#CCK11 Moodle, gRSShopper or Blog

Just read the comments by Ken here in Lindsay Jordon’s posthttp://lindsayjordan.edublogs.org/2011/03/13/cck11-oppression-freedom-and-control-of-the-learning-experience/
Moodle, gRSShopper, or Facebook, or other forum postings, which is a better one for “aggregating” the discussions as compared with Blogs, or Group Blogs? For some, Moodle, for others, gRSShopper, and still for many others, Blogs could be their safe havens to voice their views without being criticized in front of the public “arena”. Why? Bloggers could moderate the comments and criticisms posted by others. They could even defend their views without “loosing face” as they are having total control in their blogs. However, would this be possible in Forum such as Moodle, or gRSShopper? May be if one is the owner of gRSShopper, in case of Stephen, then one could have complete control over the “discussion platform”.

Even the FACEBOOK is not easily under the control of the poster if it is not under his or her ” PROFILE”.  If you don’t “like” to join the conversation, then you just don’t post or respond there.  But you can’t moderate the comments posted by others on the public FACEBOOK, and so your control is limited by others’ “power” over you.  Does it explain why many participants are still hesitant to post on the public FACEBOOK?

May be Twitter is different, as you could control it by moderating the posts to some extent. However, you simply can’t post a lengthy blog post there (though you could still use Twitlonger), as it is designed mainly for short conversation or update, conference update, short and simple interaction, or broadcasting, and not for deep reflection or discourse.

How about Amplify? This may be a good alternative, but running with the problem of its popularity.

The Quora may be a good option for posting a question, thus generating some discussions about a certain hot topic. But it is still at an infant stage, and may not be that suitable for discussing about particular topic of interests, which require linking of ideas together in a cohesive manner.

Would dialogues amongst nodes be more important to teachers’ presentation? If that is the case, then we have to ask if the dialogues would actually produce knowledge as emergent property, rather than just reading from the resources or artefacts. I suppose dialogues could both be internal (via internal thinking, reflection – the basis of critical thinking) and external validation, rather than mere “conversation”.

On Conversation:

Joining a conversation in blogs and forums also requires substantial skills – social, interpersonal, communication and emotional control skills, such as listening, comprehending and understanding (semantics), questioning, critical thinking, reflecting, evaluating, responding, and synthesizing.

Blog versus Forum:
Jenny has raised the question about her blog being used as a “market place”, rather than the front porch which is typically perceived by bloggers. Why?
May be if people couldn’t find the right place of sharing and discussion, especially when Moodle is absent, and that the topic may be too sensitive, then blog could be a wonderful place to “bake” the “half-baked ideas” or for those who really want to voice their views. Is that a shift in the way where conversation would occur? That is the result of interactions of the agents in the network.

*(see Mak, Sui, Fai, J., Williams, R. & Mackness, J. (2010). Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC. In Networked Learning Conference, Aarlborg (pp. 275-284). Retrieved fromhttp://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2010/abstracts/Mak.html)

My conversation has now moved inwards to myself – like what Lindsay has mentioned in her post about the ego, self development and altruism.

However, I don’t think learners are not ready of the control of their learning. Many (adult) learners are capable of learning with their own autonomy, but it may be a challenge for them to learn within a complex network where the learning environment is totally open and new to them.

Isn’t this the same as like participating in a party, where you don’t know who is the host, and who the others are, and what their interests may be. You will not need to know everybody to enjoy the party, you just need to know some of them, and enjoy yourself, and this is the beauty of joining networks like CCK11.

Remember the PLENK?

Photo: From PLENK Course wiki and Zaidlearn

Here George has announced the discussion on Moodle versus PLE forthcoming. It relates to CCK11 experience.  That could be very interesting.

Here is my comment on George’s post:

Hi George,

Interesting to learn this coming event.  I have recently written two posts relating to the Moodle (LMS) verus PLE, including my views on their pros and cons.  I have been learning more with PLE, though have experienced much with LMS. I have been using LMS for years, and still using it.  Have found that I need to introduce PLE to counter-balance the needs of so many of my learners, so they could continue with their learning journey.  So, my verdit seems to be: LMS could be useful for novice and those who haven’t got enough skills in online learning or social networking, but once they have mastered those metacognitive skills, wayfinding and sensemaking, then PLE would serve them better.  That’s only my pair of shoes. So how about yours and others?


#PLENK2010 Why are people staying away from the forum?

Thanks for sharing from Ken.  I may have enough of “forum” now, so better to spend time researching & blogging.

I notice a trend in the MOOC in that many “experts” and knowledgeable others are moving away from forum, for reasons that have been shared by many in their postings – with George and Stephen in particular, where reflective learning could be perceived as more valuable, especially when they are using the blogs.  I do think this trend is obvious for many scholars and academic experts now, and that may impact on the use LMS and online Moodle forum in educational institutions, especially when novice & experts are both staying away from the LMS after a brief stay……

So, what might be the reasons for people sharing in the forum at the start?

Here is my experience & findings from previous research:

The reasons why people like to use the forum include:

(a) sharing and filtering of ideas, artifacts and having debates in forum (discourse)

(b) having a central place for discussion, and an aggregation of ideas, artifacts

(c) fostering of group formation and collaborative learning through inquiry

(d) lurking (legitimate peripheral learning) or self-directed learning

(e) understanding of other learners’ views and perspectives through posting of questions or responses

(f) developing relationship with others through engagement, interaction and communication

There are however, many barriers that have hindered the forum discussion

So, why are people staying away from the forum in PLENK?  Would these include?

(a) perceived power and control amongst participants.  Would this be perceived as an arena for “Socratic questioning”?

(b) strong or cynical (perceived negative) views, posts, comments or responses that may be perceived by participants.  Would this lead to uncomfortable feelings for others to respond?

(c) language barriers amongst participants

(d) topics or posts not relevant to participants interests

(e) overwhelming information and difficulties in comprehending the discussion threads, which could cause the “forum fatigue syndrome”

(f) a loss of interests in the discussion

(g) participants perception of discussion being a very serious academic discourse

(h) lack of fun

(i) What is in it for me (WIIIFM) in the discussion, debates or discourse

And the list goes on….

You name it…..

The  above are just my re-collection of some of the past experiences in Forum discussions (including social networking, and MOOC).

Does it mean that PLE/N is now winning over LMS in this round of PLENK?  I think many PLENKERS are now drivers on the PLENK….

How about your experiences and views?