#CCK11 A summary post of participation and engagement in CCK11 MOOC

Here I would like to reflect on the participation and engagement in CCK11 MOOC.

I think we often made assumptions about learning in a networked learning environment. To what extent are those assumptions true in an open complex learning ecology?

Here learning as conceived as a process of becoming a member of a certain community in CCK11(MOOC)  is challenged.  To what extent has participants become members of such community?

My personal participation in CCK has varied throughout the years.  In CCK11, I participated mainly through blogging, and still found it quite refreshing, as I found new insights and ideas from different participants of the course.  There are many great posts by GeorgeStephenZaid, KenThomas, Jaap, LindsayDamien, Leahgrrl and many others.

Here bloggers of CCK11 posted 810 posts to date.   The top creators go to Thomas Baker and   Jaap who have surely created hundreds of posts. I have created or re-posted 80 posts so far 🙂

On the CCK gRSShopper course discussion thread there are 50 posts.  Stephen tops the list with 22 posts, accounting for 44% of the total threads in the facilitation.  Ken contributed 8 posts, accounting for 16% of the total threads.

On the FB CCK11, there are a total 505 posts with around 400 on discussions (mainly because some others are introductory posts only, and they were not counted).  Who are the top posters there? Amongst them are Jaap, Christine, Ken, Jennie.  There are many others – Wolfgang, Rose,  Scott, Thomas, Vanessa, Carol, and Lindsay who contributed much to the discussion and sharing there.

I shared my views here about my FB participation.

Finally, I didn’t participate much in any discussion platforms like FB CCK11 or the course wiki, not because of my lack of interest in the theory and principles. I think I am in a “retreat” and reflection mode, looking back into the formation of networks and COPs as a way to go. I am more interested in research and the practical activities (like collaborative projects, or cooperative events – like the CCK09 Elluminate Session that Frances, Roy and you organised) etc. As Stephen has mentioned, action and experience is the basis of learning under Connectivism, and it is through action learning that we could actually see how it works.

There has been rich Twitter postings on CCK11 everyday.  Just on today, there were 26 Tweets.  You might have collected the statistics on the number of Tweets from CCK11.

I haven’t checked on other media on the CCK11 distributed discussion and learning, other than blogs, gRSShopper, Facebook and Twitter.  Please include them in the comments or your blog post for sharing.

What could I conclude?  There has been some significant changes in the way participation and interaction happened in CCK11.  For some participants, they have expressed wonderful feelings about their participation in such distributed manner.  Some like the gRSShopper central forum, others like the FB forum discussion, whilst some others would like to post on their blogs and or as Tweets.

It’s about autonomy, idiosyncrasy that is evident in such “self-organised learning” in MOOC.  Everyone learns differently.

What you get could be what you give, and the more you give, the more you may get in return, especially in CCK11, MOOC.

I could sense that some are very satisfied with their learning experience here. That’s great step ahead, in the connective world of networks and the immersion in open education and networks.

Photo: Credit from Zaid post

What have I learnt? That’s to be shared in my coming post.   But in brief, my learning is to prepare myself to continue with my learning and research journey.  Still in progress..

Finally, many thanks to Stephen and George for another wonderful CCK11 course for free, and many others who have been on this learning journey together in the course. See you 🙂


12 thoughts on “#CCK11 A summary post of participation and engagement in CCK11 MOOC

  1. Hi John. It seems that the remaining participants are the 20 taking CCK11 for credit, and a handful of people like you and I. What do you think of that? Supposedly some 700 people signed up for it at the beginning.

    It is interesting that Twitter still seems fairly active. Do you have a analysis on who is making the tweets? Is it a small group, or widespread?

  2. I haven’t done the analysis on Twitter. There are many tools available for such learning analytics. I just haven’t got the time to do it. From observation, there is a small group there, with tens of participants, much smaller in size than the blogger group, but not that widespread. I noted that there are 129 in FB CCK11, but only 10% – 20% are active. It’s difficult to define whether one is active or not, as one could be just lurking. Is that reflective of the reality?

    The next part of the research is to explore the “quality of connections” – like what Gordon has done, an evaluation of learning in MOOC

  3. It will be interesting to see where the NRC research on PLEs takes them. Do you know of any updated research in that area?

