Week 0: How to Teach Online – the new MOOC on the block

After a nice long holiday, it didn’t take long for me to get back into work and into an organisational restructure.  However despite all that, life goes on.  Despite turbulent times in Learning and Development, it’s a good time to continue learning and do a MOOC or three.


(a)  Teaching with Moodle (started on 2 September)

(b) How to Teach Online (started on 2 September)

(c) Exploring Personal Learning Network MOOC (starts in October)

The first two MOOCs may have some overlap with content (my assumption is the first MOOC will focus on the Moodle platform itself so that we can learn its functionality but the second MOOC will focus on the ‘how’ to teach online regardless of the platform.  These two MOOCs balance each other out).***

Where possible, rather than repeat blog posts or activities of both MOOCs, I will meld them and capture the learning for both MOOCs into the one activity.  Working full-time and doing two MOOCs at the same time will mean that I need to be creative in my reflecting activities. Maybe less waffling? More ‘doing’ and ‘creating’?  Possibly more mind mapping or bullet points, sketches or animations?  I need to get my point across simply.


So with that, I’ve decided to do a “video podcast blog blend” for our first week activities shown on this slide.  These are quite painful for me to do – more comfortable with a keyboard than a camera –  but I did this in one take so it’s better than nothing at all.

And these are some of my do’s and don’ts when I have facilitated online.  Truth be told, there’s always a bit of nervous excitement before each one goes ‘live’ – in that way, it’s similar to public speaking.

Dos and Don’ts of Teaching Online

What did I learn this week?  

I had to scratch my head on this question but these things come top of mind:

(a)  I advertised and promoted this MOOC to my fellow colleagues on Yammer (our social networking tool) and there were a few people interested (and then I panicked because I could have put them into the deep end by doing a cMOOC over a less overwhelming xMOOC).   I also learned that people actually read my Google + posts as a couple of additional people from my circles registered for the course when I promoted it through G+.  That was a nice surprise!

(b) People are really interested and want to learn more about live online learning.  We’ve had this service for 4 years now but it only seems that the volume is picking up now.  There seems to be a slow reaching organisational wide, “A Ha” moment filtering across the departments as people realise the potential for live online learning and meetings in doing their work.

(c)  I had a realisation this week while talking on the phone with a Learning Conference Co-ordinator that not everyone in my field has the same motivation as I do for learning and their own professional development. To some, it’s just a job to pay the bills and any professional development must only occur within the hours of work and to be paid for by the organisation.  I don’t know why this made such an impact on me but it did.  It stopped me dead in the middle of a conversation and dare I say it, an attack of the guilts came over me because it made me self reflect on my behaviour and how I am perceived by others.

(d)  That we all deal with organisational change and uncertainty differently.

(e) I learned more about the history of England and Scotland.  Ever since coming back from holiday, I’ve been devouring history books.

(f) I learned that my favourite shop in the UK Pret-a-Manger was owned by MacDonalds (thanks to @dajbelshaw for that bombshell).  All hope and wishes to get it to Australia is now lost.

(f) I have a morbid fear of forgetting what MOOC I signed up for and created my own word for the state of mind it’s put me in “scattermooc”.

So that’s my first entry for the How To Teach Online MOOC. Phew…

Right, what’s next? 

Have I missed another MOOC?


*** This is just an observation on the explosion of MOOCs that are out there on the internet.  Everyone seems to be madly developing, creating and promoting their MOOCs at the moment and rolling them out.  I’m now seeing that there are multiple MOOCs around similar topics so there’s plenty of choice out there.  

In my experience, MOOCs are slowly being used as professional development in our company where staff undertake them to further their own interests, passions or to support their own workplace learning.  However the concept of a MOOC in corporate workplace learning context is really not new.  We’ve been calling it ‘blended learning’ and we have the platforms (LMS or Sharepoint or Enterprise Social Networking sites) to house them but it’s just that the organisation may have locked down the functionality and in so doing, lost the ‘mooc-like’ environment.  Added to that, the L&D community may not have the skills to design and develop in this environment; or the learners to have the skills or inclination to contribute in forums.  Ryan Tracey wrote an excellent post answering the question, “Is the Pedagogy of MOOCs Flawed?” which covers these issues of MOOCs in a corporate context.

About Helen Blunden

My unique super power is that I see learning experiences in everything I do. #alwayslearning
This entry was posted in TOMOOC and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Week 0: How to Teach Online – the new MOOC on the block

  1. Thanks Justine, much appreciated! Yes weren’t those lectures awful. Still, at least we can look back and laugh at them! All the best on the MOOC!

  2. justine says:

    Hi Helen, loved your introductory post and your video for How to teach online week 0. Sounds like you’ll manage your scattermooc just fine. You’ve brought memories flooding back about appalling university lectures.

  3. You’ve got a point. Truth is, we’re in the middle of an organisation restructure and it’s knocking everyone about. As a contractor, I do my work and share what I learn (and get excited with new initiatives and ideas we can put into place) but I think there’s a time and place for it while things are all unsettled.

    I enjoy working for this company. I love the team and the people and it’s sad to see the impact of this change to them. We find out in the coming days whether we’re impacted and how this may pan out. Regardless what happens, I’m still learning and know that I have a new network of colleagues I can call my friends. I can also say that I’ve worked for a great company. Life throws us all challenges but I know something positive always comes out of it.

  4. Thanks Bill, all the best. I had some time so thought I just best crack on with it.

  5. Bill says:

    Great post (as always) now I need to get on with mine… 🙂

  6. Hi Helen – good luck with this, especially with 2 at once! I’m really interested with the comment (c) above.

    Why did you get an attack of the guilts? The line between work and social is blurring all the time and those L&D professionals who want to compartmentalise ‘development’ or ‘learning’ as a workplace & work time activity will eventually become obsolete. Simply put do they never use anything they’ve ever seen, heard, read or remembered outside of work hours within the workplace? If they do, their argument is invalid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s