Identity, integrity, risks and assessment in a connective world

This is my response to the forum discussion on  Connective World raised by Jim McKendry, Lisa Lane and George Siemens http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=1159

This is interesting.  We seem to touch on an important and sensitive subject: integrity amongst educators and participants.  

Trust, honesty and openness are the connerstones of network learning (in my humble opinion IMHO), that was also mentioned by George, after my response to Catherine in previous forum discussion. Otherwise some conversations, critiques become apparent appreciative inquiries (sorry, I don’t mean to be negative), where participants would praise with responses to each others, in order to please and concur, (or the sandwich approach), in order not to offend each other, which sounds “good” in a class. 

Fake critiques and conversations are happening in many social networks.  Is it the reason of the avatars in Second Life?  Are the conversations “really reflective” or honest saying of the participants?  Just for fun or exaggeration? 

On the other hand, as tensions amongst participants build up, some people would stay away from the forum, in order to avoid conflicts.  So even networks (or this group) have norms (and implicit rules).  Is it?

Video chatting and posting is one way to identify people.  Due to time zone problem, I found it difficult to attend some “Elluminate” or “Ustream” sessions here in Sydney, Australia.   Is it a problem for others?

Are people in networks (this group in particular) willing to identify themselves in open space?  How many participants are willing to openly comment on their work practices, associations, organisations, society or community in public?  Is politics, religion still a taboo especially if ones identity is revealed?  Are people willing to speak the “truth” from their hearts?

Is it true that network could provide that protection for people who wishes to engage and connect if they hide their true identity?  Is people free to voice their opinions with minimum risk if they stay anonymous?  Again, is it why Second Life is so popular? Is risk an important factor in network learning?

If this is happening in “our network”, how could we know if the blogs, forums, facebook posts or even wiki  (in this and other networks) are genuine or authentic (both content and personal experience)?  Are they real or just imaginary in such a virtual, digital age?  Any research done in this area?

Is on-line assessment trustworthy?  Are there lots of plagiarism in on-line network assessment?  If that is the case, how could one detect and avoid it?   These all belong to another big topic that deserve a new post.. Who would like to start?