Week 5 – Lifestream Synthesis

Things have progressed a little slower than I would have liked this week – mainly because I had a bad cold and a busy week at work. I have however, made some pleasing progress with the course readings.

I found the Kozinets (2010) chapter very interesting and could relate to it by comparing my own experiences – of which I have blogged about. The aspects of online communities that he referenced in his publication is of high relevance to the themes that I am hoping to investigate with my micro-ethnography. I spent a little time investigating communities out with a learning environment to understand the dynamic and interaction between members of different online communities. I was able to reinforce some key themes raised by both Kozinets (2010) and Stewart (2013).

I have made some important progress with the ethical considerations for my micro-ethnography in contacting the MOOC facilitator and provider to obtain permission to conduct my research. The responses that I received would perhaps suggest that requests of this nature are quite common. I shared my findings with my peers via the Digital Education Hub in case they could be of any help to anyone else enrolled on a FutureLearn course. I am now confident that I have covered all angles and am ready to progress with my research. It is my intention, however, to check with James and Jeremy just to make sure.

I also enjoyed another group tutorial this week. I always find it really useful to hear other students thoughts and opinions around digital communities and use it as an ideal opportunity to ask my tutors questions.


References

Kozinets, R. V. (2010). Understanding Culture Online. In Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. (London, Sage): pp. 21-40.

Stewart, B. (2013). Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation? Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 9(2): pp. 228-238.

 

One Reply to “Week 5 – Lifestream Synthesis”

  1. Hello Stuart, thanks for the weekly summary here. Nicely written as always.

    There are a couple of things though that I would like you to do in forthcoming summaries.

    First, it would be great it you could more explicitly link your discussion in the summary to what has appeared in the previous week (rather than more generally what you have been doing). With so much content coming into the lifestreams it would be really helpful for you to signpost or guide me towards bits of content (for instance through links) so that I know you are talking specifically about the lifestream rather than the course experience more generally. I’m prompted to suggest this as I don’t think your weekly summaries always do justice to the content in your lifestream in the preceding week.

    Second, and this is a bit more complex, however I would be quite interested for you to almost take a step and think about what the nature of your lifestream has to ‘say’. For instance, does the character and range of content come together to offer a reflection on community or any other of the themes we are covering? So maybe try going beyond description to think about whether there is a broader meaning or message to your lifestream content (and don’t worry if these are only half-ideas). I hope this makes sense – if not e-mail me and I’ll try to clarify or can point you to an example of a summary from another member of the group that does this particularly well.

    Thanks for taking these comments on board, Stuart. Meanwhile, onto the summary itself.

    ‘I shared my findings with my peers via the Digital Education Hub in case they could be of any help to anyone else enrolled on a FutureLearn course’

    Out of interest, how have you found conversation within the forum compared to in the other spaces we are using (Twitter, blog comments, synchronous sessions)? Is there something about the forum (or other of the spaces) that particularly contributes to a sense of community (whatever that might be!)?

    ‘I was able to reinforce some key themes raised by both Kozinets and Stewart (2013)’

    This is great – that you are observing your MOOC community in a way that has been informed by Kozinets and Stewart. Within the scope of the micro ethnography exercise there isn’t really room to talk about some of the broader principles of ethnography, however a common approach is that the researcher undertakes some work in advance of entering the field site in order to shape what she is looking to investigate: I see this echoed in your own approach. It sounds like you have already found a resonance between some of the ideas in the readings and your ethnographic work: perhaps when you come to ‘write up’ (or however you wish to share your findings), this might be the approach you’d like to take?

    ‘I have made some important progress with the ethical considerations for my micro-ethnography in contacting the MOOC facilitator and provider to obtain permission to conduct my research.’

    Great work on this and thanks also for sharing your experiences in the lifestream blog and with other members of the group. It’s great how quickly you have been able to put this in place. I’ve enjoyed reading your reflections on the community so far (within your blog posts) and look forward to seeing your final ethnography at some point next week.

    Thanks again for the summary here, Stuart.

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