The Edu+Tech world has been buzzing with MOOCs and Coursera is at the forefront of it all. My first experience with Coursera starts several months back. I began a course on Gamification offered by Prof. Kevin Werbach of Penn University. This was at the same time the Fall semester started, and my in-class courses began at Metropolitan State University.
I was a full time student at Metrostate at the time (and as of writing this I still am) but I thought I could handle another course. Especially something as fascinating as gamification. “My interest would pull me through!” First week and we’re off to the races. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to work… I wouldn’t be able to take four courses, work two part-time jobs, and be able to keep up with this course at the same time. My high hopes and interest in the course quickly dissipated. Why? Well, two reasons.
One, I was spread too thin. To maintain a high standard towards all my commitments, I had to make some more room in my life. Quitting either of my part-time jobs wasn’t an option. I could have dropped out of a course at Metropolitan… but that would have somewhat significant consequences of not graduating on time. I don’t watch TV anymore otherwise I’d gotten rid of that long before anything else.
Two, I didn’t carve out time to join and participate in one of my many online course communities. More on this later. In the end, I was left with one option. Gamification had to go. It was fun while it lasted.
Fast forward to now. I’ve been taking Udacity’s Intro to Physics and Intro to Comp. Sci courses, usually reserved for midnight and weekends. The great thing about these Udacity is there is no start-stop dates. The courses are always in session, and there’s no worry about having work in on time. There also isn’t any incentives besides learning.