ETMOOC Orientation Week

ETMOOC which is being offered by Alec Couros and his conspirators has just come to the end of its first week – which focused on Orientation.

ETMOOC is described as a MOOC with a ‘weak centre’ which marks it out as being very different to OLDSMOOC, which I have been ‘observing’. OLDSMOOC feels as though it has a strong centre, even though it is distributed across a variety of platforms.

This week I attended ETMOOC’s live Orientation session and an Introduction to Twitter session and from these sessions ETMOOC does feel very different to OLDSMOOC. For a start it has a very different audience who this week have been asked to introduce themselves in the ETMOOC Google Community. My email inbox became so inundated with posts that I had to set up a filter.

At the beginning of the week I was very struck by Tomas Lorincz’s introduction and that together with many of the other introductions has made me realize that I will have to do something more creative with my text-based introduction on this blog – but that is going on my ‘to do’ list, for sometime in the future.

And now at the end of this week, I go to my filtered folder and right at the top is this post by Glenn Hervieux which describes participation in a MOOC like working on a jigsaw puzzle. I think this is a great analogy.

Evidently ETMOOC has almost 1500 participants from over 60 countries,  355 blogs have subscribed to the blog hub  (and as an aside, sorry but I really do not like the idea of featured blog posts -feels a bit competitive and not quite in the spirit of community) – 200 people attended the first Orientation session in Blackboard Collaborate and 71 were in the second session that I attended.

Participants have been invited to run a session if they are interested. Nice touch!

An interesting point is that ETMOOC is being run on a ‘zero budget’. Evidently ‘not one dollar has exchanged hands’.

Some principles of participation were strongly emphasized:

  • Collaborative and cooperative working on shared problems of education and society
  • Collaborative creation of experience
  • Trust (much was made of this)
  • This is a connectivist MOOC  (cMOOC) which relies on its members to connect and co-create knowledge. cMOOCs are discursive communities creating knowledge together (Cormier 2012)
  •  There is no assessment, but badges will be awarded
  • Topics will be crowdsourced
  • Participants will control their own learning spaces, but key questions are 1) How are you making your learning visible? 2) How are you contributing to the learning of others?

Many of the particpants in ETMOOC appear to be new to online learning and were reminded that many people are afraid when first posting online or joining a MOOC. This video was used to excellent effect to illustrate how that might feel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtGRvP3ILg

There is lots of advice on how to participate in this MOOC including a Dynamic Guide to Participation

And recordings of the live sessions are in the Archive

The topic for next week is Connected Learning.

3 thoughts on “ETMOOC Orientation Week

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