CCK08 revisited

George Siemens is reflecting on the CCK08 experience with a very interesting blog post. There is lots in this post to think about – not least because a CCK09 will be offered. I responded to George’s post and am copying my response here for my own records.

George asks – What concerns do we have with the model he presents. This is my current thinking, which I posted as a response on George’s blog.

I have recently (with a colleague) submitted a research paper which highlights how difficult it is for participants to learn effectively in a course which simulates an experience rather than offer the ‘true’ experience. I think this was also the case in CCK08 and I blogged about it at the time.

It seems to me that there is a tension between the nature of an accredited course and the type of learning environment, that CCK08 aspires to – one of openness, diversity, autonomy and interaction/connectedness. To be true to these four characteristics of connectivism, the course ‘tutors’/facilitators (whatever you wish to call them) need to take a ‘hands off’ approach, and that is where I think CCKO8 experienced the most problems. These problems were related to the fact that

– some people were seeking accreditation and therefore needed a ‘tutor’ at the very least to assess their work
– many people still have very traditional views of what we mean by course and the role of a tutor within a course
– the tutors were sometimes inconsistent in their approach – so we could view the lack of intervention in ’sparring’ that went on in the forums as a ‘hands-off’ approach, but then the choice of exemplary posts to be included in the ‘Daily’ is a very ‘hands-on’ approach.

I’m not sure that there is a straightforward answer to this dilemma. A ‘simulated’ experience is not the same thing as a ‘real’ experience and I’m not sure how you can reproduce a ‘real’ experience of autonomy, diversity, openness and connectivity in an accredited course.

The course continues to stimulate my thinking – so thanks for that!

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