I’ve enrolled in the free Curatr Digital Curation mini MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), put together by well known experts (though I think they would hate me saying that!) Sam Burrough and Martin Couzins.

I’ve enrolled for a few reasons:

  • I’ve wanted to do a MOOC for ages, not set aside the time/energy and this one came up on a subject I’m really interested in, want to learn something from and is relevant to what I’m working on
  • It’s a bit smaller, at two weeks, than a lot of the MOOCs I’ve looked at
  • It’s been developed by and on a platform by people I know and trust
  • A lot of my Twitter personal learning network are also enrolled, which will add to the social interaction element for me

Why the blog post if you haven’t even started?

Good sub-heading! I logged in to Curatr to have a look and immediately wanted to get started. As we all have, work commitments got ‘in the way’ and I wasn’t able to delve into the content or the Twitter chat that evening: #dcurate

The thing I noticed though, was the gamifaction part of the MOOC. There are experience points attributed to each piece of content. The higher the experience points, the more valuable the content is, according to Sam and Martin. This means that there is a leaderboard of points when you get to the main screen of the course.


Is this a good thing? Well, it certainly motivated me, as, quite frankly, I wanted to be on that leaderboard! More importantly, gaining those experience points actually unlocks Gates (as in the picture above) to get to different levels of content.

Here’s a Storify set of Tweets that discussed this. You can also see it here.


  1. @marklearns Indeed & looking forward to it. No time today other than a quick login this morning to see you were top of #dcurate leaderboard!
  2. @marklearns Hehe… perhaps you were just keen! It was working, I wanted to be on the leaderboard. Damn work getting in the way 😉
  3. @burrough @LightbulbJo @marklearns so is this an example of gamification in a MOOC? Need to reflect on “learning” value of such #dcurate
  4. @LearnKotch @burrough @LightbulbJo not to me. More akin to a Klout score. I don’t see this as a competition.
  5. @LightbulbJo @marklearns must admit this part I find interesting-never been to a MOOC that has a leaderboard. Verdict out on this #dcurate
  6. @marklearns @LearnKotch @LightbulbJo we tried to use the points system to create opportunities to take different paths through the course
  7. @LearnKotch @LightbulbJo @marklearns the good thing about the leaderboard is you can take it or leave it – there are no prizes


I think it’s interesting how we react to the points and leaderboard, regardless of how it was designed and what for. Yes, there was a fun competitive element that was an instant reaction to seeing it on screen. I don’t think that’s wrong or unhealthy. If I had immediately ditched my work, then maybe that would be the case (Competitive Anonymous, anyone?)!

I like Sam’s point about taking it or leaving it. However I do disagree with one thing. There are prizes, but they are the ones that we define ourselves. For me the prize would be learning satisfaction (regardless of the leaderboard!).

I look forward to actually getting in to the content at the weekend.

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