Google analytics MOOC … Motivation is high, but will it be for others?

On reflection, my motivation to continue to particle in Google Analytics MOOC is increasing. This is evidenced as I have been applying what I have learnt on a recent promotional campaign I undertook for work, and the fact when I received the email announcing the release of the latest units and assessment I accessed them straight away. I was eager to see the content and assessment. In both cases there was that buzz of anticipation !!

So, what could I transfer to the design of courses at UCS? Well, it does support an emerging view that this type of resource intensive MOOC suits some people at some certain times. I am a very aware of the tipping point between the costs and benefits of participation. For instance, the tasks are short (so the costs in terms of finding time to complete a unit a small), while I benefits for me of mastering these skills are high as I need to get more from my google stats. So I quickly get a sense of achievement by being able to implement the lessons learnt within my working life. However, if I did not have such a desire to learn how to better use Google Analytics I would be unlikely to complete the course. Another observation is I have undertaken the minimum work on this course. It has not engaged me to undertake any of the additional reading, or participate in the online forums or drop into the supporting google hangouts. For me, to gain the info I need there is no obvious benefit of participating.

There are some key lessons which should transfer. The design suits the acquisition of skills and knowledge when these are objective (there is a right answer). So, for our emerging digital literacy courses it would suit skills acquisition; information literacy (search skills), and IT literacies (embedding multimedia) there should be significant transfer of ideas. Where we offer short courses, with an objective test to get your badge of achievement. I would question if the course needs a start and end date. For instance, why not simply let them self-enrol, and complete the course at their own pace? What benefit does a course intake offer in the terms of the learning objectives? I kind of think this information is on a just in time model. If I want to know about more effective ways of using Google Analytics I do not want to wait two months for the next course !! Therefore, this course design is simply a glorified how to guide, which has more effectively chunking, multimedia intensive (both for the why and the how), includes objective questions and you get a badge of achievement of you complete.

With respect to implementation for staff and students at UCS I would also take a leaf from Google and offer a supporting drop-in surgery (online or face to face), and the re-use of the videos in other support material.

A question which this course has not been able to answer is, how to design effective, engaging and sustainable courses on more subjective topics? I am still struggling to see if this can be achieved without putting boots on the ground (and the associated costs), and using moderated discussion boards or social media tools.

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