On how #edcmooc did a cmooc on Coursera

By demonstrating that you could build a very “open” course on Coursera, the University of Edinburgh team in charge of E-learning and Digital Cultures succeeded in breaking down some walls between the large-scale free course (called xMOOC by some critics) and the cMOOC connectivist learn-fest.

How did that happen?

  • Incubating a community: Long lead-in time for the learning community. This made the community ready to go at the start of the course and the early birds in the community were very open and welcoming
  • Participants: for a large part of the participants, this was a professional/personal development event about the affordances of MOOCs.
  • Course subject: reflecting on learning and being human in relation to technology. It was learning about learning and the affordances of the Internet for learning. The fact that this course was built on a MOOC platform associated with “just free” open courses, was a nice demonstration in overcoming technological determinism (technological determinism was a subject in the first week).
  • Organization of the contents: a short-film festival each week, with related readings, accompanied by clear instructions on what was considered to be “core” material and what was additional. Encouraged to do your own thing with the contents.
  • Also, all course contents were freely available on the Net, contributing to the “opennes” of this course
  • Organization of the interaction: very loose. Create your own blog and add your feed to the aggregator. Use the hashtag so everything is findable across different platforms. Participate as much as you want, where you want, no need to use the coursera forum.
  • The instructors were there, in the forum, commenting on blogs, responding on Twitter. In their second Google Hangout (they did two), they discussed, among many other things, their strategy on teacher presence. Christine Sinclair mentioned, for instance, that she felt like participating in a student group, but that she did not want to barge in as a teacher.
  • Testing and outcomes: create a digital artefact, one, at the very end. There was no testing at all for recall of terms and concepts, instead there was an encouragement to generate new content.

Wonderful #EDCMOOC wrap-up, video-style by Wayne Barry:

The Edunauts: Educational Explorers for the Digital Age from Wayne Barry on Vimeo.

Carving out a piece of cloud #EDCMOOC

Ever since the course on Coursera officially started, the Google+ and Facebook groups have been hit by a tidal wave of new members. It’s more important now than ever to make decisions about my own focus and filters.

I would really like to find a cluster of like-minded souls in the #EDCMOOC cloud! Do give me a shout in the comments, Google+ or on Twitter.

My learning goals:

  • Use a set of interesting tools and theories surrounding digital culture(s)
  • Be part of a sustainable learning community
  • Learn about learning
  • Figure out the principles at work in MOOC

My interests, as far as MOOCs are concerned:

  • Learning design, instructional design, MOOC design
  • Connectivism, connected learning, learning communities
  • Digital Humanities
  • Higher Education
  • State of affairs in the big European e-learning projects and in particular in Belgium, France and The Netherlands
  • Digital literacy

My contribution:

  • Creating images and mash-ups
  • Layout
  • HTML and CSS
  • Figuring out blogs, feeds and Twitter
  • Languages: Dutch, French, English, in no particular order
  • Historical perspective (check out my “about” page)

Currently, I’m keeping track of #EDCMOOC through:

  • Coursera
  • Google+
  • a blog post here and there (Hoping to narrow it down to a personal selection matching my interests)
    For instance, Chris Swift’s Blog is interesting to keep up with the EDCMOOCcommunity: http://mybackyard78.blogspot.co.uk/
  • #edcmooc on Twitter