  4. Hi Ken,
    I think it is still research in progress. For me, I hope to spare sometime in writing up a paper in coming weeks. Too much on the plate at the moment. Also, I am interested in consolidating some of my learning through the CCK and COP experience, this time as an observer and researcher.

    It seems a typical trend in the participation pattern as in the past CCKs, with a bell curve, though this time more new comers and agents have been sharing on FB rather than the Moodle Forum (not with CCK11). Would most of them be credit learners?

    How do you find CCK11? Anything extraordinary?

  5. Hi John. Yes, I know that feeling of a full plate! Maybe I will do more research on these MOOC courses sometime. See how it goes.

    As far as CCK11, I don’t think there was anything extraordinary about it. Even with some tweaking by the facilitators (more guest lecturers, no Moodle, grasshopper aggregator) it does seem to have followed the similar path to others like it as you noted: a bell-type activity distribution, with mostly the credit students hanging in at the end as the activity dwindles off. Maybe FB took the place of the Moodle forum to some extent. Maybe people get what they want from the course in the early part and drop out, unless they have to stay because of their motivation to get credit. Lots of questions still to address, one being ‘why do people like you and I and a few others (non-credit) still hang around?

    I guess the main lessons from this Connectivist pedagogy are that people need and like to connect, discuss, share, dialogue no matter what applications are used, but it is an individual matter as to the amount (and quality) of participation. The participation distributions run from core to peripheral to marginal participants, to use Wenger’s CofP terminology, even with the tweaking and urging for a more even and wide distribution. In some ways the attempt to force a more widespread distribution of participation reminds me of government taxation programs intended to redistribute income – some work, some don’t, and some people still get richer. I don’t know what it means.

    New thought: I wonder what can be said if learning is thought of as participation? Does a more active participant learn more? Does a more active participant have more knowledge, because they make or have more connections?

  6. Hi Ken,
    Great observations and reflection.
    Why do people like you and I and a few others (non-credit) still hang around? Do we all want to know how and why Connectivism could work out in MOOC? For many, I speculate that Connectivism sounds novel and could provide or assure more “learner autonomy” and thus might counter-balance the constraints, power and control typically inherent with formal education system.

    Think about Connectivism as a conglomeration of network learning models, social and individual learning practices and teaching pedagogies, neural networks channeling through the cognitive and emotional domains, through – open and flexible curriculum, open education – OER & Open (digital scholarship), diverse networks, landscapes of practice (see Wenger’s latest wonderful presentation), identity exploration via communities and networks, participation and contribution, enculturation, learning as conversation, pull versus push information & knowledge aggregation and distribution, learning revamp in form of community (and institution) participation, engagement and contribution, personal growth and development – as an ontology metaphor of learning – learning to become, and all the “values” one could derive from when immersed in a networked learning ecology.

    Can learning be thought of as participation? As a start, yes, I suppose. The question may become: What sort of participation would provide “best” learning experience for the learners?
    Does a more active participant learn more? Would this depend on the learning environment and the sort of active participation and engagement involved? Which is more important – content engagement or conversation with other nodes (knowledgeable others, or experts)? Or socializing – like the water cooler conversation? Or learning with serendipity based on artifacts exploration and research, critical thinking and reflection, imaginative and creative thinking etc.?

    Does a more active participant have more “knowledge”? I think the knowledge here could include the “confidence” and competence – at least in asking the right questions, to the right persons or nodes, with the right tools, though what is “right” depends on the context. So knowledge here may be relative to the sort of inquiries a participant has with himself or herself or with others. A natural instinct would be: If I have a question that haven’t got an answer, then I would check why it is the case. Isn’t it a result of insufficient information available for me, or that I haven’t got any experience on the question in mind, or that the answers are not satisfactory etc.

    So Connectivism as a new Networked Learning Theory (or Model, phenomena, or practice) may be one of such big question for me (us) to explore.

    Does a more active participant have more knowledge, because they make or have more connections? Would this depend on how we “define knowledge”? If knowledge is based on “connective knowledge” and emergent learning, then the practice of more connections, with the additions of “critical thinking and reflection, and further refinement in inquiry and focus” would likely bring out the “emergent learning and knowledge”, since this adds to new understanding of novel practice.

