My reflection on education and learning Part 1

Here are my responses to the questions posted by Mary Rearick:

1. What is your goal and purpose in organizing Connectivism and Education blog?

My vision is to follow my passion, as a Catholic and a learner, to engage in education and learning in a lifetime, to help myself and others in pursuing the dreams and passion, and to lead a fulfilling life that could contribute personally and community wise.

I also aim to align with our goal and purpose of having the ConnectivismEducationLearning Group and Community on FB:

To share & discuss education, learning and research in Connectivism, Technology, Web2.0, e-Learning, PLE, K-12, Higher and Open Education

2. Why are you maintaining this open online conversation about moocs over time?

I think an open online conversation about MOOCs would help and contribute to the creation, building and sustaining a network and community of practice and interests as I have shared my thoughts here and the purpose of online conversation and discourse here.

Finally, education and learning is not merely giving out the content, testing the students to see if they have got the right answers in assignments or examinations, though they may be important for course validation and institution accreditation.  It is about engaging people (both professors, educators, learners) to interact with each others, in the form of conversation, discourse, and to dialogue about the content, information, and learn about the implications and applications in study, at work, or in life.

Technology could be a powerful tool in the course of education and learning, in particular in MOOC, especially in the mediation of communication, or the facilitation of cooperation and collaboration, through wiki, Google Doc, or social media.

The current affordance of media and tools that are tailored to the learners need to be more effectively applied in the x MOOC, together with the “teaching, cognitive and social presence” for a transformation of education and learning.  Tools and media alone won’t change the world.  It’s the people, the leaders, the learners who work and learn, and converse together, that would change the world.

I am maintaining such conversation not only on MOOCs, but also on Pedagogy, Complexity Education, Creative thinking and learning, Innovation and technology in education and learning etc.

3. How will you use the data you are gathering?

I use them for sharing and learning, in my continuous research on blog posts, wikis, Google doc, research articles.  Posts relating to my research interests and comments on research into Connectivism and MOOCs  herehere, and here.

Thanks again Mary for your questions.

Image: Google

Happiness images (1)

My comments left on a post and the response post:

Here is my response to David Wiley’s post on Thoughts on conducting research into MOOC

Yes, David, we (and I) have done some researches into MOOC with the past 2 researches, and so please see the papers under publication for details of the researches.

You will find my research posts herehere and here.

There is a research group with MOOC Change11 where “we” have discussed all the options that you mentioned in your post.  I reckon that it would be worthwhile to explore the learners’ experience.  However, when it comes to participants’ satisfaction, it is a rather subjective measure and would not necessarily be a valid and reliable way to measure the “learning outcomes” of the course, as George and Stephen have stated clearly what are to be achieved in MOOC.  Such measure of satisfaction tends also to relate strongly to peoples’ attitudes towards certain ways of learning (the learning habits), or their preferred learning styles (again this is a controversial topics, where Roy, Jenny and I had tried to dig into in CCK08), and though I think there was a pattern emerging out of the research, it could be difficult to generalize on how people learn (most effectively, or purposely).
The emotional aspects and critical thinking (reasoning) of participants would also significantly impact on how participants value the course, based on their experience.  This is especially profound when people new to the course have difficulties in making sense of the learning, with a sense of isolation, due to the abundance of information at the beginning of the course, or when they didn’t feel their voices being heard, and so could withdraw from the connections or posting of blogs or comments on forum.  These would naturally lead them to become lurkers, remain as lurkers, throughout the course, or dropouts, if they didn’t find enough interests in the course.  This seems to relate to the participants’ needs and expectations,motivation and autonomy.
My past experience with research was: you could get very positive responses from a small sample of the participants (who were active participants, and would likely participate in your research).  However, those who were lurkers might not be too interested in responding.  Those who responded provided us with a range of “perceptions” and “experiences” from very positive to the not that positive (though these were always a few).  We still need to conduct research to understand all these learning experiences in a better way.
There are many others who have conducted researches into MOOC, with George, Stephen, Roy, Jenny, Frances, Rita, Helene, Wendy, and Antonio.
I have a few questions though:
1. Aren’t we all seem to be conducting researches in an “island of researches” mode?    On one hand, we are supporting and encouraging open learning, open research, but on the other hand, we all seem to be afraid of sharing our researches in fear that others would get ahead in researching and publishing them first in academia.  That seems to be at odds to the Open research golden paradigm.  But is that the reality?
2. What could be done to make researches on MOOC more collaborative, or cooperative?  Is networked MOOC research feasible?  What are the pros and cons of conducting research in an open, transparent manner?
3. Finally, I understand that PhD candidates have to conduct researches more independently, as they have to publish their papers to get their qualification.  Would that limit the possibility of doing research in a cooperative manner with other researchers, especially in an institutional environment?
4. Is open researchers (similar to open scholar) the way to go in future research?
More sharing in forthcoming posts.
Picture: Google picture

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