ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

“Sensemaking” in the Mooc

Posted on: February 5, 2012

At the moment I’m working on an article for a German eLearning conference – and it is time-consuming and I’m distant of the Mooc, a sensation which I do not like much.

So I want to ask you: how are you making sense of the Mooc????

According to Karl E. Weick (1995, Sensemaking in Organization, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks) there are seven parameters for Sensemaking and I appreciate them all! I want to describe them in my words and relate them to my Mooc experiences (the change Mooc is my first Mooc).

  1. Sensemaking works around identity creation – in every environment f2f or virtual I’m building my identity and this “self” is in continuous interaction with the environment and with the other learners as well.
  2. Sensemaking works retrospective – I’m making sense out of experiences reflecting about them, as I’m doing it now with this article I want to write. And therefore sensemaking is influenced by my memory of situations.
  3. By doing sensemaking we enact our environment – hmm, it’s not so easy to understand or translate this aspect. My understanding ist that within the Mooc I’m designing my learning environment (what expert’s inputs do I use, what participants’ interaction do I follow, what technical use do I use to organize myself). So I’m in continuing interaction with my environment and my environment does influence my learning progress (does that make sense??).
  4. Sensemaking is social – of course it is in the Mooc! I’m a kind of aware of some the learners who participate in the Mooc, who write in their blogs, twitter, discuss, think about the questions of the experts, reflect the online sessions, relate the inputs to their daily work, comment their ideas, …
  5. Sensemaking is ongoing – yes, of course, we are in the middle of something, reinventing learning, cooperating … and at the moment we don’t know how this Mooc actually works – and we, all the Mooc participants try to make their individuell “sense” out of the Mooc 😉
  6. Sensemaking means to “extract cues” – and I do understand it and nevertheless I’m struggling to translate it into German. It is never possible to read all reflections around our change Mooc, read the whole “daily news”, deal with all expert’s input, answer all experts’ questions, .. Nevertheless I try to “make sense” out of the weeks of the Mooc. So I’m extracting relevant cues of course!
  7. Sensemaking is not accurate but plausible – I don’t believe that I’m accurate in my participation in the Mooc (and as former physicist I know about accuracy ..) but I try to deal in a plausible way within the Mooc translating the content, contexts, ideas to my every day work and further develop my concepts.

So I want to ask you fellow change Mooc learner how do you succeed to make sense out of the Mooc and could Weick’s concept help us in the process of sensemaking??


6 Responses to "“Sensemaking” in the Mooc"

All on the list help. None suffices alone. Proportions vary too. I find that “retrospective” extends back into past mooc/s as well as sideways into other areas and interests. One big mother of a PLN … There is no way to take in, let alone process, all relevant clues. Some worthies I forfet; others I come across later. Both act as accidental filtering too. There is also an intuitive and not necessarily replicable, at least not reliably so, quality to sensemaking. #3 does make sense (I think) but I would hate to have to explain it, especially with environments continually shifting.

In wikipedia is a translation of the 7 points in German
I do not know yet if Karl E Weick is the best source of sense making theory. Try to answer in my blog.

[…] answer to the question of jupidu “How are you making sense of the MOOC?” using the concept of Weick (German) of sense. […]

[…] in time in activity and intensity. Personal emotions and physical changes do influence learning. Retrospective reflection is part of […]

[…] making sense of the Mooc???? According to Karl E. Weick (1995, Sensemaking in Organization, […] [Link] Sun, 05 Feb 2012 20:20:46 +0000 […]

[…] on sensemaking jupidu, she translates Karl E. Weicks  organizational sensemaking to learning […]

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