    To what extent would such emergent learning practice be able to flourish? As shared in my other post on Mentoring, I still believe that much of what we have found from Connectivism started off with the concept of learning with “more knowledgeable others” – that could be mentors, communities, peers, experts etc. This aligns well with the zone of proximal development learning model as shared here https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/mentoring-in-a-networked-environment/

    Here I have shared my views on mentoring in the comments:

    “Mentoring” someone towards a mission or vision of an organization seems like brainwashing. It’s all about working towards personal goals while attending the need for earning a living. Yes, if one could strike a balance between personal and organisation’s goals, then that might lead to better satisfaction, as the person could achieve both goals without sacrificing one’s vision. This sounds simple in principle, but given the complexity nature of environment like a change in the mentee’s study, career, or working culture, working relationships with the immediate report, a change in organisation’s goals and strategies, or a shift or change in the mentee’s learning goals would all require a paradigm shift in mentoring – where mentees need to adapt, and be agile, in order to thrive in a changing ecology.

    “If one agrees that a connective community involves what Downes has referred to as being autonomous, open, diverse, and interactive, I would argue that one is no more important than any other. They all influence each other to a point that if I am not open, or willing to accept other perspectives, or am not interactive, then I can’t really be autonomous, for example.” I think this is the core of the “social/organisation/network learning” that we all would like to explore further. I think if we do agree to a certain extent on the properties of ideal networks – that would allow for individual autonomy, openness, diversity of opinions, and interactivity, then in principle, networked learning would be ideal for personal learning, if one could leverage its potential. Our research on the Ideals and Reality of participating in MOOC has revealed the tensions amongst those 4, in particular, the autonomy in the case of MOOC or even MOON (Massive open online networks). The more autonomous an individual learner is, the more the learner would like to exercise his perceived control, which would or could lead to a dissonance or resistance to perceived power over the learner’s learning. This could both be a merit and demerit to the learning situation, as on one hand, this could challenge the learner (mentee) to be more self aware of the personal strengths and weakness, and the need of personal development in response to personal and/or organisational changes. On the other hand, this could also lead to frustrations by the learner (mentee) if she or he doesn’t feel a sense of control over the learning (like what you mentioned, the brainwashing, or could be even worse, if the mentee feels the pressure of manipulation by others, in order to achieve some goals set by others which are too ambitious or difficult to achieve). There are also risks involved when learner (mentee) doesn’t feel secure when exposes to an open learning environment or networks, where unwarranted criticisms, cyber-bullying and privacy issues all hinder the mentoring process, and may weaken the mentee’s confidence. Failures in e-connections may also be an issue for many learner mentees, that may lead them to continue to lurk, rather than active participation in networks.

    “If a mentee is being honest about learning in a connective community and the organization’s mission and vision align to that of the mentee’s, then it would seem that this would be more relevant than simply the mentor/mentee relationship.” I agree with your views, though the mentor/mentee relationship could be extended to the ” mentor” being “members” or “experts” in the Community (i.e. a mentee could have many mentors) This is a value judgment, and so if we are to put learner or mentee first, would we put the community (organisation) as a way to serve the mentee? Or if we think the Community or the organisation come before the mentor & learner (mentee), then the mentoring relationship could just be a subsidiary to the organisation or Community. Would there still be a tension between individuals and Community (or organisation) in terms of needs?

    I have drawn up a needs diagram http://www.slideshare.net/JohnMak1/needs-and-learning-under-an-organisation-setting-john-mak. and the concept of personal autonomy in the network here http://www.slideshare.net/suifaijohnmak/networked-learning11

    My experience in mentoring also revealed that relationship and communication amongst mentors and mentees would be important success factors. Also, it would be imperative to cater for the (changing) needs of the mentees, throughout the mentoring process. The mentoring process could be further enhanced with the use of Web 2.0 tools, though once the mentee has mastered the skills and literacies required to learn (i.e. metacognitive learning skills and critical literacy & thinking) within organisation, or learning institutions, or community or networks, then the mentor could/should recede (i.e. step out) from the mentoring/support gradually in order to enable the mentee to fully develop his/her capacity of learning and performance from dependency to independency, and perhaps inter-dependency in networks and community.

