Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Librarianship MOOC Review

I survived my first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).  It was fun.  It was informative.  And I now understand why MOOCs tend to have low completion rates.  It is completely self-directed.  If you don't log in and participate no one is coming after you or holding you responsible.  But if you've got the determination and self-discipline to see it through it can be a great experience. 

I enrolled in The Atlas of New Librarianship MOOC sponsored by Syracuse University.  Professor David Lankes wrote the book by the same name and teaches at the school so it all ties in together.  The class consisted of readings from the book, short video lectures by Lankes, in which he explained and expanded on topics from the book, and a comments section where faculty and students could comment on what we were learning.  Each section was followed by a brief quiz for comprehension.  And for those who desired (and could afford it) the course was worth 2 CEUs ($150) or, with some additional work and a full tuition charge a student could get graduate credit for the course.

Lankes' work is really quite theoretical, and frankly, some of it I just didn't get.  His book was not organized in a way that was easy to follow.  It had no index and no bibliography.  And some of his arguments just didn't hold together, but I'm just a librarian and not a scholar.  For some professional reviews of Lankes' work check out these blogs (full disclosure, Lankes mentioned these critics/reviews during the course discussion):

All in all it was a great experience.  I got to hear some scholarly views about Conversation Theory and a possible future for libraries and librarians.  I got to participate in my very first MOOC.  And I started a couple of very interesting discussions at the Adult Services Desk at work.
I can't wait to take another!

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