There is lots of evidence that there was plenty of activity in Week 1. There is even evidence that participants who really dislike Cloudworks are hanging on in there!

I am observing OLDSMOOC rather than participating. From my perspective, it seems that quite a bit was achieved in the first week.

  • There were plenty of project proposals posted to the Dream Bazaar and evidence of groups forming and projects being started.

Also interesting this week was the Google Hangout meeting.

OLDSMOOC Week 1 Google Hangout

I watched the recording . I had wondered how they were going to manage this given that I think only a very limited number of people can attend a Google Hangout (10?).  In the event only one participant joined the event in Google Hangout. Others participated by posting questions to Twitter. Was this sufficient to help people feel connected to the course?

Comments that I noted from the Hangout recording were:

  • OLDSMOOC assumes a high level of connectivity and technical competence. Was this stated in the initial ‘blurb’. I’ll have to go back and check.
  • More needs to be done to understand what we mean by accessibility when learning in MOOCs. It’s obviously more than, for example, being able to access Cloudworks
  • What are the constraints of designing for an invisible audience? I wonder how many of the project designs will tackle this problem.
  • A vibrant community is forming in OLDSMOOC despite the difficulties people are having with the distributed platforms. Its interesting to reflect on what it is that is motivating people.
  • Finding a project team is recognised as a challenge.  I’m not sure that the default position of – if you can’t find a team you can work on your own – will satisfy those that can’t. I wonder what could have been done to support this process – or whether it is necessary to support this process. Should we simply accept that MOOCs are ‘sink or swim’ environments?
  • It’s accepted that some participants (like me) will be dipping in and out, but those working on a project (particularly if in a team) will have an incentive to stay the course. There seem to be enough people diving in and getting their hands dirty to allow many to simply put their toes in the water and project leaders seems to be emerging. Again, its interesting to reflect about the design characteristics of OLDSMOOC that are enabling this process.
  • It’s the job of the facilitators to put people in touch with each other. I’m wondering how much this has been done and whether its even realistic in a MOOC.
  • There seems to be a slow recognition that many skills are required for participation in a MOOC and that group formation is a messy process. Perhaps more mentors are needed. How do we design for messy learning?
  • There is a tension between a nicely designed experience and the mess of reality, but the more structured the process the less democratic.

I liked the honesty with which the OLDSMOOC conveners discussed the challenges they are facing and once again I really appreciate the daily summaries – see Announcements to catch up.

Week 2 which is already underway is being led by Josh Underwood and is focussing on the influence of context on learning design.

One thought on “OLDSMOOC Week 1

  1. plerudulier January 21, 2013 / 6:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection and commented:
    Seems that Google hit on something with its Hangout: it has become THE tool all people who want to reach out and gather use.
    It’s the second MOOC I hear of (after the one I attended myself) that makes extensive use of Hangouts.

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