A little bit of chat, a little bit of community building


Thanks to Linzi for organising a skype chat this week with myself, Chenee and Stuart. Apart from just how much fun it was, Chenee got to learn a new word, “sook”.

The oxford English Dictionary defines sook as:


Seriously, though, this week’s skype chat was really helpful, supportive and definitely went a long way to building community within our class.  It got me thinking about how individual we all are and how we all have different needs.  Some of us are thriving in a self-directed learning model others need a little bit of hand-holding to keep us on track and some of us just get a lot out of the student community and sharing experience and discussion with our classmates. Tying that in with the MOOCs we are all enjoying at the moment and how xMOOCs are essentially self-directed learning and therefore only students who have that ability can really make the most out of this educational tool.

I am now wondering about my classmates on my MOOC of choice, how many of them are getting the full potential educational experience from the MOOC and how many are just flitting around the edges?


5 Replies to “A little bit of chat, a little bit of community building”

  1. Hi Eli,

    I enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed the Skype session on Thursday.

    “It got me thinking about how individual we all are and how we all have different needs.”

    That is exactly what I took away from the conversation.

    It is interesting to compare how we have been interacting on this course with the observations we are making of the interactions within our MOOCs. I hope I don’t miss anything in my ethnography by taking everything at face value.

    It would be easy to look at the Education and Digital Cultures site and presume that we are all compiling our Lifestream blogs and occasionally commenting on each others posts. Where as in reality and behind the scenes we are Skyping, Tweeting, emailing, private messaging, using Hangouts etc – and in doing so created another “layer” (almost) of a community.

    I hope that this isn’t going on behind the scenes in my MOOC without me being aware of it, as I find it all incredibly fascinating and would love to make it the focus of my ethnography.

    Thanks again for your time the other night! It was good to catch up. Let’s do it again soon.


    1. That is a fantastic point about what’s going on behind the scenes Stuart. I’ve been very guilty of labelling this course as insular and complaining of the lack of engagement from my peers towards a more shall I say social, discursive style? But as you say, there is more going on behind the scenes that we are not all party too. Because I’m not a big twitter fan and find it hard to have a conversation there, I probably miss out on a lot of the interaction that is going on.

      In terms of the MOOCs, mine definitely has this, the fora on the actual MOOC are rarely used, but there is a facebook group which is a lot more active. I think I will be basing my netnography on 3 areas, the MOOC fora, the facebook group and a RL camera class as a comparison. That’s my current thought anyway, it could all change.

      As for skype chats, definitely, need to do more. Linzi and I were chatting yesterday about making it a regular thing and maybe setting a topic each time to keep us on track? What do you guys think?

  2. Hi both,

    I’m so pleased to be learning some Scottish slang. I definitely want to learn more! Maybe we could have a word of the week. 😉

    Some really interesting points made about students with different needs. I think we are so focused in face-to-face education with meeting students’ needs, I was wondering how this is translated into the educational spaces in MOOCs. Is this something those educators should take into consideration, or should they run the course they want to and allow the participants to meet their own needs? What happens if those participants don’t really know what it is that they need because they don’t have the experience? It’s definitely given me something to think about.

    I think having a Skype chat as a regular thing is a great idea. Good idea to set a topic, maybe give someone the job as moderator so we don’t speak over each other (something I was conscious of doing because I was so excited to chat to you guys!) Can’t wait for next time.

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