ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Sensemaking in the MOOC / Moderation in the MOOC

Posted on: September 12, 2012

As I’m preparing my talk “Sensemaking in the MOOC” for the German speaking e-learning conference GMW12: Digitale Medien – Werkzeuge für excellente Forschung und Lehre“, which will take place tomorrow, 13.9.2012, I’m flipping through the collected literature again.

At the moment I’m immerged into “The ideals and reality of participating in a MOOC” of Jenny Mackness et all.

Use of the forum

In this article Jenny evaluates the first MOOC CCK08 and writes that the learners mainly used the MOODLE forum and blogs. “Connectedness was afforded by technology, it did not necessarily ensure interaction” (p 270). Participants mention that the behaviour of others in the forum, the quality of personal connections (e.g. trolling), the unstructured discussion in the forum (with more than 1000 contributions in the first week) were inhibitors for learning.

I wonder if these perceptions are caused by the use of a forum. In my experience of participating in the Change11 MOOC this behaviour. didn’t occur (or I didn’t observe them. Was there a Change11 troll??). The forum in the Change11 MOOC played a minor role and I didn’t use it at all as it didn’t work well from a technical point of view.

Autonomy versus satisfaction of the instructor

I love the part where Jenny writes “learner autonomy can be difficult for the course instructor” (p 269) – yes, it’s frustrating when the learners decide to skip questions and concepts I in my role as teacher / trainer value a lot and instead focus on different topics which I prepared for them as well …

The moderation issue

Jenny mentions Gilly Salmon and her 5 stage concept focussing on “the support of initial online socialisation” to build trust among learners (p 271). This topic is relevant for me as well as I’m giving the Keynote at the 11. eLearning Tag der FH JOANNEUM next week (19.9.2012) about “What could be the impact of moderation in open online courses?.

My talk will dicsuss the question how to support learners in open learning scenarious. Is there a possibility to combine moderation and learner autonomy? I loved to learn in the Change11 MOOC and ask myself how I can transfer this experience to my students and training participants? In February 2012 I did a first step offering an open training focussed on developing a network in Google+ and it worked more or less.

I’m curios and looking forward to discuss my considerations with the participants of both conferences.

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