We think a lot about goals here – for a number of reasons. As part of the change11 orientation week (behind already – my excuse, a long weekend), it is suggested that we take a moment to reflect on our goals and expectations for the course.

Well that’s simple enough. My goals (not measurable, that’s not a problem for me, the important thing is reflecting on them and them being realistic for me) are:
– learn something from at least half a dozen of the practitioners who are going to present their work over the next 6-7 months
– increase my personal learning network internationally.

My expectations are:
– that it will be hard to keep motivated to participate without external motivation, and that consequentially, I risk drifting in and out of the course.
– that despite the warnings I will experience/succumb to information overload.

But that’s not the whole story. Part of research focus here at the Caledonian Academy is to examine the mechanisms by which individuals plan and undertake learning outside formal contexts – we have looked at a knowledge intensive workplace and are also examining learning among doctoral students, who although studying for a formal qualification, do not (at least in the UK) undertake undertake any formal learning. Outside formal contexts (no learning outcomes, course objectives, peers studying exactly the same course as you) the individual must take great responsibility for managing their own learning, yet the role of peers and others in achieving learning goals is clear.

We plan to investigate goal-setting and sharing behaviour within this MOOC as part of our research activities. We are interested in the motivation for participation in a MOOC style course, and whether understanding goal-setting behaviour can assist practitioners to design course structures which would facilitate goal-sharing.

… my home office has just been invaded by a small boy asking to be read a story. So I’ll post this now.

Author: Colin Milligan

Learning researcher based at Glasgow Caledonian University, and living in beautiful West Stirlingshire.

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