Wednesday, January 23, 2013

OLDS MOOC Week 2: notes from the field

Week 2 of OLDS MOOC done, six more to go - escaped this week relatively unscathed ;-) For a more complete overview of my comings and goings during week 2 of the MOOC check out my cloud (and scroll down).  Cloudworks isn't bad, I actually like it! But I haven't completely pinned down my workflow yet. I think Cloudworks would make a great electronic portfolio platform because I can see how clouds (specific objects in a portfolio), can be part of cloudscapes (objectives) which can then be part of your profile (your portfolio).

As a collaborative tool it also has potential, but it's very open. I don't necessarily want other people to add to my cloudscape, so how do you prevent this? I also don't want to contribute my stuff to other people's cloudscapes if they aren't relevant, so how do I know where to add things (and more importantly remove) items I've previously added.

That said, from my goals posted for Week 2 I've met everything except finishing the activities posted. I guess the short route was not short enough for me ;-) I did work on the Ecology of Resources framework for the MOOC I've proposed, but I only got through Phase 1. I guess phases 2 and 3 will have to wait for a later time. Even though I did not complete my own two final phases, the reading and Joshua's two examples (phase 2 and phase 3) gave me plenty of food for thought.

Again this week, the daily newsletters with summaries were quite helpful, and I hope that they continue as the MOOC progresses.  There was an interesting meta-MOOC moment this week when a fellow participant wrote:
“Now I know what's getting me down in this MOOC: it's all the layers. When you think you've found a way through the madness there's more behind yet another link” (OLDS MOOC Participant, January 14, 2013)
This was quite interesting because I had never thought of a MOOC as layers, but I suppose it can be seen as that.  I guess any course is layered, and the point at which most learners stop is the "what do I need to pass the assessment" point, whereas in MOOCs (at least cMOOCs) where there isn't a formal assessment, there is no natural pause point (or "good enough" point) to stop us from spending "too much time" in the MOOC. I suppose, as Clay Shirky puts it, this is filter failure.

Finally, another food for thought item, along with teachers as grand masters, concierges and network admins,  we've got the notion of teacher as Performer, Conductor and Observer. I tend to view conductors as performers, so for me it would be Performer + Observer...but then again, some Performers have to observe their audience, so it's all performing at the end of the day.

One last thing: great post by Jenny Mackness and should we consider MOOCs as sink of swim environments...more on this later!
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