Growing Old Around the Globe

I’ve just received my certificate from Penn (University of Pennsylvania) for the course Growing Old Around the Globe. I was interested in the topic and I had a lot of knowledge about it. I thought that I’ll watch some of the lectures and follow the discussion forums a little. But actually I watched all the video lectures and did all the assignments and wrote all the feedback which was needed. The lectures were interesting and well implemented (they were discussions actually) but the course became international through the peer interaction in the assignments. I loved the way the facilitators  guided us to work: first a source (video, image, poem, link or whatever) and then a short argumentation according to the choice. It was very easy and enjoyable. It was allowed to give full points to everyone, no demands of a normal curve.

oldgpieniThe most important thing  for me was to find my own thoughts concerning the theme Growing Old. I have knowledge and I got more information during the course, but I had to connect my experiences and my private life with my thoughts. The process opened my eyes. I became aware about my ideas at this moment. I loved the peer feedback from all over the world. If I told that I live in Finland, I got feedback about living in the Scandinavian countries. It is important that feedback is anonymous and that’s why I used examples from my private life more than ever. Growing old is a very personal experience. Of course we handled all the possible levels of ageing as well, but the personal level touched me the most.

The best surprise concerning the feedback was that my peer students understood me so perfectly. I did not expect it, because the assignments were short cuts of my life and my thoughts. I could see myself  in their feedback and I wonder how well they followed my presentations. My style is very personal and original and I hesitated over my choices, but everything went just as I wanted. I received full points for every task, but the understanding in the peer feedback was the real prize. There were 8900 students from 143 countries and the course was open to everyone. How is it possible that all my reviewers could follow me? It is a mystery 🙂

The course was designed very wisely and it worked well. I did much more than I intended. Thanks to Sarah Kagan and Anne Shoemaker and all the guest experts. Growing old around the globe is a theme which must be worked on and shared continuously and you showed the way forward in the last webcast. We have the Facebook group and many other networks in use. All these aren’t made for the old, they are planned with us old people. So we will use them.

3 thoughts on “Growing Old Around the Globe

  1. Heli – I also enjoyed this MOOC very much for similar reasons to you. For me a strength of this MOOC is the sensitivity with which Sarah Kagan and Anne Shoemaker lead the MOOC and the example they set. They are able to balance this sensitive approach with just the right amount of content and as you say the assignments are very well managed. Congratulations on your certificate 🙂

  2. Hi Jenny and thanks for the comment.
    OldGlobe is an excellent course and I hope that they’ll implement it every year so that a community around it becomes a living one.
    I have written my Finnish blog lately and had shared an idea of telling a story about my old school class before coming into the university. You can see photos here http://www.helinurmi.fi/2014/05/29/luokkakokouksen-tunnelmia/
    We are 18+50 years old everyone so most of us are retired from work life. We have time for meetings now.
    All the best to you

  3. Hi Heli – those are great photos of you and your old classmates. For me it is amazing that you are all still in touch with each other. It must be very interesting to share your life experiences. It looks as though you all have a very good time when you meet up 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Jenny

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