Of the two articles on MOOC’s and game-based learning and the discussion between myself and my learning partner the point that stood out the most was the competitive element of gamification. Originally, I thought that there was no way that game-based learning could be applied to trades instruction. And I picked this trend to reinforce my pre-determined assumption. But after reading the article and discussing it with my learning partner I realized I had jumped to the wrong conclusion. My students are generally young adults who all have experience playing video games. In fact, I see most playing games on their phones on breaks. It got me thinking that I would not be too hard to set up some games based learning on trades specific subjects with a competitive element. It would be interesting to see a little competition between the students and have them reinforce a technical concept at the same time.
Interestingly my learning partner and I are teaching courses that are worlds apart; Heavy Duty Technician and Philosophy. As far as MOOC’s and teaching a trade I don’t see much connection. A large part of what I teach is hand’s on. I cannot see a MOOC assisting with this. In regards to my learning partner’s course, it’s a little different. He has concerns about students just signing up online to learn from a far away institution instead of enrolling at his institution. But, as he learned through his article, his fears maybe unfounded as there are issues with accreditation and the ability to have meaningful discussions with groups of students. When it comes to gamification and learning a trade I initially thought that there could be no value to the trades student. But after further contemplation I realized, if done correctly, there could be some learning value there. Especially with keeping the younger students engaged. My learning partner had a similar revelation in regards to philosophy. At first glance it doesn’t seem applicable but in reality, there are benefits if done correctly.
Two current trends in adult education are MOOC’s and game-based learning. MOOC’s, or Massive Online Open Course’s are a newer trend in adult education that had been predicated to absolutely change the learning landscape. MOOC’s are essentially an online based course that emphasize unlimited student participation and open access. As my learning partner found, MOOC’s may not be the learning juggernaut they were originally touted to be. Myself, I looked into the trend of game-based learning, or gamification. The idea behind game-based learning is to take some aspects of video games such as competition, achievement awards and progressively harder challenges and to integrate them into a learning experience.