I’m almost too embarrassed to post this. It’s been such a trying day. Owing to my hard disk going down, I’ve been trying to work off a really rubbish DELL laptop. Only.. I don’t have any of the applications I need installed, can’t install them because I’m not an administrator, and beyond that I just don’t really know my way around Windows as well as OSX. Hitch after hitch.. in the end I realised that I could (kind of) use the mac I poured 750 millilitres of water into four and a half years ago. Its screen doesn’t work (repair costs more than a new PowerBook, despite the piece that is broken costing less than a pound. Note to self- must learn to micro solder) and I haven’t updated anything in ‘a while’.. but it was easier to attempt this on my TV screen than continue with the DELL. I’ll try to upload a still visual tomorrow, with some notes, to connect what I have said to some theory.

Thanks for watching/listening.


Update – I’ve re-recorded the audio. Not ‘amazing’ quality still, but best I could do under the circumstances.

Update 2 – I’ve put together a text-based version with discussion of the findings using sway.com.

Lifestream, Pinned to #mscedc on Pinterest

Description: MOOC 4.0: The Next Revolution in Learning
By Renha
Pinned to #mscedc on Pinterest


Huffington Post article by Otto Scharmer (MIT lecturer) on the pilot of a new type of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): MOOC 4.0. He describes the evolution of MOOCs:

MOOC 1.0 – One-to-Many: Professor lecturing to a global audience
MOOC 2.0 – One-to-One: Lecture plus individual or small-group exercises
MOOC 3.0 – Many-to-Many: Massive decentralized peer-to-peer teaching.
MOOC 4.0 – Many-to-One: Deep listening among learners as a vehicle for sensing one’s highest future possibility through the eyes of others.

I think the MOOC I am participating in is still MOOC 1.0…

The pilot that Scharmer refers to has some fairly impressive statistics:

  • Eighty-eight percent of the respondents said in an exit survey that the course was either “eye-opening” (52%) or “life-changing” (36%).

So, what makes it different?

  • Formation of social fields is facilitated, linked to location hubs and ‘clinic circles’;
  • It includes 75-minute synchronous sessions (global) focused on mindfulness;
  • There is a focus on empathetic listening;
  • It intentionally sets out to connect students.

Such a striking difference to my own MOOC experience.

Lifestream, Pinned to #mscedc on Pinterest

We had 2012 as the year of the MOOC, 2014 was probably the year of the MOOC maturation, and I’m calling it for 2016, the year that university Vice Chancellors and Principals start looking and…

Pinned to #mscedc on Pinterest by Renha


Martin Weller’s (Ed Techie) provides an interesting critique of the MOOC business model. Links back to Lister et al.’s (2009) point about viability being tied to economic sustainability.

Lifestream, Comment on MSCEDC MOOC Ethnography by Renee Furner

This is another really well-executed artefact, Helen. You really captured the discordance you experienced between the course subject matter or content and the mode of delivery. This was conveyed especially well through your use of sound. I also enjoyed your integration of theory – it was a very thoughtful piece.

On your question of whether there may be an ‘inherent dissonance between form and content when delivering some subjects via a MOOC’, I wonder which aspect(s) of the course delivery contributed most significantly to the sense of dissonance.   You highlighted the number of participants (the massiveness), a potential overload of tasks, disruptive notifications, and quantified participation/completion notices – did any of these stand out as being more significant to you than the others?

Also, were there any opportunities to give feedback on participant experience? (or, have you noticed any later in the course?) I watched a talk recently by Tressie McMillen Cottom [blogged about here] in which she noted that what we collect information about is selective: our tools are very good at analysing time spent on tasks, but not at figuring out what people have learned or experienced. It seems that collecting information about participants’ experience on your course in particular, due to its subject matter, would be key to improving future iterations.

I really enjoyed your artefact – thanks for sharing it.

from Comments for Helen’s EDC blog http://ift.tt/2ldGqDV

Lifestream, Diigo: Digital materiality? How artifacts without matter, matter | Leonardi | First Monday

Leonardi (2010) provides clear and well-illustrated descriptions of materiality (i.e. relevant to ‘digital materiality’) using 3 different definitions of material:
(1) Material as related to physical substance
(2) Material as the practical instantiation of theory
(3) Material as ‘significant’

Through these ways, and particularly the latter two definitions, of viewing materiality, researchers can gain a way of framing and understanding the role of digital technologies-in-practice.
” These alternative, relational definitions move materiality ‘out of the artifact’ and into the space of interaction between people and artifacts. No matter whether those artifacts are physical or digital, their ‘materiality’ is determined, to a substantial degree, by when, how, and why they are used. These definitions imply that materiality is not a property of artifacts, but a product of the relationships between artifacts and the people who produce and consume them.”

from Diigo http://ift.tt/28PkUdt

Week 6 Summary

Week 6 began with another video from Chris Poole and an attempt to understand 4chan. I interrogated the role of anonymity, pondered whether a sense of ‘eventedness’ was created by the temporal limitations of the space combined with its massive audience, and connected the site’s recent financial trouble to Lister et al.’s (2009) suggestion that sustainability is gained through commercial viability.

Poole suggested that the proliferation of SNSs was a loss for the Internet. This point was also taken up by Mike Caulfied, who blogged about reduced social practices (‘share and argue, argue and share’) and inadequate collaboration skills amid the dominance of a Usernet style Internet (SNSs). His concerns aligned with those generated from my MOOC about the role of non-human actors (in this case the platform infrastructure) in providing or denying opportunities to connect.

Students’ position within a sociomaterial assemblage was also investigated through a post linking blog posts by Amy Collier and Audrey Watters and a presentation by Tressie McMillan Cottom. It examines how technological tools can reproduce inequalities within our online communities by informing how course technology is designed using data which has reduced identity markers. The resultant ‘ideal’ student is  disembedded from their social reality, and the embodiment of their online experience is denied. Rather than being a democratising anonymity, the result can inhibit community support structures from forming, and perpetuate existing power structures.

Thinking about embodiment and power also reflects an understanding of lives as enmeshed in both on and offline spaces, which was taken up briefly with reflection on cyberbullying and recent changes in teen cultural practices linked to digital technology. Further reflection came from an attempt to understand the relationship between materiality and discourse as co-constituent.

Finally, the liberating narrative of web 2.0 was questioned through a post on Plaut’s analysis of Kutiman’s Thru You album, which suggests that rather than being participatory or collaborative, his work employs  what Haraway (1988) called the “God trick of seeing everything from nowhere.”