Well, I’ve done it. I passed with 83% and I have my certificate 🙂
So, what have I learnt? Apart from there is lots more to google analytics than meets the eye, and I really need to find some thinking space to work out how to set up my campaigns, goals, and filters.
Well, the course design certainly meets the aims of the course, through the use of small chunked tasks based around videos, text info, more reading and objective tests I got there. However, did I really enjoy it? I’d say at the start yes, however, by the end, no. In fact by the end my enthusiasm had dipped and I completed the last few questions in the assessment through trial and error. So, probably not the best learning activity. I did think the final assessment was rather repetitive. It did make me wonder, would I have dropped out in the second week if it wasn’t for my need to audit the experience.
The question would be, does the learning design need to be changed to maintain my motivation? Well, I’d actually suggest no. There where opportunities for me to engage with others (which I didn’t do). The course team did encourage me to connect and participate in a community of practice. Therefore, I was aware, but I simply choose not participate.
In terms of informing designs at UCS, I’d suggest for the skills and knowledge acquisition level the Google model would work well. We can use the approach to develop our digital literacy skills in our staff and students. We could tweak the design to make it more case study driven. However, I would suggest we make the courses shorter (a few hours of activity) and build in a face to face meeting to discuss the wider issues of applying within their teaching and learning.
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.
Well I’m making progress with the Google Analytics MOOC (50% of the units completed)
The learning model at the start is very simple, it is a didactic delivery via a video and a set of objective questions. Some observations which we’ll need to consider when designing our courses is to think about the text version of the video. For instance, I’ve found a useful approach is to scan through the video and read the text version. This is better aligned to the questions being asked. Therefore, we’ll need to think through design and layout of the text document. Another advantage of of accessing text version on the iPad is I can open it in app and save it for offline access 🙂 So I can take the emerging resources with me.
Another observation is how effective is the additional reading they provide? These tend to be listed as a set of bullet points. I’ve found no reason to follow up on these links, and this hasn’t been a requirement to complete the task. Therefore, to help me (the strategic learner) realise how important the additional reading is, I’d suggest we include specific reference to the additional reading in the video / text, with a set of reflective questions to initially engage interest, and provide scaffolding when reading.
Finally, it is slightly annoying I can’t revisit the tests / activities I have completed, where I can see my answers. It appears (unless I’m doing something wrong) I can’t access my previous answered activities. This means I can’t reflect on my previous attempts. I’d suggest over a longer course, with more granular activities this is a limitation for the learner.
It looks like the learning design is changing. There looks like a shift from passive watch & read towards a more hands-on approach, where I’ll need to start building and doing stuff in Google Analytics and the hangouts will start.
I’ve just started another MOOC. This one is by Google, through the Google Analytics Academy (Digital Analytics Fundamentals). My motivation is on a number of levels, including learning design, quality, assessment and feedback. As well as I thought this would be quite interesting given I use (rather badly) digital analytics on a number of work systems.
I’m planning on blogging on how to maximise my motivation to complete the course. What are the approaches they adopted to encourage me not just to stay on track but to become increasingly intrinsically motivated. I’d suggest at the moment I’ve more extrinsic reasons to complete (my badge, lessons from their design). So will this change, or will I stay very strategic and view this as CPD?
My first observation, which is the importance of ensuring not only does it works on mobile / tablet device but it is a really enjoyable experience engaging through these types of devices. I’m aware we all say it’s important to make it mobile friendly. But to find I’m not going to have to really on a desktop / laptop (which given the number of kids I’ve got is actually quite difficult to do at home) is important. So a big plus. It does mean I can very easily log on for 20 minutes a day to complete an activity. My perceived barriers to participation have fallen. I’m undertaking this MOOC because I want to know more about digital analytics, and I can complete it easily from my tablet device. Perfect ….