#CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOCs emerging as Landscape of Change – Part 1

This presentation on Power and Ecosystems of Change – by Ann Pendleton – Jullian is amazing.

Here are some focus points:

From Re-framing to Ecosystems of change

We need new methods and mechanisms

– reality mining, micro-narratives

– boundaries, probes, and modulators

– studio based methods and approaches

– strategic game design

I particularly like the triangle where


Social Networks  ——- Mechanism


was used to explain the connections between the various parts of the ecosystem.

Ann points out the changes involved – from control to communities to cohorts.  Also triangles are fractals in nature.  To me, such forms of triangles have always evolved in social networks as I have shared in my previous posts, see here and here.  I think some of the micro-narratives have evolved as fractals that are further embedded as “fractals” as appeared in social networks – the social networks patterns.  The textexture is an example illustrating how a narrative could be visualized in a network form.

Another example is the Linked In Network, as illustrated below with the social network graph.

I could associate some of the changes in power and the structural changes in the ecosystem – as observed throughout the MOOCs that I have participated in.  MOOCs – i.e. CCKs – 08, 09, 11, 12, Change, eduFuture, and various other connectivist MOOCs could be viewed as an emerging platform which encapsulated the changes – change in terms of the properties of networks –





“The research found that autonomy, diversity, openness and connectedness/interactivity are indeed characteristics of a MOOC, but that they present paradoxes which are difficult to resolve in an online course. The more autonomous, diverse and open the course, and the more connected the learners, the more the potential for their learning to be limited by the lack of structure, support and moderation normally associated with an online course, and the more they seek to engage in traditional groups as opposed to an open network.” (Mackness, et al 2010)

Recent MOOCs had adopted a learning as change approach towards “de-centralising” the power that may be connected with “groups” and further distributing the knowledge based on authentic learning with PLE/PLN as the principal basis of personalized learning.

I will continue to explore this pattern of change in my part 2.

9 thoughts on “#CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOCs emerging as Landscape of Change – Part 1

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  4. Hi
    I agree with the assertions made by Jenny and Roy, etc. but go deeper. Go back to George’s assertions in 2005, maybe a hypothesis then, and go on to other research related to these assertions. Discuss data that you have gathered over the years that suggests this is accurate. Take your time on this. Stay with the idea of properties of networks and define properties.
    This idea about decentralized learning, I want to hear more.

  5. Hi Mary,
    Would you like to elaborate on George’s assertions in 2005? I hope I could relate to the hypothesis that you are referring to. I have a conversation with George face to face when he visited Sydney last year. You might have noted my postings on blog. As I have mentioned above, there had been some changes in the way cMOOCs were designed and implemented, throughout the years – from CCK08, 09, 11,12 and Change11. Would our findings from the papers still be accurate? I think the current xMOOCs are trying to work MORE like the traditional groups, and so it did behave in some ways similar to traditional online courses, where the support came solely from the “video lectures” by the rock star professors, and participants were trying to get more social interactions themselves through those forum sessions. xMOOCs are then more group based learning, rather than networked based learning. This has an issue of power being centralized still with the authority figure (the expert professor) where the only credible source of knowledge is to be transmitted and consumed.

    Besides, the quiz and assessment would be set by the central authority, possibly graded by machine (for there are only one right answer) and so there is no way of negotiating the assessment or learning methods. Besides, interaction with any professors in xMOOC is limited. If we were to compare that to c MOOCs, then there are obvious differences, in that every participant (like you, me, and many others) are “power free” to share and interact with whatever that interests us, and challenge ourselves on the assumptions behind each of the assertions, through connective and collective inquiry, critical thinking and reflection.

    The peer assessment in xMOOCs sounds quite similar to our previous cMOOCs, though we didn’t have the specific assessment criteria in judging each others’ work. I appreciate the value of feedback in assessment in MOOC, and think it has been working with the cMOOCs for years, though we never grade our peers or vote on each others’ writings.

    I could re-examine all the research data and findings for the last few MOOCs (CCK08, PLENK2010), and that of my observation for the latest MOOCs – Change11, this Oped12, and CFHE.

    Finally, I think group and networked learning each has its merits and limitations, when it comes to social networks, and traditional formal learning. Networked learning addresses the highest forms of learning – with critical thinking, creative learning and creativity skills development, and most important all, personalised emergent learning. See my part 3 for details. Traditional formal learning would address the mastery learning in knowledge (facts), understanding, application and analysis, and synthesis. When it comes to creation of new or emerging knowledge, these could hardly be assessed via the traditional testing and assessment (based on MC, short answers with known answers).

    The existing xMOOCs do encourage individuals to excel in their mastery of content of the course, where the professors are holding the “keys” to the questions, and thus grading the participants accordingly, with machine grading, or peer assessment.

    Would we need to push the boundary in the assessment in MOOCs? How about assessment of both individuals and networks on their performance? This included the impact each networker made and contributed to the network and community, and the ultimate knowledge creation as a result of interactions and research.

    I would post the above ideas in part 4 of my post.

  6. Pingback: #CFHE12 #Oped12 MOOCs emerging as Landscape of Change – Part 1 | Futurable Planet: Answers from a Shifted Paradigm. | Scoop.it

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