I was surprised how hard it was some weeks to make the time to sit down and work through this course. I was also surprised by the use of blogging and social media content. I guess overall they were nice surprises. I found it a bit frustrating being asked to use other third party resources to interact with the course material such as Flikr, Conceptboard Realtime board or Twiddla. Why Furture Learn could not incorporate these features into its design was something I found to be a major failing.
I feel that although I did not really takeaway anything from the course that was truly new. I cringed at some of the chemistry and in places just found the way some concepts were presented as terrible. Overall I did actually enjoy the course. If you are not prepared to try new things then you will not know if you like them or not. We do not grow in a vacuum (not technically true - but you get the point).
By the end of the course I was really just looking forward to getting it over and done with. I was powering through the quizzes/test and really not paying enough attention either cooking or cleaning at the same time. I guess this means that I had lost my direction and that problems means that the end of the course sort of died out in a damp squib for me.
I did enjoy the review sessions. I did not really appreciate they were happening nor that they would be considered part of the course content. So I got a bit of a shock when I looked and found my 100 % complete course modules suddenly not so.
I would be really useful to produce a fact sheet/course summary at the end of this with all the websites, and learning resources as well as summaries of each of the modules and what the presenters expected us to takeaway from thos modules. By doing so we can hopefully close the communication loop as they say and understand the viewpoint of the teacher a little more clearly and hopefully the content may become a little bit more - relevant for want of a better word.
I guess my closing summary remark would be do not be afraid of long and short wave radiation - or explaining it to the course. Nor should you be looking at point scoring with shock and awe question/answering type dialogues - I’m thinking about GHGs particularly. You can get the same message across far more clearly by explaining the concepts first then presenting the results rather than going Booo and trying to explain why you did so………..
This was a good introduction to Future learn and a good first attempt at a course by the team. You can tell a lot of effort went into the production of each weeks module. Well done.
One thing I did feel let the Future Learn concept down was the requirement to pay for the “Statements of Participation” you were/are not allowed to print a PDF version saying that you completed the course instead you get charged “an introductory price of £24” - WHAT? Really? But I thought Future Learn was…..
> > At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. > >
Yes the courses are free but if you want evidence you have completed the course for your CPD then well that is not free.
So what evidence will you get? A certificate to be sent through the post - for £24. Is it being hand delivered by the queen for £24? I think this really lets down Future learn as a medium for CPD, a medium for learning in fact. You should be able to access this online and print off a PDF or paper copy yourself for free. If you want to stealth charge for the course you should just bloody well charge on week one.
The future of sciencific communication is really going to be based out of university departments producing interesting online web information. From documentaries to courses. This has to be the way since science of TV is just terrible. So how can we know the good programs from the bad - the science from the Scientology well the simple answer would be the origin. Is the content from a University then we can trust it. So seeing Future learn makes you think yes a great point of learning - great a free high quality online course - until you want some evidence of proof of taking that course then well its not free any more.
> > ## Celebrate progress > > > > We motivate our learners by breaking the journey into small steps. Each step is bite-sized to make the learning visible, help learners see progress quickly and regularly reflect on what they have learnt. We celebrate every step of progress, both small and large. There is no such thing as dropout: we encourage learners to take from the experience as little or as much as they desire. > > > > ## Embrace FutureLearners > > > > We want to create a community of lifelong learners, and provide the stepping stones from one journey to the next. Our visitors are FutureLearners, not students of a particular university. > >
Really how can the above two statements be from the same organisation which charges for proof of completing a course? Sigh - stealth charge for learning - are you liberal democratic?
Consider – for this week AND for the course as a whole:
1. What are the most important themes you have learned?
I’m really struggling to find theme that in this weeks course or over the entire program have been truly new to me. I guess looking at the results of the quiz/final test I learnt to not cook and try and answer the questions at the same time. I also learnt that my understanding of historical terms such as Era, and Eon was not very good at all. Which was sad since during this climate change quiz you felt that at least two questions should be based on those units?
2. What aspect(s) did you find difficult?
The measures of time in relation to historical events. Or more correctly the use of terms like Eon, Era, etc as answers to the first two quiz questions. Ok I get we are in the anthropocene period but then to ask me which unit of measure of time defines it?
3. What did you find most interesting? And why?
Nothing I guess - sorry.
4. Was there something that you learned that prompted you to do your own research?
5. Are there any web sites or other online resource that you found particularly useful in furthering your knowledge and understanding?
Not at this time no.