The idea of McDonald's etiquette ... within a MOOC ...

Is there such a thing as 'McDonald's etiquette' and what does this tell us about education?

Assuming that many who are reading this have visited a McDonald's at least once in their lives. Or if they are lucky enough to have avoided such an establishment at least know of such places. There is an albeit very basic etiquette at these establishments.

How one queues, places the order, eats and disposes of cartons fits into this etiquette - how many napkins to take - stealing sugar and using the latrine etc its all part of the deal. As well as identifying other customers, your prejudices and where you prefer to sit all add to this idea.

We all know how long we can cope in a Maccy D's and also how often we should eat in such an establishment.* 

As some elements of education become commodities and convenient. We decide how we wish to dip in and consume knowledge - some MOOC's are detailed others are like sushi simply tickling your palette. 

There is almost an etiquette of trying out the educational equivalent of fast food. Having observed the behaviors of MOOC's, the consumption of their content and the desire of some to voraciously consume as much as is offered compare to those who snack on the content before looking for something a little more substantial. I am now wondering if we are encouraging a fast food approach to educational engagement by some students.

While the courses I have done are interesting, I cannot say that I am now informed on any of these topics. I can however acknowledge that I have little interest in going into any greater depth. Rather a cynic, this is an optimists charter - in many ways the MOOC have encouraged an educational try before you buy and therefore if successfully harnessed could encourage a better academic experience for those involved and improved retention. Something many educational managers embrace.

What do you think the etiquette is within the current tranche of online short courses ... are the students tasting or savouring the experience.




*At the time of writing this article in September 2015, it took ages to work out that one last ate in a golden arches in May 2015.  

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