#Change11 On blogging in MOOC

I read Jenny’s post on the selfish blogger with great interests. 

First, I doubt if there is a selfish blog syndrome.
1. This is a judgement on bloggers, based on assumptions about bloggers’ intention and behaviour.  No one blogger could be judged as selfish, unless he/she purposely hide all his/her sharing, as selfish is defined as acting or done according to one’s own interests and needs without regard for those of others, keeping good things for oneself and not sharing.  If a blogger is really that selfish, would he/she has posted or shared the posts publicly?  Rather, to me, bloggers could be altruistic in sharing, especially with the public, though I couldn’t claim this to be always true, as there are lots of “wicked” bloggers too, spreading the “wrong messages – based on false, biased information, or for advertising spams, or spreading trojans and virus”.  It really depends on the objective and intention of the blogger.
2. We posted on blogs for all sorts of reasons, like what Jenny has said, as a reflection tool.  For me, I used it mainly for reflection, but also for conversation (for myself and others).  Sometimes this could be perceived as self-promotion, but often, this is the initiation of a conversation. Before I joined CCK08, I have been using various media to connect and “play around” with the tools on the networks, webs, and internet.  Blogging to me opened up new opportunities to share my understanding and perceptions about others, the community and the world.  It is the “reciprocity” of sharing, through conversation, commenting, or debate that lead to deep learning and critical thinking (via appreciative inquiry) in action, with others.  However there are both intelligent and dark sides of blogging, as I have reflected here.
3. Is it necessary to integrate all these conversation on blogs in MOOC?  I would argue that it depends on the situation.  I have shared ways to doing so in my blog post, and also this could be solved using PLE.  However, conversation needs to be meaningful and valuable for the people concerned, as Jenny and Matthias have researched on online resonance.  The signal to noise, and the distraction associated with too much blog conversation over a diverse set of blogs is not helpful to deep learning, at least to me.   I think blog posting is already an integration of thoughts and reflection of all those different tip-bits coming from recordings, readings, blog postings and comments (i.e. the learning objects and artifacts that I could aggregate, re-mix, and re-purpose, or re-create).  This suggested practice (by Stephen) is already inherent in my practice for years (especially since CCK08).  It is re-stated in a prescriptive manner.
4. I still believe that learning is a personal and private “business”, especially in blogging.  Autonomy is most important, for those self-paced, self-organised learners.  I am one of them, as I did “distance education” all by myself, in the past, even in the pre-internet era, and I still enjoyed it.  I wrote a lot of personal diaries, journals, but haven’t got a chance to write on blogs before the late 90s.  I did try the earliest versions – like Geocity, Frontpage Web Design, etc. in designing web pages, where I could post artifacts on the web page. If I were to choose, I still like to learn most of the “things” myself, though I understand the importance of community and COPs.   In the academic and business world, if I were to work as a consultant, or a scholar, then that may be most important, as you can’t get a consultant’s job without a client, or a teacher’s job without students, or “clients”.  So, blogging is another way to demonstrate that capability, and capacity to network with others in the community.
5.  As I have learnt from Jenny, it is a matter of asking whether a certain topic or question is really helpful, especially when relating to this debate on Selfish Blog syndrome.  I think facilitation in MOOC is more than just integrating the conversation, more than the PLE/PLN approach, and more than the COPs.  It is self-organising. Tony may be right, from a “formal facilitator” point of view, on the fragmented and chaotic nature of information distribution, and failure to aggregate them, in the conversation.  But, this is a reality in learning via Internet, web spaces.
6. What may be a challenge for most teachers and instructors trained under the instructivist approach in MOOC is: Facilitation may still be based on a Constructivist approach, where Peer-facilitation-learning etc. may align more with a Connectivist approach.  In MOOC, where people would choose how, who and what they learn, facilitation may only work if the learners perceive it to have added value to their learning.  This is based on the assumption that learners are interested in MOOC learning, otherwise, they would prefer to the structured learning in typical online course.
7. I don’t see many educators are blogging, and so MOOC may not be that suitable for “them” as yet.  Rather, I noted that there are many “colleagues”, who for many good reasons need to promote the educational values of their formal HE institutions, or COPs and so they have adopted a totally different approach towards connection with MOOC.  This could be based on e-mentoring, e-coaching (the hot favourites) approach to facilitation and teaching.   This is of great value to the colleagues and institutions, as a best practice.  Blogging could be used for such e-Coaching & Mentoring, but I am not that sure if it is too much like the “apprenticeship program”.  Is it useful in MOOC? Time will tell.
8. When blogging, it would be wise to critique and debate about issues on education, and to ask questions which may generate positive “solutions” to problems, including “wicked problems”.  At this stage, I don’t think I have more to say than the ones posted here.
9. I think blogging has helped me in my learning.  I only shared my blog with my students (and of course MOOC, and the “world”).  Am I selfish in sharing? I don’t think so.  I like volunteering work.  I could share in private space too, in email, or in private wiki.  I have posted many private blog posts, and so that is who I am, as an identity in this virtual space.
10. Finally, I found myself more happier in expressing my “instant” thoughts and reflection in blogging and research, on top of writing research papers.  I would like to try writing more research papers, as that is more satisfying and rewarding too.
11. How about your views?  I hope this would lead to more learning, sharing and conversation on this important topic about blogging in MOOC.
Picture: Google image


