So my first ever MOOC is over. I have submitted my digital artefact as per instructions and made an evaluation of contributions from three other MOOCers.

Actually, I have so far graded twelve artefacts in total and will probably do a few more tomorrow. Doing more is an optional exercise but it is fascinating to see how other people interpret the task.

As you might expect, the quality is mixed. This is partly due to the variable level of people’s ability to use online templates for ‘creative’ tasks like this but also reflects the fact that some have not even followed the course material at all.

A few have clearly thrown in the towel and simply submitted a web link that bears no relation to the themes of the E-Learning & Digital Cultures course. These get a zero grade but since an end of course certificate will be given to ALL who submit an artefact (and grade three peers) they won’t be bothered by my negative comments.

A weakness of these free online courses at present is that the sheer number of participants means that individual feedback from the professors, in this case from Edinburgh University,  is nigh on impossible. The consequence is that it’s hard to argue that the certificate amounts to a meaningful academic qualification.

I for one don’t care too much about this.The satisfaction of doing the course comes from sharing this experience with other students in this massive virtual classroom. I’ve learnt a lot about the philosophy behind distance learning.

Above all, it’s made me realise that MOOCS tap into the need to affirm the human touch in lives that threaten to be overwhelmed by technology.

Some of the artefacts are truly outstanding. This one is my personal favourite, submitted by Jane Martin and called Human Made Digital Reflection

Jane  has also collected together other Vimeo EDCMOOC  ‘artefacts’ which can be viewed here.

Another cool artefact is this one by Luis Poza Garzia, a Spanish guy who lives in Boston MA.