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MOOC Comment Scraper Output – #rhizo14

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MOOC Comment Scraper

No MOOCs were harmed by the Scraper. (Image via José Bogado)

The Comment Scraper brings together abbreviated versions of MOOC blog posts and comments on one page in the style outlined below:

Date: ‘Title of post’ by author
This is the starting text of the actual post and it occupies about 2 lines before being chopped off approximately around here…
First comment takes about 1 line before chopping followed by its…(author,date)
Second comment here and like the first is followed by its own…(author,date)
3rd comment (you get the idea) – more comments below if nec…(author,date)

Useful or Useless? Please Rate the Scraper

Notes: 2/8 – Now 8 day window 2/9 – some 2 line posts (7 dys) 2/10 – new wk 2/11 – 2/12 – Commiculum! 2/13 – bugs 2/14 – ♥ ! now with ‘new’ posts 2/15 – 2/16 – bugs agn 2/17 – away! 2/18 – back! 2/19 – 2/20 – going 2/21 – going – GONE!
Last post for the Scraper – excellent comments – good test – thanks rhizo14!

MOOC Scraper Output on Fri Feb 21 2014 at 23:02 GMT

Last comments from posts tagged rhizo14 from 2014-02-14 to 2014-02-21:

21 Feb: ‘The forum is an illusion’ by Apostolos K. (“AK”)
Well, last week of #rhizo14 and we’re all pondering where to go from here, planning the next steps I guess.  Although I am getting the distinct feeling that participants are g…
Thinking about students expecting good quality resources, one approach …(Apostolos K. (“AK”),21Feb)

20 Feb: ‘Planned Obsolescence’ by Nomad War Machine
There is a  saying, supposedly Buddhist, that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.  This week in #rhizo14 we are looking at the opposite to this  – how…

Perfect end to a perfect experience. See you in the rhizome!…(cathleennardi,20 Feb)
Freud speaking of the study of dreams: “It may be that this first portion of …(Scott Johnson,20 Feb)

20 Feb: ‘The Main Responsibility of Teachers? Make yourself dispensable!’ by balimaha
When I read this week’s prompt for #rhizo14, my first thought was “but isn’t that the point of teaching?” – I always thought it was our responsibility as te…

Happy that it’s working. I try to move around just enough …(dave cormier (@davecormier),20 Feb)
Haha hi Dave! How funny that you’d comment on this particular blog post!…(balimaha,20 Feb)
Dave’s done something amazing – he’s set the scene for lots of …(Nomad War Machine,21 Feb)
Sarah, I feel EXACTLY the same way. In love with this community…(balimaha,21 Feb)

20 Feb: ‘#Rhizo14 Community not curriculum and the end is near’ by Viplav Baxi
Before I begin (and I am going to miss the hangout again as it will be at 3 AM India time), I think Dave rocked again in #rhizo14. Way to go Dave! I am conflicted when I think abou…

19 Feb: ‘Planned obsolence – the end of #rhizo14’ by Apostolos K. (“AK”)
The end is nigh! The end is nigh! This is the last week of #Rhizo14. Of course, the end is probably just a beginning, but we’ll cross that bridge later on.  In any case, the t…

Everything in Rhizo14 seems relevant, but nothing exactly right and I w…(Apostolos K. (“AK”),19Feb)
Apostolus there is sthg magical that has happened a couple of times to …(Apostolos K. (“AK”),20Feb)
Good one, Jaap. The student needs to give permission, too!…(Apostolos K. (“AK”),20Feb)

19 Feb: ‘Wrapping up #Rhizo14’ by danielleparadis
Photo: jraisleger I don’t know where to start this week, so I begin with someone else and then as the King said to the White Rabbit I shall, “go on till [I] come to the…

Sitting in a Thai restaurant in Park City Utah with Christina Hendricks, Pa…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
Stormscapes was quite powerful. I used to surf a lot spending a great deal of…(Scott Johnson,19 Feb)
I guess we are outside as much as we are. I don’t know that you get mu…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
These lines really resonated with me: “It helps me in understanding that I am not t…(dogtrax,19 Feb)
I read and enjoyed your post from January but didn’t feel able to comment on i…(Frances Bell,19 Feb)
Hey Jenny, sorry to use you as the jumping off point for the blog po…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
Kevin thanks for commenting both here and on Twitter. I agree about the Sta…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
Hello Frances, you’ve given me a lot to think through this morning abo…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
You have given me a lot to think about too Danielle;) After I saw your respon…(Frances Bell,19 Feb)
Thanks for your reply Danielle. Sorry, I was thinking more about placing ours…(Scott Johnson,19 Feb)
OH! No need to apologise I was waxing a bit poetic on the whole subject. As…(danielleparadis,19 Feb)
Hello, Danielle. Having read your post and this thread of comments (though…(Clarissa Bezerra,19 Feb)
Having worked in construction most of my life it was a shock for me to move i…(Scott Johnson,19 Feb)
Reblogged this on Becoming An Educationalist /a and commented: W19 ctd W…(danceswithcloud,20 Feb)

