My History MOOC failed. Long live the Online Teaching MOOC.

I thought I was teaching a History MOOC.

But really I am teaching an online teaching MOOC. No one knew about it. Not even me.

When the Program for Online Teaching team set up our Online Certificate Program, we had a major element of community: the Pedagogy First! blog. For the first several iterations, we had faculty attend on-campus workshops, and blogging was just part of reflection. But over the last year or two, the blogging component has been refined until it’s become a full online course of its own.

Beginning this semester, the focus was already there, with assigned readings and reflections. For next year we’ve combined the readings (spaced better), tool exploration, and blogging together into a Certificate Class. We wanted to make sure that faculty were aware of the time commitment involved, and knew what would be covered in advance.

Then it became obvious. The syllabus, when I looked at it a second time, was clearly a MOOC syllabus. All work is done online, with weekly postings on the blog. The article readings and videos are online. The book can be purchased online. Why not invite others to join in? We could have our local MiraCosta folks as authors on the new WordPress blog (we’re moving from Typepad, which only allows one administrator), but have anyone who likes blog for themselves, adding their own blog links to the blog roll.

Our Certificate program has always been open to anyone, though we have limited space. We’re still limited for the number of certificate candidates (we’re a volunteer group), but the class itself is completely open and anyone can join.

We’ve already had interest from six MiraCostans and two people at other schools. Since the focus is online teaching (pedagogy and technology), the Certificate Class is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about educational technology, online pedagogy and approaches to learning.

The failure of my History MOOC, and my interpretation that the failure was caused primarily by the topic, is what made me realize we already have a MOOC much more appropriate to the audience of educators and technologists who are online a lot already, tend to be self-directed learners, and love playing with ideas and technologies.

We’ve updated the FAQ. We’ll start September 1. Won’t you join us?

3 comments to My History MOOC failed. Long live the Online Teaching MOOC.

  • Thanks Lisa for your interesting post. So the audience of educators and technologists are self-directed learners, love playing with ideas and technologies, rather than history. Couldn’t agree more. But isn’t this the mother of success? Your caption of long live the online teaching MOOC make me smile. What are your History credit bearing learners interested in? Cheers.
    John

    • Excellent point, John. Not that many are interested in History, but I had been hoping people from outside might be. Many of my students are interested in surfing. I can’t teach surfing. 🙂

  • I am interested in History, Lisa, but my background is in Logistics, Systems Engineering and Education, so I could only relate to the History in those areas :), not with American history. My students like surfing too, but they use mobile.