Here is an interesting post by Rita contrasting institutional learning from personal learning environment
“My research highlighted the importance of communication in learning to create a high level of social ‘presence’. An LMS/VLE is problematic in facilitating this.”
I do see this pattern recurring in MOOC since CCK08, 09, EdFuture, CritLit2010 and here PLENK2010. How did this occur? Wasn’t it inherent in the design of a MOOC? Why LMS/VLE may not be ideal in supporting some learners in MOOC? I think we (Jenny, Roy and I) have attempted to research through our Blogs and Forum as Communication and Learning Tools, and some common themes emerged that did reveal many of the issues and challenges you mentioned.
May I summarise as follow?
(1) Teaching (LMS/VLE Moodle) versus learning (Blogs, Twitter, FB).
(2) Participation via active participation (LMS/VLE Moodle) & Blogging versus lurking through reading, listening etc.
(3) Self-directed learners (lots of bloggers) versus social learners (may be forum posters, FB, Twitterers).
(4) Power relations (instructors, peer learners).
(5) Confidence and affective issues.
(6) Levels of knowledge displayed. To this end, we have found some significant differences in views and perceptions between instructors and participants in forums versus blogs.
(7) Feedback from others (instructors, in particular, and knowledgeable others, including other guest speakers, more experienced teachers and learners).
(8) Level of presence of instructors and participants in LMS/VLE Moodle. This could be contrasted with the presence of instructors and participants in blogs, Twitter, FB, SL, Amplify, and collectives (Delicious, Google doc, wikis etc.).
(9) Large numbers of participants – I could see many participants would like to try the Moodle forum, posting their views, questions, and concerns. There are however, a number of participants who raised the question of how their voices would be heard, if they were to do it in their own blogs. Would the bloggers be speaking to themselves? Would forum be a better central stage or shelter for new comers? How to use some of the tools like CMAP? What are the differences between CMap and MindMaps etc.? So the more participants there are in the Forum, the more challenges there are for participants to filter their “ideas” and information, as many people may not know who are talking to whom. Also, the diverse advice and opinions could also be coming from instructors, knowledgeable others or many who are still trying to find their ways. So, whose opinions should one trust? What is the truth? Which group should one join?
(10) Dispersed learner groups, which could lead to “disaggregation” of networks, and the development of conflicts within and amongst groups and within group members, when each one wishes to have his voice heard, acted upon and responded in reciprocity, and the differences in views and perceptions which may give rise to arguments. Here conflict resolution is not easily achieved due to the lack of consensus.
(11) The language issue and misunderstanding arising from the syntax, semantics in posts and the cultural values, as revealed in the exchanges.
(12) The pedagogy that is inherent in VLE and PLE in MOOC – PLENK2010. What sort of teaching pedagogy or learning that underpins each approach – VLE/PLE? When should each be used?
Wonderful to learn from and share Rita’s insights.