18 Feb: ‘Books, print, recordings & conversations (#rhizo14)’ by Christina Hendricks
For week four of the P2PU course on “Rhizomatic Learning,” we were prompted to think about whether books are making us stupid. How might it even be possible to consider…

I love the idea of ongoing dialogue with authors of times past long since dea…(Mariana Funes,18 Feb)
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Mariana, and sorry for my delay here. …(Christina Hendricks,21 Feb)

18 Feb: ‘The Firestarter’ by Cris
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. — Walt Whitman, “Oh Me, Oh Life” You get the fire started (using Dave’s metaphor that Marily…

I’m flattered that you still think of me as a potential future teacher…the ship of…(Olivia,19 Feb)
Like you’ve said, Olivia, education is the family business. You’ve got the teaching g…(Cris,19 Feb)
There’s a PhD next to your name. You count. 🙂 My paper’s due in a week, so I should…(Olivia,19 Feb)

18 Feb: ‘#Rhizo14: The Full Catastrophe’ by tellio

I remember yours was one of the first faces I saw when I began #rhizo14 — a …(Cris Crissman,18 Feb)

18 Feb: ‘The end of the rhizome?’ by jaapsoft2
#rhizo14 has a narrow view on learning: Learning by students in school. Learning is a human quality, and school is by far not the only place where humans do learn. In one of the fi…

I like free wandering. Your post reminds me a bit of the chicken-egg quandry and I …(dogtrax,19 Feb)
I agree with Kevin when he writes “the rhizomatic ideal is not necessarily an…(jennymackness,19 Feb)
Thank you for this answer. I am not teaching, my learning is the learning of a profess…(Jaap,19 Feb)
I loved your post Jaap – it has made me think. But I would like to expand on w…(Frances Bell,19 Feb)
Frances, that subject was somewhere hidden in my mind for some time. You hit the …(jaapsoft2,19 Feb)

17 Feb: ‘Agree//disagree: a poem and its inspirations.’ by tanyalau
..or hidden musings on conversation, community & making stuff up. On Saturday morning, I was sitting with my 3 year old at a cafe having breakfast, and a few moments of silence…

Tanya – Your post was deeply thought provoking. I will be back to comment …(Maureen Crawford,17 Feb)
A poetic response to your poem (which I desperately wanted to hear you podcast) Wh…(dogtrax,17 Feb)
I, too, left a poem here before I saw yours, but reading yours, I was struck by the…(dogtrax,17 Feb)
:- …(dogtrax,17 Feb)
Well, this post has summed up the last few weeks for me. Thank you. I have read …(mdvfunes,17 Feb)
Maureen! Thank you for this. I love, love your visual style, such beautiful image…(tanyalau,18 Feb)
Kevin – you made me smile, think, and touched me with your poignantly witty poem. …(tanyalau,18 Feb)
Wow, thank you Mariana, I’m really truly touched by your comments. I think it…(tanyalau,18 Feb)
Ok – I made good on the promise…it’s very late here but I had insomnia so j…(tanyalau,20 Feb)
You know I could not leave your podcast voice all alone out there, right? I remixed…(dogtrax,20 Feb)

17 Feb: ‘The Five Languages of Social Media Engagement: secrets to online communities’ by balimaha
This is just a light brief post mimicking the title from the book “The Five Love Languages: secrets to love that lasts” to capture some (not too deep) observations of d…

Great stuff Maha. These relate to love of others. There are also a few that …(Frances Bell,17 Feb)
Hey Frances! Yes of course there are the personal reputation-building ones… All …(balimaha,17 Feb)
You are correct – it’s easy to misjudge and we should be able to link to …(Frances Bell,17 Feb)
I agree completely, Frances. I really respect ppl who say things along the lines o…(balimaha,17 Feb)
I remember someone who had to be told to stop promoting his business by posti…(Scott Johnson,17 Feb)
It was the week of independence, week 2….(balimaha,18 Feb)
I had copied some some conversations but not that thread. Not sure exactly wh…(Scott Johnson,18 Feb)

