One important lesson from this experience concerned the practical ways in which technologies can mediate student interaction in this space. Another important lesson concerned us, as teachers, having to re-evaluate what constitutes “success” for a student in this space. For some students, as expected, the creation of a new piece of art – a song – was the educational aim and the criterion for overall success (and also a yardstick for the suitability of the technology). But for others, participation in the MOOC itself, and the process of engagement, was the principal aim, and for these students quite different and more instrinsic criteria for success need to be recognised. Interestingly, extant literature on the topic of success criteria for online music learning (e.g. Horspool & Yang, 2010; Boyd 2008) highlights engagement and intrinsic satisfaction, rather than grades, as motivational parameters even in traditional university courses where grades “count”. In the MOOC environment, these intrinsic factors were even more important.
Horspool, A and Yang, S (2010) “A Comparison of University Student Perceptions and Success Learning Music Online and Face-to-face”, JOLT 6/1
Boyd, P. (2008). “Analyzing students’ perceptions of their learning in online and hybrid first-year composition courses.” Computers and Composition, 25, 224-243.