Goldilocks zone in a MOOC?

Most of us know about this fairy tale -of a girl -Goldilocks who wanders of into the woods and then enters into the cottage of the three bears and the famous dialogues “it is just right” before the “it is too hot” and “it is too cold”. This “just right” is the key phrase even used in astronomy as conditions just right for the formation of habitable zone. Does this apply to working on MOOCs? Or for that matter any online teaching- learning environment /scenario? It sure does. I say it straight from the experience!

So, we as a collaborative team who works on MOOCs under various aspects as our expertise, collaborate most of the times asynchronously. And that is much more than just doing what is allotted to you. If you have worked in a team, you know what I mean by this! Most of the teams working online, are used to tasks being “assigned” and finishing them as well. No doubt the work does get completed but there is hardly any warmth to it. There is not much beyond work- exactly what Goldilocks called “just too cold”; isn’t it?

And then there are teams that work in a frenzy. Lopsided. Where a few of them command, take the lead in the work (and few get away doing hardly anything). Many times this is also not paced out as per individual needs and things get into the hot zones, people losing tempers for being too fast/too slow, kind of being bulldozed. Goldilocks’s “too hot”.

But what we did here should be an considered exemplar (Oh! I know it sounds bragging). So, we three- the three musketeers- this time around had tightly-packed individual work schedules. So much so, that unlike previous times, we never had a chance to discuss, even asynchronously, what would go into the content! The blessing was that having worked for quite some time now, we know of each others’ strengths –powers as I call them, and weaknesses. So, I started with my power- the structuring of the content with respect to online pedagogy and putting up the core. Our techie- the tech-expert taking care of the tech integration based on the structure and the magical doctor with her healing power, putting up the examples. Soon I was restructuring the structure to suit the tech, putting up the next layer of the content, the techie busy modifying the tech to suit the structure and who better than the doctor for the perfect stitches! So, here was an operation done in less than 2 days, successfully recorded and delivered without even talking once!

This was Goldilocks’s “just right”! Unlike Goldilocks, we don’t trespass. We don’t run away at the end. We stand there together. To fill up for one person, just in case, exactly the way that person would have! Without erasing the stamp that would have been of that person! So, next time, you collaborate in a team, just think of which of the Goldilocks bowls are you handling. May you find the “just right” like we found ours. Amen!

*Techie is Vijay Rama Raju from Hyderabad and the magical doctor is Ilavenil Karunakaran from Coimbatore. We have collaborated frequently for developing e-content and faculty training

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