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Getting settled in the #etmooc

  1. Cathy Anderson I will be using my personal blog for #etmooc … now to get started ..way behind!
  2. In a course with such an open structure, what makes a participant feel behind on the morning of Day 2? Having grappled with this feeling of falling behind myself, I wonder if the nature of the course, specifically, the massive, distributed text that is created by participants bears responsibility? My experiences in traditional ed tell me to look at the reading load in a course to estimate and manage my workload. In this course, the texts are everywhere and constantly growing. I’ll breathe, sample and respond, knowing I could never read it all. Behind, after all, is relative.
  3. 1st #etMOOC in the books. Found it difficult to cut through the chatter. When @courosa let peeps write on slides it felt like a free 4 all.
  4. The phrase “free 4 all” is apt. It might be the simplest, most elegant description of a connectivist MOOC experience. Optimistically, I wonder, What is free? What is 4 all?

    Facilitators can certainly organize resources, synchronous sessions and suggested strategies. Ultimately, the M stands for “massive.” Learners in this course will experience the massiveness at times as a free 4 all. In traditional ed and professional learning, institutions minimize how and when  a student experiences “crowdedness.”   A large university, for example, designs ways for learners to feel a part of small classes, small communities and to have explicit support. In a MOOC, how do participants begin to experience connectedness more than crowdedness?

    Reading introductions and responding to others might be a great way. Of course, looking at the stream of introductions will make participants face a reality that sounds like this:
  5. RT @kostadimer: Knowing how to filter and accept dissonance in information are key 21st-century skills. #etmooc cc @bonstewart @alisonseaman
  6. At the start of this course, with a sprawling “course text” growing on screen in front of me, I’ll make daily decisions about filtering, learning all the way from the strategies and reflections of others. In order to accept (or combat) the dissonance, I’ll set goals for learning, and experiment with strategies reading and responding. In the end, I hope that the access to thoughtful learners is free and the content that surfaces to help our massive group learn about educational technology is 4 all.

Questions I’ll bring to #etmooc

Since I’ve participated before in connectivist MOOCs, the start of #etmooc has me thinking about why I’ve come back. Sure, I’m interested in the content of the course. The topics this course will explore come up daily in my work as an instructional coach, so I think this course will help me stay current on important, emerging themes in educational technology. Though I have great interest in the topics which will drive the course, I’m most excited to see the types of learner interactions that arise from this type of open format. I’m interested in the implications of this type of course for teacher professional learning. With that in mind I’ll look to answer the following three questions during this course.

What assumptions do participants make when evaluating this course as a learning experience?

Participants will compare MOOC learning to other types of learning they engage in and these comparisons reveal assumptions they have about what learning should look like. I hope to learn about the assumptions that learners bring to the course. Do teachers bring different assumptions than graduate students, for example? How do knowledge workers from a diverse range of employment and educational contexts respond to this open format?

How do active participants and learners engage with the course and other participants to further their learning?

What happens when connections start to form in a connectivist course? How do the connections among participants provide for some of the conditions of learning that an instructor in a traditional smaller course might provide, like feedback, or demonstration? Secondarily, I’m interested in discourse among active participants about “lurking.” In open courses I’ve been in, I have noticed what I think is a trend: Active participants in courses will initiate discussions about lurking and how to encourage lurkers to engage more in the course. While I understand the sentiment, I also think that active participants might have a stronger experience if they think through what the next steps for highly participatory learners are, rather than thinking through next steps for less participatory learners.

What processes or approaches to this course surface from active participants?

I’m interested in the reports that surface from learners about how they develop successful, personal processes for learning in open courses. Since the  course is comprised of so many choices and distributed digital content and texts, even the most veteran of the crowd of learners in this MOOC is likely, I believe, to rethink her approach to the class as the weeks go on. I’ll aim to capture these processes as learners share them.


Intro to #etmooc

Hello MOOC!

I chose to make a screencast of myself in Minecraft to introduce myself. See that exciting effort below. I’m from Denver, CO and I’ve participated in a few open courses, including #change11, a constructivist MOOC. I’m excited to see how this course takes shape and I’m looking forward to learning with all of you.