In March, April and May, I have bee facilitating with Hans Põldoja an experimental study project and course on a Wikiversity. The Composing free and open online educational resources course is now finished. It is time to celebrate!
With Hans, we just checked our database of our notes and provided for the participants some “pass”, “fail” or “complementary work required” statements. The statements are now in the participants page.
March 3rd, the day starting the course, there were 72 registered participants. According to our book keeping 15 participants made all the assignments during the 10 weeks project. 5 participants should still do some complementary work to make it passed. The 20 participants who did (or almost did) complete the whole course should be really proud of their work. Congratulations!
Some of the assignments were found by some participants relatively demanding and our estimation of 4-6 hours of study work per week was probably underestimation. We do not have exact numbers on this but I think the actual workload was something like double.
Probably the greatest results and satisfaction for me comes from the fact that some people are already working on to organize the course again. Also Estonians are working on to localize the course and do it in their own Wikiversity in Estonian.
I am using some materials from the experiment in one research paper I am working on. I hope it will a bit open the idea of Wikiversity for “academics”, too. I think for many – including myself – the “wiki-way” of teaching and learning may at first look almost dangerous, or at least hard to handle.
My experience is that it is not necessary that different, at all. In a Wikiversity course you may have people who are motivated to study (you may call them students – I prefer calling them participants in the case or Wikiversity), readings, assignments, class discussions, evaluation and feedback. Most likely you will also face complains, demands and plagiarism. We are, anyway, human, even on a wiki.
I think the best way to get a hint of the course and how it was organized is to read the course blog of the facilitators written by Hans and me. From the archives of the blog you will find our comments and notes that were written during the process. In the sidebar of the blog there are also links to all the 20 participants that made it (or almost made it). Having a look of their blogs will give you an idea of the course from their perspective.