    So e-Mentoring (individually with a mentor-mentee, or a community of mentors with community of mentees) could also be a life-long learning growth process and approach rather than a one off mentoring program in order to benefit both mentors and learners (mentees). These all are context driven, and so mentoring could be best achieved with a combination of one-on-one mentoring, a Community of Practice or Learners, or a Network of Practice and Practitioners etc.

    We still need a pedagogy for e-mentoring to emerge from networked learning. Would it embrace participation, engagement, communication, collaborative and appreciative inquiry, discourse? And more….. Here is an interesting post on pedagogy http://fno.org/sept03/pedagogy.html

    Would you like to share your thoughts on pedagogy?

    Many thanks for your deep insights. A gift for me indeed.

  7. Hi John. I think there are several viewpoints that could describe any phenomenon. I think that a pedagogy reflects the ideology of its proponents. If the ideology is to create a non-star, distributed participation network (which is what Connectivism wants) then the pedagogy will be geared towards producing that outcome (e.g. favouring blogs over central forums). Somehow this reminds me of rent-control legislation, which can have as a side-effect a reduction in the number of buildings built if the dis-incentives to be a landlord are too strong.

    If the ideology is to train children to a minimum standard in order that they can function in the industrial mills of the day, then we have industrial classroom pedagogy. There is a one-size-fits-all feel to both industrial and Connectivist pedagogy, all claims to the contrary. Connectivists do not want stars to emerge in a learner-participant network (where participation could be seen as evidence of learning). It goes against the Connectivist ideology of equality: participation should be equal, not just equally accessible in their view. What all of this suggests to me is the removal of autonomy: Connectivism knows what is best for the learner-participant (LP), and its pedagogical goal is to ensure the desired outcome of no star emergence.

    Pedagogy is nothing more than a mechanism by which one attempts to produce the desired outcomes of an ideology. No science will produce a universal human pedagogy; and pedagogies can be measured by their utility within the context of their intended outcomes. Ideologies range between individual wants/needs and collective wants/needs. Connectivism is not interested in the wants/needs of the individual LP; it is interested in the collective. Its idea of social justice is grounded at that end of the range. It downplays the role of individual leaders by proposing that leadership will emerge from a complex adaptive system naturally. The contradiction in Connectivism is that the emergent leadership is vested in individuals, but Connectivism would deny the individual. Societies bestow benefits on the complex emergence leadership, which means benefits to individuals. Connectivism seeks to deny this from happening. Very strange and inconsistent.

    So, to summarize my thinking:

    Pedagogy is the mechanism for effecting an ideology. Your concept of a Network of Practice for e-mentoring sounds like it has potential. What is the desired outcome of e-mentoring?

  8. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful insights on this distributed participation network. “The contradiction in Connectivism is that the emergent leadership is vested in individuals, but Connectivism would deny the individual.” You got me thinking into this. I am not quite sure what an emergent leadership looks like, as I would conceive it to be rather subtle in networks. I also think that democratization of voices might easily decimate the power associated with leaders within such networks.
    “Societies bestow benefits on the complex emergence leadership, which means benefits to individuals. Connectivism seeks to deny this from happening. Very strange and inconsistent.” For me PLE should benefit the individual and the network. May be there are still lots of paradoxes relating to such complex emergence leadership.
    The desired outcome of e-mentoring should be to accelerate the learning process for mentees (and mentors) while not depriving them of their independence or responsibility, when learning in networks. Formal mentoring that is planned and systematic provides highly supportive professional learning for mentees who are entering a new stage in their learning. This is especially important when people are new to the networked learning environment.

    I will have to think deeper into this: Connectivism knows what is best for the learner-participant (LP), and its pedagogical goal is to ensure the desired outcome of no star emergence. No star emergence – may be the result of democratization, leading to every node having equal rights in raising their voices, and such diversity of opinions would likely prevent the domination by the privileged powerful nodes. Interesting to ponder….

  9. Pingback: Landscape of Practice | Learner Weblog

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