I’m not sure I have any real ‘master plan’. I started on the MOOC trail when I was looking for some programming courses to refresh my decades-old mainly self-taught experience. This was inspired by the change in emphasis in teaching away from IT (or ICT as the educationalists here prefer) and towards Computing–incidentally taking the subject through almost a full circle as it had all begun as Computer Science under the aegis of Maths departments some forty year ago. Anyhow, a teaching discussion board suggested looking at one these new ‘MOOC’ things that were just appearing and I enrolled in my first courses (on edX).
Immediately hooked I started exploring other avenues and ended up here–although it was not easy to find many references to Saylor. Intending to work through some of the CS courses I then decided to try for the full ‘Major’ but found myself more interested in the Gen Ed than the Major topic itself. Having finished PSYCH101 I decided I actually enjoyed Psychology more than CS, finally understanding why my wife had abandoned her medical career in favour of returning to university to complete Psychology Bachelors and Masters degrees!
I’ve now completed all the discipline requirements of the old Major (as still reflected in the ePortfolio Area of Study) and just need a couple of Gen Ed courses and a handful of Electives to round off the full package. Meanwhile, however, my butterfly attention continues to be caught by topics at random and I am, at least in principle, working slowly towards completing 3 or 4 majors (or Areas of Study) under the old more or less deprecated structure.
So, although quite active, the vast majority of that activity has never been directed towards the planned end (professional development, in the broadest sense). In reality, I study just for my own satisfaction and to fill in the gaps in my education caused by a far too early specialisation away from the arts and humanities. I strongly suspect that History will be my next big distraction–I’ve completed three courses here and have just finished the second of a sequence of three (Civil War and Reconstruction) over on edX presented by the inestimable Eric Foner.
Ironically, my original driver for study is almost redundant as I am not teaching at the moment and sometimes doubt that I will ever return to full time classroom duty.