10 thoughts on “#Change11 On blogging in MOOC

  1. Hi John,
    This is a well-articulated and thoughtful piece about blogging. It was a good read, partly because it was written in the first person, and mostly because it acknowledged a number of perspectives as to why people might not blog–perhaps these people are selfish and they only want to take things and use them for their own purposes, perhaps they are not ready to blog, perhaps they are spending their time writing substantive papers for publication rather than writing reflections in a blog… Another possibility is that they must communicate regularly in writing with many, many people– supporting their engagement and learning listening to and responding to their thoughts and helping them to understand the ongoing dialogue in a particular field, and they simply do not have time to blog… Still another possibility is that the bloggers have a dialogue going in a particular field, and perhaps the reader thinks that the best role to play within that discourse group is to be an interested and supportive listener. As your piece suggests it may be worthwhile to take a more nuanced and appreciative look at behavior within a community of practice. One may argue that the node never shows up in the network because he or she is not a blogger…so be it… but it would be a mistake to base a theory of participation or of the other based on negative evidence… or based on faulty assumptions…
    Your thoughts?

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  3. hi, translate please

    Eu escrevi sobre o Blog egoista, mas creio que apagaram!! acho que blogs nao sao egoistas, eles sao um monologo direcionado a um dialogo!

    Mas na verdade escrevemos em um blog, por vezes, para a nossa aprendizagem mas em um instante tudo se transforma e as outras pessoas respondem a nos aprendemos com este movimento oscilante .

    Here is the translation:
    hi, please translate the blog I wrote about selfish, but I think it went out! I think blogs are not selfish, they are directed to a monologue a dialogue! But actually wrote in a blog, sometimes for our learning, but in an instant everything changes and respond to other people we learned with this rocking motion.

    Would you like to translate this in your comments (just use Google Translate)?

  4. Hi Mary, thanks for your kind words and deliberation. I resonate with you, on those reasons of participation and your argument. Yes, it would be a mistake to base a theory of participation or of the other based on negative evidence, or based on faulty assumptions. This is also well evidenced in our previous CCK and PLENK2010 researches, where we researched on the challenges of participation and learning based on surveys and narratives, and not just on assumptions. There are still lots of unknowns in MOOC, as we have only “heard” from handfuls of voices in this Change11 so far, and not much from the “critical mass”. So, I would only hope that we could learn from different voices, in order to validate those claims on participation issues, and to explore the riddles behind participation and engagement between this huge crowd of 2000+ MOOC. Collective and connective critical thinking in action, isn’t it?
    Back to you 🙂

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