16 Feb: ‘Rhizomatic Learning – A Pedagogy of Risk’ by jennymackness
(Source of image: :- …

I was in a MOOC, Accountable Talk, just long enough to get what I thought i nee…(rdmaxwell55,16 Feb)
Hi Jenny, Being and what I am learning are often at odds and directing me i…(Scott Johnson,17 Feb)
” I think we probably still need a clearer view of what happens or can happen, in …(sensor63,17 Feb)
@Terry – thanks for your visit to my front porch – and for sharing your pract…(jennymackness,17 Feb)
Jenny, no problem with your words–probably just means I need to take the time to re…(tellio,17 Feb)
Carol – I love the image of colouring outside the lines – which fits very wel…(jennymackness,18 Feb)
Hi Scott – my reading of Barnett’s work is that his main concern is the …(jennymackness,18 Feb)
Simon – I don’t think its about control or even scaffolding – so much as…(jennymackness,18 Feb)
Terry – I agree that emergence obviously can’t be controlled, otherwise …(jennymackness,18 Feb)
Hi Jenny, I really need to read Barnett…Feel caught in a contradiction on t…(Scott Johnson,18 Feb)
The risks you address here have been valid for me in my teaching context as well…(Barry Dyck,19 Feb)
I’m still confused but I am comfortable in my confusion about rhizomatic learn…(dogtrax,19 Feb)
Barry – thanks so much for sharing your thesis. I haven’t had a chance t…(jennymackness,19 Feb)
Hi Kevin – I’m still unsure as to whether rhizomatic learning is a good …(jennymackness,19 Feb)
The response at my defence was, “At a gut level it makes sense, but how do you g…(Barry Dyck,19 Feb)
Hi Scott – I can recommend Barnett’s book. It’s a good read. He sta…(jennymackness,19 Feb)
Thanks Jenny, will read Barnett. Reading the introduction to the book at Goog…(Scott Johnson,19 Feb)
The awareness of our own strength makes us modest. Paul Cezanne…(sensor63,20 Feb)

16 Feb: ‘Suspend disbelief… #rhizo14’ by Simon Ensor
The sky an epiphany in blue, the back of my scalp is rested and given form by wirily-summered meadow. I am bathed in foetus warmth.Way above us, our gaze is lost amid an unfolding …

If we are lucky, we can all have a lamb as a spirit animal even though it all…(TERRY ELLIOTT,18Feb)

15 Feb: ‘Is There a Curriculum in this Community?’ by Ann
I will be honest and say that I have had difficulty neatly summarizing my ideas around community as curriculum this week- and maybe that is the point…

Another aspect, which you allude to, is the self-selecting aspect of #rhizo14. We j…(Dogtrax,16Feb)
Hello there, Ann. I have found that the whole experience of #rhizo14 ha…(,16Feb)

15 Feb: ‘Rhizoid in the Classroom, Week Five: From Feldgang to Ropewalk and Back Again’ by tellio
It was a rough week full of fails and surprises. This post represents what Otto Scharmer in his rejuvenating book Theory U calls a ‘feldgang’, a field walk. I practice …

Feel your inspiration, check not your respiration, fear not the expiration. Lov…(Simon Ensor,15 Feb)
Thanks for another fascinating glimpse into the practice of you and your stude…(Frances Bell,17 Feb)
I have ranted at length on Ann’s blog. I think the Muse made me a little crazy…(tellio,17 Feb)
Thanks to the shout to my blog post last week and particularly to the Ropewal…(Rick Bartlett,18 Feb)

15 Feb: ‘On Community as Curriculum & Absolute beginners #rhizo14’ by Clarissa Bezerra
Just as week 5 draws to a close, I finally found the time to do some catching up on some ‘fiery’ blog posts, among which are Jenny Mackness’s and Frances B…

It’s a pleasure to meet you, and I’m glad you stopped by to war…(Nomad War Machine,15 Feb)
Thanks for the lovely comment, Christina! You’ve actually made me rem…(Clarissa Bezerra,16 Feb)
I have taken to heart the invitation to ‘use’ rhizomatic learning. I do t…(tellio,16 Feb)
Hi there, Terry. Thank you for the thought-provoking comment. I find that …(Clarissa Bezerra,16 Feb)
Lovely post Clarissa. I’m taking fiery as a compliment;) But seriously, …(francesbell,19 Feb)
Hello, Frances! Thanks for dropping by and for the compliment! Please, by …(Clarissa Bezerra,19 Feb)
Reblogged this on Becoming An Educationalist /a and com…(danceswithcloud,20 Feb)
Thanks so much Clarissa – and all the others by this fireside – really enjo…(danceswithcloud,20 Feb)
Sandra, thank you for being close by the fireside, and for the reblog (Wow…(Clarissa Bezerra,20 Feb)

