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9 months in and my New Years Resolution is still going strong


Please tell me I am not on my own! For me New Years’ Resolutions are made is a daze of one too many drinkies, normally the post party washing up lasts longer than my resolution! This year as the clock ticked around to 2014, I made a bold statement. In my 40th year on the planet, I decided that 2014 would mark my assault on MOOC learning. I set myself the target of a MOOC a month for the entire year. This week marked the first day of autumn, the nights are drawing in, and I am loathed to say it but Christmas and the end of the year is creeping over the hill. Nine months in and I am still on track - two weeks to go in my ninth MOOC of the year. My courses have ranged from "What can modern managers learn from the Great Philosophers?" to the "History of Rock Music" to my current MOOC "Sports & Society" courtesy of Duke University. From videos and games, to additional reading and even recommended movies, all socially supported by my peers, I have LOVED everyone! I have been challenged and at times I have questioned my own sanity but in truth I am not trying to run an Iron Man here, I am simply taking enjoyment in learning. That’s the key, that's why MOOCs work - enjoyment. I have heard it all, "only blah blah % of people every finish them", "they are just marketing tools" blah blah blah. I am not dismissing these opinions, everyone is entitled to their own. However I think at times people look too hard for flaws, sometimes people almost want things to fail. For me MOOCs are not there to replace University degrees (not yet any way) what they are there for is to feed that craving we all get from time to time for a new experience. An experience that will, no matter how much, better us - give us a broader understanding and a just maybe just maybe get us thinking more. Learning and Development for me is about just that, stimulation, tempting individuals to want to better themselves not forcing them to have to. Learning needs to be fun and engaging, it should use different delivery methods, and it should simulate community discussion and debate. That all it is, that’s Learning folks! I didn't start writing this to get slaps on the back, I am not really interested in L&D high fives. If just one person reading this thinks - "ok I will ignore the bad press, forget about the hype and give one a go" then my one man MOOC mission has achieve more than I ever set out to do. It might not seem like it but we can all find a couple of hours a week here and there, while you’re on the train, waiting for the kettle to boil, even instead of reading this. Get out there and give one a go - you will find something out there that will grab your attention. If you do or don't it does not really matter in the long run, MOOCs are here to stay we can either embrace them or we can let them pass us by. Personally I could face myself if I had the opportunity to try something new and I didn't give it a go. If you made it this far into my ramblings then thank you, and while you are logging on to Coursera (other providers are available) think of me next month as I tackle Chinese for beginners. For now I am off to watch a film (actually part of my course work!) ... might catch you in the next post class chat room.

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