My Micro-Ethnography and Week 7 round-up.

Here is the link to my Micro-Ethnography.

I created it using an “artificially intelligent” web design package. This is part of its editing facility:

I spent too long on this exercise at the expense of other things (such as tidying up this blog) which was not what I intended. Nevertheless,  I feel like I have an understanding of Kozinets (2010) and an appreciation for other netnographers that I did not start with. I’d need to suck up my guts and get on with sorting niggling bits of grammar, spelling and structure for an assessment. As it is, I think it stands well enough for the kind of “low-stakes” exercise we’ve been asked for. I’m both happy and annoyed with it at the same time. I like it for what it is, and what it represents, and I’m frustrated that I haven’t been able to do more in the time that I had.

Week 6 otherwise has been quieter on the life-streaming front. I followed in the footsteps of Fournier, Kop and Durand (2014) and tried out Nvivo. Which I share their reservations about (for another blog post, perhaps). In the end I just eyeballed my data and counted in my head….

I checked out the excellent micro-ethnography submissions from my EDC cohort, and managed to get comments through from their blogs on to mine.

I’m interested in pursuing something around Virtual Reality and community for my assessment, so I’m trying to pull in relevant articles in to my lifestream.

Categories are set up for most (if not all) my posts, which I’ll need to do something with, but for now they can be selected to filter down to some of the themes of my lifestream.

On to block three…

Fournier, H., Kop, R. & Durand, G., (2014). Challenges to Research in MOOCs. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), pp.1–15.

2 thoughts on “My Micro-Ethnography and Week 7 round-up.”

  1. Thanks for this interesting and extensive micro-ethnography, Colin. As Chenee says, you really seem to have become immersed in the community enabling to you identify traits and rituals that might have been hard to observe from the periphery (the quintessential ethnographer then, as some would see it!). Combined with the fact that the experience gave you insights into the work by Kozinets and others, I think and hope that this has been a good use of your effort (much more than blog tidying which you can worry about later on).

    Here’s something I was really struck by in your reflection:

    ‘Given the nature of the target audience, the community was very polite and without conflict (Though how much behind-the-scenes moderating went on I do not know).’

    I found this really fascinating. It very usefully reminds us that our attempts to reflect on the nature of community within the MOOCs largely depend on what we see. But as you suggest, what else is happening that is unseen? Without the ability to interrogate what happens behind the scenes (at least within the scope of this micro-ethnography), how much is the sense of happy community dependent on moderators curating what is available for presentation? I really like your healthy level of scepticism here: as long as our observations are largely dependent on what appears on screen – even if we are actively involved in the MOOC – we should be cautious about making sweeping assumptions about the nature of community. Excellent – and a perfect link into our conversations around algorithmic cultures in Block 3!

  2. Hi Colin,

    Wow, it is evident you’ve spent a lot of time on this and observed your chosen MOOC really comprehensively.

    Firstly, kudos for using NVivo! I have had some experience with it and tried to use the wordle feature for my own ethnography but found it wasn’t particularly useful in pulling out key concepts. I also keep forgetting how to do the things I want to with it.

    A comment you made really resonated with me, ‘MOOC users are not here to form community in the way that the type of online communities referenced by Kozinets are which led him to draw up the various matrix and diagrams in his paper. ‘ This is something that sat with me during my own ethnography. I think the communities he studied were different because they were bound by a shared interest or passion, people joined those communities because there were limited opportunities to connect with others. MOOC communities seem to have ‘a try before you buy’ mentality. Participants might not be very interested in the content before they start so they don’t have the motivation to develop relationships within those communities.

    Thanks for your insightful micro-ethnography.

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