Maybe a better title for this post is MOOCs vs. Lynda.com. Â In the past 6 months I completed Kevin Werbach’s MOOC on Coursera and Karl Kapp’s course on Lynda.com both on gamification. Â I really enjoy gamificaiton because I think it makes learning fun when used properly. Â I read both Werbach’sÂ For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your BusinessÂ and Kapp’sÂ The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. Â I liked both books but I probably got more out of Kapp’s book and Lynda.com video because Kapp puts gamification in my field rather than the business world in general.
I really underestimated the time commitment of taking a MOOC. Â Off the top of my head, the Lynda.com course was about 2 hours 15 minutes long and it was a pure lecture format. Â It was extremely interesting and held my attention. Â It was great reinforcement to Kapp’s book. Â The Coursera session was about 6 weeks long with multiple lectures. Â Both are on demand so you can take them when you want to however, Coursera releases more videos on a weekly basis. Â I’m not exactly sure how long the videos would take since there’s not a running total but I would estimate probably about 6 hours of video. Â Then on top of the video there were quizzes and written assignments. Â This was great to reinforce the learning but it really added to the time commitment. Â In the class notes, there is a note that states that one should expect 3 to 4 hours of weekly work. Â I think this was conservative.
The video production value is much better at Lynda.com but making training videos is what they are known for. Â The Coursera sessions appeared as if Professor Werbach recorded the sessions on a video camera in his office. Â This is the difference between a $250 annual subscription vs. free. Â I suppose this really doesn’t matter as long as the content is there.
What I find interesting is that neither session was gamified. Â Perhaps this is extremely difficult with the nature of recorded lectures but I would say it’s worth a try given the subject. Â Werbach did try with a series of guess what’s different in the frame behind me but most of the time I couldn’t tell. Â I’m not sure that’s true gamificaiton or just adding some fun or visual interest to a lecture.
I think both experiences were valuable. Â I don’t think I gained any more information from the MOOC than I would have by just reading Werbach’s book alone. Â I didn’t expect the volume of work from a non-credit class that was involved. Â Overall I think I liked the combination of Kapp’s book and the Lynda.com video better.