Here is my response to Tony’s post on Managing Technology – discussion so far:
I have responded to your posts via What sort of changes are required in our education system and followed up with another post on Educational Leadership.
I shared Rita’s views as we got such findings through our research. Should “we” use a LMS such as Moodle Forum for the discussion? This seems to be a matter of preference, both for facilitators and learners. In a MOOC, participants have often been “confronted” and challenged by the abundance of information, blog posts, forum posts, just to name a few. This together with the facilitators’ recommended readings, or artifacts would mean a lot to most novices, if not more for the veterans. So, I don’t think you have failed in connecting with “us”. Rather, your prompts and provision of generous resources have led me to re-think about the significance of forum sharing when the focus lies with more open sharing. As I have participated in most of the MOOCs in the past, I have accustomed to posting via blogs, rather than forum. Our previous research on Blogs and Forums as learning and communication tools also revealed the idiosyncratic nature while learning in MOOC (refer to: Roy Williams, John Sui Fai Mak and Jenny explored people’s preferences for blogs and forums in our paper, which we presented at the Networked Learning Conference in 2010). The power issue is, however, a significant factor in determining whether the participants would really like to engage with the conversation, as too much “perceived power” would undermine one’s confidence, autonomy as revealed in participants’ feedback. I also think this relates to the topics itself, in terms of its sensitivity and impact of the voices of participants on their work and institution. This may be a subtle issue, but as Jeffrey has asked, why were there so few MOOC participants posting and sharing their views?
I have subscribed to your blog, and so have been deeply interested in every post you created. I have also posted comments and created posts in relation to the areas that you mentioned. May be, I could have related to my past posts in response to this important topic.
Finally, I am not sure if there are “selfish bloggers” out there in MOOC. I am sure that I would like to share in whatever platforms that suits. However, in past MOOCs, I have realized that this could be challenging, as posting in forum “alone” could be like talking with myself. Is that selfish too? Obviously, most of us as educators would like to share in an open manner, but this is only my assumption. May be I don’t know whether forum is still the best way to share in a critical discourse, on such a sensitive, though important topic. Who are the audience? The administrators who would make the decision to change, or the educators?