Hello Helen, thanks for your weekly summary, nicely written as usual.
First, thanks for including hyperlinks within the summary: in light of how much content there is across the different lifestream blogs these explicit links to fragments of content are extremely useful.
‘My assigned study group for the FutureLearn course is comprised of a smaller group of 80 people, but even there, communications are frequently one way and not discursive and roaming in the way that our engagement with the EDC course has been so far.’
I’m taken with your description of ‘roaming’ conversation here – I think it nicely captures the problems that might arise when a large number of learners, displaying a range of interests, come together (and where there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism for pulling these interests into a coherent shape, as you imply). Out of interest, if an outsider to EDC was to briefly survey the different spaces where we interact, I wonder how she might describe what takes place? I think and hope that she would conclude there was great variety, but as you suggest, not ‘roaming’ conversation (quite the contrary I would suggest from my position following the #mscedc channel). I hope so, anyway! What do you think?
‘As a ‘traditional’ learner, I’m much more diligent and focused on task completion, but the arena of the MOOC has altered my ‘agency over the terms of (my) experiences’ (Stewart, 2013, 235). In terms of my community presence, I am behaving like both a lurker and a mingler (Kozinets, 1999) in different parts of the space.’
I really like this interweaving of ideas from the literature with your own experiences around the MOOC. Something I’m struck by here is your recognition that in the role of ethnographer you are simultaneously ‘performing’ two identities: lurker and mingler (in fact you could go even further, I suspect). What I find really interesting about this is that when we talk about identities online, I wonder whether there’s sometimes a temptation to designate someone’s place in a community in an overly simplistic way? On the contrary, and as you’ve suggested, perhaps it is possible to be an assemblage of several different roles or suggested identities?
‘I use the different mediums on offer for different purposes: I use Twitter to broadcast/ask for help and advice; I use the Hub, currently, for necessarily private communication about the MOOCs; and I visit others’ blogs to inform my deeper learning goals and also to continue to build my sense of being part of a Community of Inquiry.’
Although you’ve touched on this idea of ongoing interaction previously in your blog, I was still interested to read what you had to say here. It seems that you have a quite clear sense of the purpose of each of the different spaces and how they might ‘work’ for you. In contrast I know that other members of the group miss the sense of a single gathering space where we all get together. I wonder whether these different personal preferences will be reflected when it comes to sharing our ethnographic findings next week? I’ll certainly be looking out for this, now.
Actually adding to this, there’s also the Facebook group and of course you and Chenee and Hamish other got together at the ed-Tech conference in Manchester. Is there something about searching for the right space online or offline space to engender a sense of community? Or is it simply a mixture of habit and circumstance. As I write this, I’ve just realised that there’s an Edinburgh contingent to the EDC group although we’ve never met or talked about doing so. As you suggest in relation to Dirk’s comment on the discussion forum, perhaps we need and look for different things as we search for community?
Again, thanks for your summary here – lots for me to go away and think about, Helen.
P.S. I notice that you’ve changed the background on your blog: purely out of interest, is there any significance in replacing the image of a painted face with something that evokes a network of connecting lines and points? Following our conversation around visual representations of text I’m not going to jump to any conclusions here!
from Comments for Helen’s EDC blog http://ift.tt/2m8rN1o