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Interview Learning with MOOCs - Anggun Dewara shares his journey and insights

Posted in 'Life-changing experiences of learning with MOOCs' started by Carolyn, Sep 16, 2015.

By Carolyn on Sep 16, 2015 at 2:36 PM
  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Founder at MoocLab Staff Member

    Suffolk, UK
    The following interview was conducted by MoocLab member @Ankit Khandelwal .
    Ankit Khandelwal has pioneered the UNESCO endorsed “Zero Cost MBA” using MOOCs with a “quest to acquire skills to become a future global manager”. With over 20 completed MOOCs to his name, Ankit is an experienced MOOC-er and is keen to hear about other people’s MOOC journeys and had a vision to take the benefits of MOOCs from the perspectives of as many people as possible.
    Meet Anggun Dewara
    Anggun Dewara.jpg
    Anggun Dewara | LinkedIn

    In this 8th interview of our Learning with MOOCs series, we have the pleasure of meeting MoocLab member @Anggun Dewara - Business Development Manager, father and self-confessed MOOC enthusiast. Anggun is from Indonesia and has studied over 40 MOOCs so far which have helped him develop both academically and on a personal level. In this interview, he shares his MOOC journey and offers his thoughts and advice on studying with MOOCs.

    Q: Can you tell us more about yourself?

    A: Well, I love learning. I am merely inquisitive and passionately curious. I am a MOOCs enthusiast. I failed in my first college major: Offshore Engineering in Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology. I succeeded in my second undergraduate college major: Economics and Development Studies at the Open University. I am an Indonesian and Javanese native. I have lived in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia for my entire life. My TOEFL PBT score was 537 on August 2014. I want to learn German and Japanese in the near future. I am 38 years old and a father of one lovely daughter. I am preparing her to become a global citizen. I have been learning the basics of western philosophy, economics, management, engineering, sociology, psychology, information technology, globalization, education.

    Q: How did you get to know about MOOCs?

    A: I found MOOCs accidentally 2 years ago by googling. The first MOOC I took was ChinaX Part1 in October 2013. I have tried several MOOC platforms. edX is the best.

    Q: How did you adapt to the different style of learning offered by MOOCs, especially in the initial days?

    A: For each MOOC, first I check the course requirements: duration, special skill, assessment method, etc. If that course seems doable, I will try for one week, to set my ‘frequency’ match to it. If I feel uncomfortable, I will unenroll from it. I have unenrolled from plenty of MOOCs. They are just another course in my journey.

    Q: What challenges did you face while taking these many courses?

    A: I face challenges with demanding assessment methods. I have to self-discipline using my time efficiently.

    Q: How did you manage your time effectively while taking MOOCs? Let's say for a 6-9 week course, what will be your schedule in balancing your personal life, learning and meeting deadlines?

    A: I allocated several hours daily to taking MOOCs. I did it in my lunch break at the office and after dinner at home. I sacrificed my social time. My social life was limited to colleagues and family. I almost never hung out with old friends for several years. I don't know, is that unbalanced or new balanced life?

    Q: What were your favorite courses and why?

    A: I love ChinaX because of its long duration, high quality materials, great professors, etc. I have been interviewed by Meghan Morrissey as a completer. ChinaX required dedication and engagement.

    Q: Do you have any advice to prospective MOOC students on how to get the best out of MOOCs?

    A: MOOCs are not suitable for every student. MOOCs will find their own students. Matched students do not need any advice. Plenty of advice does not work for unmatched students. It is about ‘chemical romance’.

    Q: How has taking MOOCs helped you in your personal and professional life?

    A: MOOCs increase my confidence. MOOCs improve my English. MOOCs develop my potential. MOOCs give me friends like you. MOOCs provide new hope. MOOCs have connected me to reputable universities and great professors, which I have never imagined before.

    Q: MOOC's are not for everyone? Do you agree with this statement? If yes, what kind of qualities must person possess before thinking about taking MOOCs?

    A: Yes I do. MOOCs are only suitable for specific people: independent, inquisitive, curious, self learners, proficient in English , digitally literate, have broadband internet access.

    Q: What kind of improvement can be made in MOOCs in your view to make them more effective?

    Proficient Videos should be cut into light and small pieces. Activities should be more varied and interactive. Specializations could help students to choose their career path.

    Q: Any interesting event/incident you'd want to share with us related to MOOCs? -Is there anything else you want to share with us from your very extensive experience of taking MOOCs?

    A: I have been interviewed by great engagement people like you, Meghan Morrissey and Dean Jay Mathew. Dean is COO of IndonesiaX, the Indonesian version of edX. I like to participate in developing the future of MOOCs.

    Q: How did you use the knowledge gained from MOOCs?

    A: Most of them have broadened my insights. Almost nothing is practical skill. Except HTML and CSS programming course from Codecademy and Udemy which I did not mention before. Broad insights help me understand my circumstance better.

    Q: Say I am a person who has just heard about MOOCs. Can you describe MOOCs in some sentences for me? And why should I try MOOCs?

    A: MOOCs are a fascinating digital learning method. MOOCs open access to reputable universities, professors and high quality learning materials. If you love learning, are proficient in English, have broadband internet access, want to be connected to reputable universities, then MOOCs are for you.

    Q:If you had to design a MOOC, what would it be? And what would you keep in mind?

    A: I would have to describe my audience and their needs. I would need to explain specific requirements, course itinerary, and goals to achieve. I would provide light materials for slow internet connection. I would create interactive and fun methods of learning. My learning materials would be rich of multimedia content. My learning methods would be similar to game challenges. It should be fun and engaging.

    Q: Where do you see more innovation is needed in MOOCs to make them more effective for both learners and practitioners?

    A: I forgot how many courses I have unenrolled from because of their boring methods.

    Q: Do you have any suggestions to modify the assessment methodology currently adopted in MOOCs?

    A: It should be fun and not intimidating. It could involve interactive activities. It could be a puzzle of information. It could be full of pictures, colors, and sounds. It could be peer assessment.

    Q:Which MOOCs are you currently taking or planning to take?

    A: edX: American Government, AP Macroeconomics, Chinese Thought, Knowledge Management and Big Data in Business, English Grammar and Style, The Beauty and Joy of Computing
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