I ended my thoughts last week with the question “I wonder if we now have overly high expectations of community in the online sphere?” and looking back through my stream for this week I see that I have been probing away at this.
The paper Participant association and emergent curriculum in a MOOC: can the community be the curriculum? (Bell, Mackness & Funes) looks at participation and community and its conclusion states:
There was confusion over what community meant, and where and how to perform it in Rhizo14, as participants brought different tacit understandings of the term to the course. The ‘warm glow’ communitarian notion of community emerged as a shared meaning that often defined both interaction and curriculum.
I think this lies at the crux of the issue, what IS community in online learning? It differs from person to person, course to course. Throughout the week I chatted to others about their lack of community within their MOOCs, several reporting that no one even seemed to be IN the space never mind acting as part of a community.
Comparing this to my own experience highlights the complexity of the situation as my course is all about community yet the majority of the interaction is within the FutureLearn platform not outside in Twitter. What I mean by that is that lots of people are creating amazing artefacts for the tasks but there is little comment/discussion around them. Many of these wonderful artefacts can be seen on Twitter or Instagram via #fldesignfutures. I replied to one Tweet (I think the person is connected to the course) to ask a question this week and have yet to get an answer.
Hi @StephanHitchins I have been having trouble accessing your articles listed via flip.it – any advice? #fldesignfutures pic.twitter.com/0tv02BLGMu
— Clare Thomson (@ClareThomsonQUB) February 23, 2017
The outcome of all this is that I have strengthened my #mscedc community whilst trying to engage in a MOOC community.
The remainder of my stream are different examples of visualisation techniques: sketchnoting, animations, infographics, icons and so on. This week will see a focus on making a decision as to which one will best represent my community within community.