15 Feb: ‘Steel my Poem…(@dogtrax #rhizo14)’ by Simon Ensor
Fragmentary particles of his final words blurred the town as I was jettisonned from the platform with a jolt.Random remains of his intent had been scrawled pele-mele, in the rush t…

wow, love it Simon – beautiful writing. It gripped me like a vice, I was engrosse…(Tanya Lau,15Feb)
(A short story response)The raindrop talked back to me. I swear. I know you wonder …(Dogtrax,16Feb)
I love writing poetry – but I think I like this mixing, remixing, sharing, stretchi…(Maureen,16Feb)
Great repartee, friends….(TERRY ELLIOTT,16Feb)
Hi Kevin, When I used the word “forces” above it didn’t feel right and you do…(Ann,16Feb)
Hi Clarissa, I am glad that we seem to be on the same page here in regards to literacy…(Ann,16Feb)
@Kevin an idea that I have seen several times on #rhizo1 Is the concept…(Frances Bell,17Feb)
I think you really spur a much larger issue here that gets at the heart of ho…(TERRY ELLIOTT,17Feb)
@Frances: I am glad that I have created a fire that you were drawn to. That is an amazi…(Ann,17Feb)

14 Feb: ‘Thoreau Walking’ by jaapsoft2
‘Methinks there is equal need of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance, what we will call Beautiful Knowledge,’ Saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. …

Lovely – sans terre, similar to a nomad. I need to think more about noma…(Nomad War Machine,14 Feb)
I really like these short but very reflective pieces. You’re a genius, Jaap. …(balimaha,15 Feb)
You can even take walks through your own classroom lives. Shameless plug for my lat…(tellio,15 Feb)
Thanks for this post. On the road I meet people like you, with an eye and an ear …(jaapsoft2,15 Feb)

14 Feb: ‘Transitory communities’ by Nomad War Machine
Yesterday I blogged about my journey back through the North West of England during the storm that hit the country the Wednesday.  Then last night I took part in the unhangout for w…

Lovely connections, Sarah. Thanks for sharing that. Midway through reading your po…(balimaha,15 Feb)
On another note: welcome home!…(balimaha,15 Feb)
I have been thinking about how Dave differentiates networks from communities. At fi…(tellio,15 Feb)
Terry, I am loving these ideas on legibility and they resonate with me bigtime! I …(balimaha,15 Feb)
Another thing it made think of, Terry, is the way we use linear language to expres…(balimaha,15 Feb)
Terry, thank you for this comment. I’ve read the link once, will re…(Nomad War Machine,15 Feb)
Rhizoidal thinking is when ‘things remind me of other things’. I might ad…(tellio,16 Feb)
That is the real money quote right there in your reply. If it is any good at all, t…(tellio,16 Feb)
I seem to remember something about a Tower somewhere in Babel….(tellio,16 Feb)
Hey Terry (sorry to be taking over your blog, Sarah!) I will write a blog post abo…(balimaha,17 Feb)
I don’t mind Maha. Terry – a Tower of Babel would be very handy. Or…(Nomad War Machine,17 Feb)

14 Feb: ‘Marram grass’ by nicktral
The elusiveness of the term community, or perhaps the jaded quality of the word raises the challenge of mapping “community” in any useful sense. The idea of community as curriculum…

Conversation as a curriculum, that is a beautiful metaphor. Maram Grass is called…(jaapsoft2,14 Feb)
I am assuming this is Nick? I may be missing the obvious but I see no bio info you…(mdvfunes,14 Feb)
This is the blog I use for courses. I slow blog (geologically slow!) on my institu…(nicktral,14 Feb)
I am going to stay quiet for the weekend. And reflect on this conversation! You ma…(mdvfunes,14 Feb)
It is mutual, Mariana. I did some work on this some years ago, on the idea of und…(nicktral,14 Feb)
Reblogged this on Hit the balloon and comment /a and commented: Want to rethin…(jaapsoft2,15 Feb)
“The idea of community as curriculum could be understood as essentially getting rid …(tellio,16 Feb)
“Online you are largely characterised by the noise you make, the text you generate…(mdvfunes,17 Feb)

Written by Gordon Lockhart

January 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

25 Responses

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  1. I like this… I’m not sure what to do with it, but I like the connections it shows. Thanks! That, plus the twitter one by Martin are a really interesting approach to looking at #rhizo14


    January 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    • Thanks Maha – I’m not sure either. I always used to come across good discussions in a MOOC only after eveyone else had moved on – so I originally developed the Scraper for my own use in finding where developing discussions were without having to scroll through reams of stuff in a reader. But everyone has their own approach so I’m interested to find out whether it’s generally useful.

