Connection not Content

A Blog for MOOCs and Other Animals

Archive for September 2014

Experimental Comment Collector (ccourses)

with 6 comments


Current ccourses comment collection (click on image)

I’m all set to field test my new Comment Collector. I’ve been tracking the acclaimed Connected Courses MOOC using blogs from the syndicated blog list . There are almost 200 blogs listed now and there’s considerable activity and commenting – I can’t keep up! The Collector is set up only to process blogs with ccourses as a tag, as a category or in the title of a post [now extended to accept connectedcourses and several variants], indicating that the post is intended as a ccourses contribution. Only a fraction of listed bloggers seem to be using this tag at present and I have not yet included some who are.

As a sampler of MOOCs (I’ve stopped using the ‘lurker’ word!), I’ve found the Collector very useful for cMOOCs where activity is distributed among many blogs. Everyone has different aims and objectives however and comments on the usefulness of the Collector or otherwise are very welcome. I will try to keep it up to date as ccourses proceeds.

In summary:

  • The Comment Collector generates brief summaries of many WordPress and Blogger posts and comments by scanning and aggregating RSS feeds. The idea is to highlight centres of activity and discussion rather than aggregate whole blogs. Original posts with full comments are accessible (in new browser tabs) by clicking on the post titles.
  • The Collector is experimental and I may change some of the settings as ccourses proceeds. A recent change ordered posts according to the date of their latest comment (rather than date of post) to achieve a ‘Facebook style’ presentation. Also, post summaries now expand as the number of comments grows.
  • Currently, the Collector displays new posts with or without comments for 3 days and posts with comments up to 15 days.
  • Previously I used a page on this WP blog (eg for rhizo14) to publish output but found that placing output here is more straightforward in view of the HTML coding required by recent changes.
  • It’s not practical to ask permission of all MOOC participants who may have fragments of their posts and comments published (and maybe munged!) but I will exclude any blog if requested by the author.
  • The Collector amasses a considerable amount of data on the progress of a MOOC. This may be used for statistical purposes (eg the graph produced during the rhizo14 MOOC).
  • I have no intention to develop the Collector for any commercial purpose and Programming details are openly available.

Written by Gordon Lockhart

September 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Mooc

Tagged with ,