April 11, 2013

H817 Activity 12 - Releasing the Trap

Watching this interview from Activity 12 in this Course I realised that I'd fallen into a traditional learning trap!

Here I was thinking about the Activities like 1,2,3----oh no I haven't done 10---so I can't do 12. (left hand side) when I realised I could see them any which way I wanted! The Open University structure on the page is very much left hand drive, top to bottom. This type of training hardly lets the brain think outside of this square. But I can see the Activities as having a different relationship to my experience, interests and what I want to achieve from this Open Course. They are all different flavoured jelly-beans. I'm encouraging myself to see them in that light. Now I feel motivated to crack on! I can do whatever Activity I like, when I like and how I like! In that way I can keep on learning instead of feeling stuck or ....horror.... behind or ...missing the point. Now I can progress on my terms rather than let this stodgy, annoying website structure get in the way! That's the MOOC way.


  1. Hi Wendy
    yes, I tried to make the point early on that the activities were largely independent of one another, but you're right, the structure does reinforce the very linear movement. Some activities do build on previous ones, but in general you can skip forward as you suggest. Google ran a MOOC which was 35 activities that you could do in any order you like, whenever you want. I'm not sure if this is still a course then, and H817Open isn't quite that fluid, but it is intended to be fairly flexible. I think I need to do more to stress this next year.

    1. Hi Martin,
      While I appreciate the weekly email that outlines the activities and suggests the 'main ones' that could be completed, other language is definitely course-based, linear. For example in Week 5 "If you've made it this far then you are definitely a finisher, so hang on to the end". Should I feel guilty if I'm not a finisher? I appreciate to some extent the structure in this course and I'm also going to do further research into "what is a course". Obviously the badge system also encourages "finishers" because being good students we don't want to miss out on a badge! I think that I needed to put some more thought into my goals for this course so I don't fall into the guilt trap which then stops learning happening.

  2. Even though I cam to this course open minded and knowing I wasn't planning on completing all the activities, it can still be easy to fall into that trap. I still have feelings of guilt if I don't complete the activities - years of conditioning to overcome there I feel!