      Gordon Lockhart

      January 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

  2. Yep, i love the idea and would love to have it for all my MOOCs … Love how it brings the stuff together in summary so i can see what i have missed and where conversations have been happening. My head is spinning with all the great stuff but it is soooo distributed. This helps synthesize


    January 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm

  3. Thanks for this summary 🙂


    January 21, 2014 at 10:00 am

    • Thanks Maddie – and for the RT. I tried to do the same thing to encourage blogging outside the first #introphil xMOOC (I see from your excellent blog that you covered the second one) but there was very little blogging activity – most participants preferred the terrible clunky forum! cMOOCs on the other hand are ideal for experimenting with aggregation tools etc..

      Gordon Lockhart

      January 21, 2014 at 10:37 am

      • They are. I dread the coursera forums. Not much interaction happening there – a lot of talking at each other. I always prefer interacting on other forums – FB, blogs, twitter, g+ .


        January 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

  4. hey Maddie, have you seen the FutureLearn forums? MANY TIMES worse than the Coursera forums… I think the Coursera forums are fine a lot of the time – there was some interaction in the #edcmooc and other MOOCs I took… but FutureLearn… uggghhh


    January 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

  5. Gordon, again what a fantastic process / tool for capturing such disperse thinking and conversation.

    Felicia Sullivan

    January 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

  6. […] RSS Feed What's all this about? See: MOOC Comment Scraper – Update (2) (c6gh0lnvd3) 15/1 – First scraper output (20 day 'window') from some WordPress blogs – others may…  […]

  7. Cool, I found this.. because I tried to google myself 😛

    This is a good place to find all the collection of posts for rhizo14! 🙂

  8. No – it’s a Python program I wrote learning Python

    Gordon Lockhart

    January 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

  9. […] as many blog posts as possible (aggregated on Matthias Melcher’s blog , with comments scraped by Gordon Lockhart). I have also tried to come at this afresh and not be over-influenced by my prior […]

  10. Love this scraper, would love to have a version to use for my own teaching using hash tags. You toick!

    Nomad War Machine

    February 6, 2014 at 11:13 pm

  11. […] RSS Feed (c6gh0lnvd3) The Comment Scraper brings together abbreviated versions of MOOC blog posts and comments on one page in the style outlined below: Date: 'Title of post' by author This is the f…  […]

  12. Thanks for creating and sharing this out on a regular basis. I find it interesting because blog comments, and the discussions that stem from them, often get lost in the shuffle of the archive. I also find it frustrating that I don’t have a good, manageable system for coming back to comments for discussions. It often feels as I am leaving orphaned thoughts here and there, like breadcrumbs. (This may even be the case here, I am sad to say in a meta-comment sort of way).
    As I read over the collection, I wonder, too, about where posts and comments get left out of the mix. This is not negative, just a wondering. I suspect there were #rhizo14 spaces that some of us never even encountered. I actually like that idea of unknowable spaces, and look forward to days when I stumble across a post from a #rhizo14 friend that I didn’t know existed, and sense the echo of ideas.


    February 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

    • Yes these sort of reasons motivated the Comment Scraper. Chaos and serendipity have their place but so do order and organisation – bookmarking, RSS readers, aggregation tools etc. Unfortunately, the Scraper does not work on all blogs – just WordPress and Blogger with ‘standard’ feeds. For example, your own blog seems to have standard feeds when examined in a browser but, for reasons beyond my understanding, delivers some sort of coded version to the Scraper that it can’t decipher. Unfortunately, there are several other examples where deviation from what seems to be a norm makes it difficult to capture feeds and with almost 50 blogs to monitor it’s not practical to give special attention to individual blogs. This is a major weakness at present, at least for any proper use of the Scraper in a MOOC. Clearly all participants should be represented on an equal footing regardless of their blog type. Thanks for your interesting comments!

      Gordon Lockhart

      February 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

  13. Gordon, i wanted to echo Kevin’s thanks. And to ask if we can reuse it elsewhere?
    Also am still discovering new rhizo14 spaces every day and new ppl!


    February 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    • Thanks Maha – I’m very encouraged by the use of the Scraper in rhizo14 – it’s given me several pointers for further development – I’m sure it can be used elsewhere.

      Gordon Lockhart

      February 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

  14. […] 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 […]

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