I have spent this week being more involved in my MOOC. I have also spent time reading through the blogs and twitters of others as we discussed the ideas of community. The more I have read and written, the more I am convinced that community has definite connections, and parallel contexts with, space and presence. Classmates have offered a variety of statements about the MOOCs they are participating in, from surface involvement to deep embedding of themselves into the course structure and activities. While it is true that the deeper one goes into an activity there will seem to be the building up of a foundation of a community; the more investment is injected which results in more enjoyment or fulfillment being taken away from it. I certainly found this true in my own experience.
Although many of the postings in my MOOC from others are somewhat dated, there are a few lingerers still posting and using the MOOC as a springboard into the Cascadia community. The commonality of the MOOC participants is not determined by geography, although that helps in terms of having a point of reference. The common core of this MOOC’s strength is the forging of common interests and the willingness to share those with others of the same mind. There seems to be no shame or pride in what is posted, only the expression of real feelings and sentiments about the people and culture of the Cascadia region. I do not recall a single post or offering that was created in anger or derision. Perhaps this is an anomaly, but it was certainly refreshing. All in all, I enjoyed my experience in The Innovative Poetry of Cascadia, and hope it helped me to realize that self-expression outside my personal “box of experience or expertise” is not something to be embarrassed about.