MOOC Update: Week 2

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Alexandra von Gutthenbach-Lindau – Oslofjorden

 

Hey everyone! Welcome to the second update on my MOOC learning experience!

I’m still painfully behind on the course, having just completed half of “week 2”. I have, however, made some further observations and wanted to share them.

Positives

+ I noticed in the first half of this section that the instructions stopped explicitly telling us to practice in the comments. Despite this, hundreds of people still chose to practice their Norwegian at every step. I think this says something about the commitment of people enrolled.

+ There is some repetition happening with grammar and vocabulary, which is really helpful because, as I mentioned, there is a lot of content to digest in this course.

+ I’m not sure if this is a general positive, but I’m finding it useful (and totally new!) to follow the videos with Norwegian subtitles only. You can choose Norwegian, English, or no subtitles. Usually, I would be aiming to have an English translation to aid in my understanding, but through this approach I’m seeing how having a more complete L2 understanding is also really useful.

+ This point depends on your own personal point of view, I suppose, but I like the way the course is geared towards inductive learning and promotes some autonomy amongst learners. Everything isn’t spelled out for you, but the course never makes understanding impossible.

+ I didn’t pick up on this last time, but the videos really are at a perfect length. I think if they were much longer, and I was watching content I didn’t fully understand, I would start to lose interest or concentration.

+ It’s a nice touch that some aspects of Norwegian culture are incorporated into the story.

+ In contrast to the first “week”, I’m now seeing some hints/pointers in the answers to signpost learners to where they can find the right answer, rather than just giving it to them.

+ I was unsure whether this was a positive, but I guess there is merit to adding even more vocabulary into the course. Each “day” comes with a word list, but there are many words not on this list that appear in the course. A way of urging learners to do some investigation of their own perhaps?

+ Although a much smaller amount of people choose to comment in the pronunication section, I was surprised to see how many people felt comfortable sharing their voice recordings. Maybe this has something to do with the relative anonymity they have on the course.

+ Thanks to the structure of the course, often we will be urged to practice something in the comments, and then do a quiz on the same content. This provides everyone with the opportunity to compare what they thought was right with what is actually right, even when the educators or other participants don’t respond to comments.

Negatives

–  Still seeing very little of the lead educators. There is an interesting pattern here, I think, in that how in traditional classrooms, the ones who lag behind (I guess that would be us slowpokes who haven’t caught up, or even new participants) may get a lot of attention or help from the teacher, whereas the more able students press on. Here, the quicker or better students are further into the course and are more likely to have their comments seen by the educators, thus getting a response. That’s my initial assumption on the matter, anyway. I also think there should be some way to tag or contact the educators (forgive me if I have overlooked this feature). I don’t expect them to be at my beck and call, but one would expect some kind of contact to be possible, just like with a classroom teacher, no?

– I noticed for the word “å droppe” (to drop) we only got one meaning of the word, but it was used a bit differently in the dialogue to mean something more like “to not bother with”. A minor point, but something I noticed.

– The feedback on quizzes has changed slightly so that now we just get signposting to the right answer. This is great and all, but this is the same feedback even if you’re correct!

–  On one hand, finally being linked to a dictionary was a good thing, but it’s monolingual. Though I agree monolingual dictionaries have their place, it may be a bit too advanced for this very low level of language learning. In addition, there are actually two major types of Norwegian: Bokmål and Nynorsk. This has not been discussed in any way, but is a feature of the suggested dictionary.


Life is a bit hectic at the moment with assignments to work on and personal projects to crack on with, but I’ll be sure to update again next week, regardless of where I’m up to! As always, I’d love to hear any of your opinions in the comments~

 

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One thought on “MOOC Update: Week 2

  1. Really interesting to read about your experience of MOOCs, I’d never heard this term before so I’m being educated as I read. I think online language learning is a great idea but there definitely needs to be some way of communicating with a human especially at the beginner stage so this would seems to be a bit of a disadvantage. Are there any learning skills tips given by the way? Also, maybe there’s a feedback element or a way of making suggestions on the website somewhere, am sure you’ve already thought of these things but thought I’d comment as I’m enjoying reading your posts. Sandra

    Like

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