I do another? Possibly – but I think I can learn just as effectively through other means (such as my own social network groups & email lists – and they are a much more social experience).

Are MOOCs a threat to formal education – in my opinion not until they start to be given formal accreditation (which is slowly beginning to be explored). However it’s more than just the value of the certificate. The learning experience for me was if isolation and I think the often high attrition rates of MOOCs will make it hard to create a sense of community & collaboration that I crave in online learning.

Should you do a MOOC? – yes, but don’t expect the best learning experience you have ever had. If it is the best experience you have had tell me about it.

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