ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Online course “Gender & eLearning” and the MOOC

Posted on: January 15, 2012

End of Week 1 in my Gender & eLearning course – time for reflection 🙂

What are the differences between my Gender & eLearning course and the MOOC?

  1. In the Gender & eLearning course I’m the moderator / social artist / eTutor / facilitator / …and in the MOOC I’m a participant.
  2. There are at the most 15 participants in my course compared to over 2000 in the MOOC.
  3. My course lasts 3 weeks, the change-MOOC 36 weeks.
  4. In my course the participants should invest about 25 hours, in the MOOC my time of investment is not fixed. I made a kind of estimation at the beginning of the MOOC and wanted to spend at least 3,5 hours for the change-MOOC. Some weeks I have more time, some weeks less.
  5. There are no lurkers in my course, the access of participants who do not become active during the first week is cancelled, whereas in the MOOC many participants are reading and reflecting without sharing their insights with others.
  6. My course is using a closed environment – the MOOC is an open environment.

What is similar between the Gender & eLearning course and the MOOC?

  1. An expert or experts prepare/s the room.
  2. The assigments are open assignments.
  3. The participants are working mostly asynchronous  – there are only some synchronous meetings (in my course one meeting in week 3, in the MOOC two meetings a week).
  4. The concept of my course is to encourage participants to relate their every day work to the topics of the course. – I’m doing the same in the MOOC.
  5. In my course the participants are collaborating / cooperating by discussing the topics, reflecting there observations, learning processes, interaction with others – whereas the collaboration in the MOOC until now is an open questions for me.

What did happen during the first week in my Gender & eLearning course?

14 participants enrolled into the course and 12 of them became active members. The course is based on Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model of virtual groups. According to Gilly Salmon access & motivation and online socialisation are the first steps toward a virtual group. The basic component of this course is the anonymity of the participants. They have to choose a nickname and a photo to represent themselves. As the first week is the week of online socialisation they reflect their observations of each other during their discussion of Gender issues (netiquette, media observation).

From my perspective as social artist the course start and week 1 went well. The participants are active and enjoy their discussions. Some of them reflected their fantasay-identities and tried to investigate their own choice for a name and a photo.

I have fun observing and reflecting my reactions to their names, symbols  and contributions. There are several groups of names, e.g. Illy & Billy, or Pop & Pillepop, or London & Down Under, or Powder & Schneemensch (both names around snow=Schnee). The name Oxygen excited memories of a song “Love is like oxygen” from the 80s (and I’m listening hits from the 80s all the time now), other names didn’t ring any bell, so I struggle to perceive these participants as intensively as the others. At the moment I’m reading Karl E. Weick’s “Sensemaking in Organizations” with special attention to his chapter about “Identity Construction” to get some theoretical basis for my thoughts about Online Identities. Is there somebody who has a link to  great online ressource regarding Online Identites??

In any case the work of moderating the course was one of the reasons because I skipped this week in the MOOC 😦

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