#CCK11 Any Questions? (part 2)
This continues my DIY questionnaire for CCK11 …..
How would you improve a MOOC such as CCK11?
Improvement for whom? This is not a straightforward question because of the extreme focus Connectivism places on learner autonomy. Improvement for me as a relatively unschooled student of education theory might well be the opposite for someone who has participated in previous CCKs and is active in research. However, bringing together a critical mass of like-minded individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise for discussion and debate in a ‘neutral’ environment is a worthy achievement. So, building on this as a foundation I would then:
- Be more explicit in stating aims and objectives. Make it absolutely clear that a MOOC is not a ‘course’ in any conventional sense. Take into account the actual experiences of previous MOOCers so that ‘does what it says on the tin’ resonates with a far greater number of participants in the future.
- Provide more guidance on the role of participants in organizing their own facilities – doesn’t have to be prescriptive. Explain clearly in advance the purpose and use of any software tools and facilities provided by facilitators. Avoid using unproven software (however brilliantly conceived!) in major supporting roles.
- Somehow designate more facilitators / assistants / curators / helpers / greeters – whatever. A significant number of CCK11 participants appear to be ‘serial MOOCers’ and some do in effect play out some of these roles very well. It’s only human for a new participant to appreciate a friendly welcome and a modicum of structure rather than confusion and chaos. This doesn’t have to be ‘spoon-feeding’ – just a little holding of hands! A suggestion: encourage all participants to state in their introductory statements how they might assist others (eg language translation). This could help prevent the loss of so many initial registrants.
These points are not intended as criticisms of the facilitators. I’m very aware that at least some imply additional resources that may simply not be available. Being old and cynical, my feeling is that learner autonomy is something of an ideal that does not usually happen by itself but requires considerable nurturing in terms of social attitudes as well as familiarization with any technology.
What would you like to say to the CCK11 facilitators?
Thank you! Your efforts are much appreciated. The Daily Newsletter and the weekly Elluminate sessions are crucial in maintaining focus and momentum and must involve considerable behind-the-scenes work. My impression is that your direct involvement in CCK11 discussion is perhaps less than for previous CCKs. Clearly your time is limited and in a free and open course you have every right to set your involvement at whatever level you wish. However, the fact remains that Connectivism is heavily grounded in your own work (as the readings reflect) and your elucidation and interpretation is greatly valued by participants. Maybe widening the scope of the course so that Connectivism is situated more neutrally with other approaches to networked learning might help? Perhaps other key figures could then be persuaded to take up some of the administrative burden including facilitator and other roles as I’ve suggested above.
What would you like to say to other CCK11 participants?
Thank you too! I’ve enjoyed interacting with you. I’ve not been able to communicate much on the finer points of learning theory etc. but I do appreciate the atmosphere of tolerance and give and take that pervades CCK11. If this is a result of participants’ education – then I’m all for education!
So many of you have contributed to my knowledge and understanding in one way or another and I’m reluctant to mention names but I will say this. If, for my sins, I was forced to assess the contributions of fellow participants then, although I’d probably mark down the out-and-out lurkers, I would not necessarily mark up those who happen to have blogged, Facebooked, tweeted or whatever, with the greatest frequency. In my estimation some of the most thoughtful and illuminating contributions have originated from those who have been more backward in coming forward!
This will probably be my last post here – anyone is always very welcome to contact me via my website. Thanks again! – I’ve enjoyed your company!