Connection not Content

A Blog for MOOCs and Other Animals

MOOC Comment Scraper – Update (2)

with 10 comments

The MOOC Comment Scraper brings together brief summarised versions of recent blog posts along with resulting comments (See A ‘Comment Scraper’ for Aggregating Blog Posts with Comments in a MOOC, the update, FAQ and an output). The idea is to provide a quick up-to-date impression of posts and comments relating to a particular MOOC. I’ve experimented with the Comment Scraper on several MOOCs but not surprisingly, the concept works best with the connectivist MOOC style where significant debate and discussion can often be found in the blogs of participants rather than in the centralised forums favoured by most xMOOCs.

The P2PU course run by Dave Cormier, ‘Rhizomatic Learning – The community is the curriculum‘, is a good opportunity for further experimentation and several participant blogs have already appeared with comments. I’m intending to display the Scraper output on the page, ‘MOOC Comment Scraper Output – #rhizo14‘, and will try to keep it up-to-date. It’s not practical to seek permission to do this from all authors but past experience suggests that nobody is too concerned – of course I will exclude any author if they request.

I’m not sure how the Scraper should should be developed, if at all, so any comments about the design or about errors, omissions etc are very much appreciated. Previously I included an RSS feed on the display page so that the Scraper output could be fed to a Reader but had no feedback as to whether this was useful – I’d be happy to include it again if required (now included!).

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Written by Gordon Lockhart

January 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Mooc, rhizo14

10 Responses

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  1. oops… I added the scraper to my feed reader back then and it worked but (oops again) I forgot to tell you.  I’ll do it again (telling you ahead of time)

    ________________________________

    VanessaVaile

    January 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    • Oh thanks Vanessa – useful to know as WP does not seem to record hits on an RSS feed. I’ve now included the feed.

      Gordon Lockhart

      January 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      • you added Blogger too — was that during the philosophy course? I have a few on WP and may use it more now that I *finally* have a high speed connection, although most are on Blogger.

        VanessaVaile

        January 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  2. Yes I’ve a version for Blogger too – will dust off the cobwebs tomorrow and hopefully press it into service again.

    Gordon Lockhart

    January 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm

  3. […] The MOOC Comment Scraper brings together brief summarised versions of recent blog posts …

  4. Gordon as someone who is often trying to synthesize conversations and dialogues across blogs as well as social media platforms I have been looking for a tool that can aggregate blog content. I definitely could see the need for this tool and encourage you to continue plugging away at it. You may or may not know that George Siemens’ group recently put out a call for grant funds related to MOOC Research. Not sure if your project here would qualify for future funding, but wanted to share – http://www.moocresearch.com/. Also Knight Foundations has funded technical projects that improve journalism and media content (http://www.knightfoundation.org/grants/?focus_area=2) and Macarthur Foundation has funded tech innovations related to digital media & learning (http://www.macfound.org/programs/learning/). I think this tool could be framed to support both areas (journalism and learning).

    Felicia M. Sullivan

    January 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    • Thanks for the info Felicia. I’m not sure how useful the Scraper might be in general. There are many aggregation tools available now although none seem to aggregate posts and comments in the same very abbreviated form.

      Being retired with too much to do I’m no longer into looking for grant funds for anything but anyone is more than welcome to develop the idea and I’d be pleased to release the source code (after I clean it up!). However, it’s only a fairly straightforward Python program and I’m sure a competent developer could write an improved version very quickly. I should also point out that it’s only really working properly now with WP blogs and not Blogger – a side effect of Blogger/ Google+ integration I think.

      Gordon Lockhart

      January 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

  5. wow. Gordon, you made this thing? It’s a wonderful idea! where do I go to try it out myself? Thanks!

    balimaha

    January 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    • Thanks again Maha – If there is a demand I will go on running the Scraper for rhizo14. Once I clean up the program anyone can have it.to play around with.

      Gordon Lockhart

      January 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm

  6. […] The MOOC Comment Scraper brings together brief summarised versions of recent blog posts along with resulting comments (See A ‘Comment Scraper’ for Aggregating Blog Posts with Comments in a MOOC, theupdate, FAQ and an output). The idea is to provide a quick up-to-date impression of posts and comments relating to a particular MOOC. I’ve experimented with the Comment Scraper on several MOOCs but not surprisingly, the concept works best with the connectivist MOOC style where significant debate and discussion can often be found in the blogs of participants rather than in the centralised forums favoured by most xMOOCs. The P2PU course run by Dave Cormier, ‘Rhizomatic Learning – The community is the curriculum‘, is a good opportunity for further experimentation and several participant blogs have already appeared with comments. I’m intending to display the Scraper output on the page, ‘MOOC Comment Scraper Output – #rhizo14‘, and will try to keep it up-to-date. It’s not practical to seek permission to do this from all authors but past experience suggests that nobody is too concerned – of course I will exclude any author if they request. I’m not sure how the Scraper should should be developed, if at all, so any comments about the design or about errors, omissions etc are very much appreciated. Previously I included an RSS feed on the display page so that the Scraper output could be fed to a Reader but had no feedback as to whether this was useful – I’d be happy to include it again if required (now included!).  […]


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