Monday, October 28, 2013

Video Games and Learning: My First MOOC Experience

Way back in the springtime I signed up for a Coursera offering on video games and learning.  I had no idea when the course would actually be offered, and forgot about it until they finally, around the end of September, announced that the course would be beginning shortly.  Right in the middle of my first term of full-time teaching.  A term in which I have 700 students.  Talk about timing!

Despite the possibility that I couldn't give this course as much attention as I'd like, I decided to give it a try anyway.  It's an area I'm interested on a personal and research level, and if nothing else, I figured the videos should be interesting.

So far, so good in that regard.  I was excited to see so many familiar faces in the lectures and concept videos.  They aren't people I know personally, but whose work I've been following for some time.  The topics have been interesting, and I really enjoyed seeing the Games Learning Society lab space (totally a place I could see myself working).

I've consistently been about a week behind the lecture and assignment schedule, so I often miss out on the more timely discussion in the forums.   I'm not sure it matters much in my case, though, since I don't have a huge amount of time to dedicate to interacting with other students anyway.

One question that's fair to ask is whether I've actually learned anything from the course so far.  Honestly... I'm not sure.  Because it's an area I've been watching for a while now, I probably know most of the basics already.  I also can't remember many of the specifics of what was covered in the lecture-style videos (they are very, very hard to focus on, unlike the animation-supported concept videos).  That said, it is nice to have the review and to think about new things via the assignments.

My experience with this, my first MOOC, has been good enough that I signed up for another one that's more directly related to my thesis project: The Future of Storytelling.


Lorraine said...

We're on such a parallel track! As the video games and learning MOOC winds down, I'm glad I signed up and did learn a few things, but I think it was more of a basic survey course than I anticipated. There were a few good forum discussions and I see an added bonus to these online courses as a chance to connect with like-minded professionals. The exercises and requirements are much simpler than the Comic Books and Graphic Novels MOOC I just finished (2 essays, 2 tests, a comic book project, and a couple of smaller assignments).

I'm finding the Future of Storytelling course to be too basic for me. Also, the forums aren't as cohesive, since it's not easy to track back to comment or thread (I give Coursera the nod there). Not sure if I'll finish it or not, but I applaud the team for putting it together—a ton of work.

Gail Carmichael said...

I'm a bit behind on the Video Games MOOC, though I intend to get the next assignment done tonight or tomorrow. I did say in their feedback that it would be nice if the assignments were a bit more connected to the week's content in a way that helped us check and reinforce our learning from the videos.

So far I've barely been able to watch anything from the storytelling one. I like their video format in what little I've seen, though! I'll probably go through more videos come December. I'm less expert in this area so I could see potentially getting a bit more out of it than you did... remains to be seen! :)

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