My stream is unusually skewed this week, light at the start and heavy near the end. There were several reasons for this, I was at a conference on Tuesday, my MOOC analysis was ongoing and I think my frustrations at IFTTT were beginning to drag me down a bit. My initial response to my feedback was that it was exactly what I had been expecting, however, as the week went on I think it did over shadow my output to some extent.
My aim was to produce a video for this and I had all the transitions/animations in place but then decided to do via a Dropbox link and opted for a document only due to PowerPoint Mac and export to mp4 choice not showing. I’m not overly happy with it but it is the end of the week and time to move on. I really enjoyed the MOOC itself and will continue with it to the end.
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.
— Clare Thomson (@ClareThomsonQUB) February 26, 2017
This was a quite an odd article starting with an odd photograph of a line of children sitting staring at screens for a story about MOOCs, the vast majority of which are designed for adult education. Also adults wouldn’t be sitting in a row in a classroom participating in one! Is this just laziness or a way of trying to subvert thoughts around MOOCs? The summary article for a piece of research then goes on to describe how those who comment are most likely to finish the course. This is then followed up with the admission that most commenters are older/retired/not working etc and therefore have the time to comment. Also, surely engagement is a sure sign of possible completion. Lastly, those non-commenters who are younger/working have no drive to complete non-accredited courses – they are getting what the need, literally on the run! Are we continuing to apply the same metrics to MOOCs as formal courses and if so why?
This week’s stream seemed to have three different elements – community, robots and spaces.
Robots and ethics still seem to be on my mind in this block and Philip and I have been discussing the worries around the future of these. Using autonomous vehicles as an example, even Elon Musk is warning humanity that they need a plan for the displaced workforce due to these vehicles.
Spaces and their importance offline and online have also appeared due to our discussions and also from my MOOC on designs for the future. As with the vehicles we need to redesign our spaces to work with technology and not against it – the library is now used more than ever but needs to be more than just a building to house physical books. We need to encourage collaboration and communication for users and access to the Internet.
When it came to choosing a MOOC to join in order to conduct our micro-digital ethnography I made the pragmatic decision to check the weekly email from the providers that I normally ignore. Next I checked the start dates and finally I skimmed the titles to find one that was most relevant/attractive for my work. This seemed important considering I am working full time, studying on a formal course and now studying on an informal course whilst researching it – a stretch by anyone’s imagination. After this sophisticated process the winner was: Designing the Future on the Future Learn platform by RMIT University.