Am I Willy Wonka?

#outstandingMOOC, CPD, MOOC

Yep you read that right, so let’s keep this brief.

I’m currently participating in several MOOCs, one of which is “How to Create an Outstanding MOOC” hosted by HT2. We are currently on Week 2 of a five-week programme which includes the opportunity to design and develop one’s very own MOOC using the Curatr platform. (Still time to come and join us)

As found with some MOOCs, the experience has moved into different spaces.  Last night, the conversation was hosted on Google Hangouts by MOOC ‘wranglers’ Craig Taylor, Martin Couzins and Sam Burrough. I like to call them ‘el tridente’.

Before I go any further, I have a confession to make.

I’ve only used Hangouts a coupe of times before, and despite its technical hiccups, I think it’s a great way to connect.  I should use it more often when the opportunity arises.

But here’s my second confession. It makes me feel exposed.

Blogging and tweeting are safe.  I can air my thoughts without fear.  You, the consumer, make your choice.  But there’s something NOW about Hangouts.  Stupid thing to say I know, but there’s no real ‘Save/Edit Draft’.  Does Hangout scare you? Sure does for me, but life is not always about A>B>Live.

Anyway, Willy Wonka.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the man, the story.  Here’s a quick recap based on the musical.

  1. Wonka seeks heir to run his chocolate empire
  2. Launches and broadcasts competition
  3. Engages audience
  4. Finds winners
  5. Does the tour thing
  6. Charlie and Wonka win.  Smash through glass roof!

Wonka is a mishmash-diddlyumptious.

He’s a Brand and Community Manager.  He’s a spokesperson, a relationship builder.  He lets the winners explore, meet others unlike themselves, make sense of it all….make mistakes.  Without giving too much away, the Curatr MOOC talks about pointing the way, about flexibility, about ‘swinging’ and ‘dragging’ people.  That got your attention didn’t it.

For me and my early steps into this field, designing and delivering a MOOC feels like being Wonka.  And so I return to the MOOC…..

As the crazy man said: “The suspense is terrible…I hope it’ll last.”


“MOOC of Love”


This morning’s drive to work necessitated an ‘80s classics’ compilation album.

By about Track 5 (King), I was starting to skip forward/back.  By Track 10 (Spagna) I was changing CD, and within 30 minutes (Debbie Gibson) I was, well, embarrassed really.

So I switched to radio.

I started to wonder if my listening habits drew parallels with my current MOOC experience. The six-week offering is proving quite absorbing.

Here are my thoughts on Week 0.  I’ll try and throw in some 80s lyrics to keep it interesting.

  1. Does your device of choice affect your MOOC UX and participation?  I have found myself fleeting from tablet to smartphone, desktop to tablet etc.  There’s a lot to be said about MOOCs and Responsive Design.

  2. There’s been much debate on the E of TEL.  Enhanced or Enabled?  It’s made me realise that I’ve been Living in A Box.

  3. Relax, somebody at LTUK14 talked about BYOA.  Discuss.

  4. MOOCS are about sparking change, however big or small.


Don’t You Forget About Me.