#Change11 #CCK12 Discussion on MOOCs

Great sharing on MOOCs by Audrey Watters and Philipp Schmidt.  Thanks to Benjamin Stewart for his link.

HackEducation’s Audrey Watters and Philipp Schmidt, co-founder of P2PU join us to discuss the ever emerging role of massive open online classes in education. Hyped by many as the torch for democratizing education, we delve into the reality of how MOOCs really work, including varying delivery models, as well as clarifying who their primary users are today.

Going way beyond such usual suspects as MITx and Stanford, we discuss scalable open courses, technology based-assessment, and ultimately what needs to be done to truly democratize education after all.


#Change11 #CCK12 What are the implications of using social media on one’s privacy and future study or career?

This is my follow up post on Facebook and its impact on social networking

There are promising benefit of using facebook:

“The strong linkage between Facebook use and high school connections suggests how SNSs help maintain relations as people move from one offline community to another. It may facilitate the same when students graduate from college, with alumni keeping their school email address and using Facebook to stay in touch with the college community. Such connections could have strong payoffs in terms of jobs, internships, and other opportunities. Colleges may want to explore ways to encourage this sort of usage.”

In this post relating to the  impact of posting of photos on Facebook, Dr Catherine Bond says:

“Thus, on the one hand, social networks are a valuable source of information for students, but on the other, they have become areas where students may not use these sites for their primary purpose – ‘networking’ and connecting with friends – for fear that their activities may be accessed by potential employers or ultimately affect admission to legal practice.”

There are still lots of debates about Facebook and its use, and not every educators and students are comfortable in sharing there:

“Very often, students don’t want to be Facebook friends with teachers, parents, relatives and other adults. The most logical explanation for that is that they are doing things online they don’t want the adults in their lives to see. But digital profiles are increasingly looked at as resume extensions. Kids should not post what they don’t want the adults in their lives to see, and the best deterrent for irresponsible posting is to have a wide array of adults present in students’ online world.”

For me, I would prefer sharing within my “social circles and networks” as I don’t think I would like to be sold with advertisement and posts which are hard selling to me.  Besides, what are the implications of personal photos being “exploited” for commercial purposes, on social networks and media?

Photo: Google Image

Should we be friends with our students on Facebook?  What would you choose? Why?

#Change11 #CCK12 What does an online community mean to you?

The post on online community attracted my attention. Mark says in his blog:

“We would like to think of technology as providing a ‘virtual community’, but I think this is mistaken not just because what is created online is not strictly a ‘community’, but it is also mistaken because the picture that is adopted of technology is one which always assumes that individual experience of face-to-face can be replaced by online experience. It can’t. They are fundamentally different entities.”

Is what is created online strictly a community?  My view is it depends on what one defines as a community, and the expectations from that of the community.  I would argue that the community that is thus created online could be part of the community of individuals, where each person may be morphing along both virtual and face-to-face community at times.

To what extent is a virtual community really blurring the boundary of the online and real-life community?  I do think technology has opened up the windows of opportunity of community – with Facebook (ConnectivismEducationLearning) and Change11, Twitter (Change11), Google + and Blogosphere (here on Change11 and here on MOOC).

Photo: Google Image

So networkers may be identifying themselves as a community member in certain virtual networks or “communities” but then such online community may have boundaries and protocols whereby only members may have to “comply” with, in order that membership be sustained.

I reckon many people has adopted the definition of community of practice as:

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Wenger, 2005.

There are certain differences in face-to-face community (school and institutions as community) and the online community such as MOOC as shared here.

“I have been thinking long about those three criteria that you mentioned: mutual engagement, a joint enterprise, and a shared repertoire. Based on what I have experienced in MOOC, the COPs evolved over virtual space during and after MOOC do exhibit those criteria within small clusters of COPs where some of the participants were situated. Relating to the learning, meaning, and identity of the members of COP, this is where the landscape of practice – a digital and virtual space where the members visited or resided upon. That’s why I would suggest to reformulate the criteria that are typically used in COP. This would reflect more fully the new and emerging structure of MOOC (as a conglomeration of COPs and Networks) that is evolving, emerging and morphing along the digital landscape, not being bounded by the conventional structures. In other words, the unstructure becomes the structure, and uncourse becomes the course, and finally the unCOPs become the COPs. This is happening in lots of COPs too, where the lifespan of physical COPs are transforming into a blend of COPs, all re-defining the meaning of learning, meaning and identity in new and emerging ways. I would need to restudy the research findings (our CCKs, PLENK2010, and other study) to substantiate such claims. The latest study by Wenger et al could also be used to study such patterns.

I also found that many physical COPs were rather short-lived, and the purposes were ill-defined, with a lot of membership fading at a rapid rate. On the other hand, there have been many successful COPs which continued to grow and develop, but they were likely the ones that could “transform” themselves into new ways of functioning, rather than sticking to the three criteria only.”

I have also elaborated on the community education in MOOC here.

Stephen in his post on knowledge, learning and community says:

“A community relates to its constituent members in several ways. In is the environment within which a person experiences, practices and learns. It is therefore a mechanism whereby the experiences of one person may be replicated by another, through immersion in the same environment.”

In reflection, MOOC could be the ideal new learning platform which would host such a virtual community of learners around the world.  This is also the start of their research initiative on online teaching and learning, where we once have undergone in our past MOOCs, and is undertaking in this Change11 MOOC.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see such pattern of massive online course design, delivery with teaching and learning is now being replicated and amplified in Stanford University and MIT initiatives?

I would speculate that their research would tend to go with the scaling up based on automated assessment (grading by computer) and a shift towards more personalisation of learning once communities and networks of learners are built and formed, as more learners would interact with each others, thus forming clusters, groups, collectives, and networks around their focus of interests of study, and beyond, like the MOOC.

Are MOOCs (such as CCK08, CCK09, PLENK2010, Change11, CCK11, LAK12) communities or networks for you?  To what extent do you find them a COP?

What does an online community mean to you?

Can individual experience of face-to-face be replaced by online experience?  Why?/Why not?

Postscript: Useful reference on COP – Communities of practice and social learning systems: the career of a concept by Etienne Wenger