In the lead up to our Carpe Diem MOOC, starting on the 10th of March, we wanted to give you a bit of a behind the scenes conversation with the team that have worked so hard to bring it together. First up, we have Maha Abed, a Knowledge Advocate from the Learning Transformations Unit, who has worked diligently on so many facets of this MOOC journey. We thank Maha for her candid enthusiasm and passion for learning innovation!
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Maha on Twitter- @maha__abed
Maha on LinkedIn
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Maha has been working in the Library and Information sector since 1999. She has been a Liaison Librarian at Swinburne University from 2009 – 2012. Her interests in e-learning, instructional design and web-related technologies have led to a secondment with the Learning Transformations Unit at Swinburne in 2014. She is currently working in this area with her LTU colleagues on the Carpe Diem MOOC, launching in March, and the online Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching. In between, she assists in the delivery of Carpe Diem workshops for Swinburne staff at the Hawthorn campus.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your relationship to the original face to face version of Carpe Diems
I completed the F2F version of the Carpe Diem workshop in 2013. I had read Gilly Salmon’s books prior to attending the two-day workshop, and was particularly interested in engaging with colleagues in her 5-stage model as the librarian/information specialist in the Carpe Diem team. I like the fact that Gilly’s model not only includes content experts to create learning, but librarians and information specialists as well, as I have always sought ways to become an embedded part of the curriculum creation process in my previous liaison areas. Completing Carpe Diem has assisted in making this work possible.
2. What is your role in the CDMOOC team?
I am a Knowledge Advocate – I seek out information and resources that will support the learning being delivered in the MOOC, as well as advise on any copyright issues that should be considered in the creation process. I also possess a strong interest in Social Media to enhance learning and networking processes. So, I will seek to maintain the social connections that will be promoted throughout the MOOC. I will serve as a backup to the e-learning designers and professors and help to ensure that all runs smoothly in the background during the Carpe Diem MOOC’s duration.
3. What part of this role are you enjoying the most?
A hard question to answer… everything! I have been lucky enough to be able to work with a highly professional team, not only providing support, but enjoying the chance to learn new skills from other areas of expertise. I am looking forward to seeing the process unfold and support the MOOC’s participants in a timely and professional manner.
4. What has surprised you the most about creating this MOOC (Good/Bad)?
Nothing has come as a surprise, per se. However, due to the unpredictable nature of a MOOC and the potential number of participants, I’m sure that the number of enrolments we ultimately receive will be amazing. So far, the numbers enrolling are great – it has increased rapidly and I’m seeing for myself the power of social media, networking and marketing online every day.
5. If participants could only take ONE thing away from them experiencing this MOOC, what would you hope that would be?
I hope the participants will find out, as I have, that teaching and learning online need not be so overwhelming. Gilly Salmon’s five-stage model is great to help one feel more at ease with rapid learning development. Once one participates in Carpe Diem as a student, it’s so much easier to implement the model as a teacher afterwards. Plus, the model is flexible enough to be moulded to anyone’s teaching style and objectives. In a nutshell, I hope participants will enjoy Carpe Diem as much as I did and have fun in the journey that they are about to embark upon.
6. What is your perception of the impact that MOOCs could have, or are having, on the future of Higher Education?
MOOCs are perpetually evolving. They’re a powerful way to explore new skills and dabble in online learning experiences to learn more about one could apply in their own areas of expertise. But, due to nature of the web and the technologies available online, MOOCs will always be evolving and changing to suit the world of online education. Personally, I hope they will always present new and engaging ways to enhance our learning and teaching – I think, in this arena, one is only limited by their imagination.
7. What advice would you like to give the Participants of this MOOC?
My advice is to try and participate often and regularly throughout the six weeks, as the benefits will be more than you expected. The e-tivities you encounter will be relatively simple, but, when you look back on your achievements throughout the course, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve learned. I’m sure participants’ minds will be buzzing with ideas on completion. So, hang in there, stick with it, engage as much as you can, and reap the benefits. :-)
Thanks for visiting all and feel free to share this post on your networks to those you think would be interested. But most importantly... please come and JOIN US on March 10!