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Archive for the ‘#cope14-15’ Category

About three weeks ago our cope15 MOOC was finished successfully.


First let’s speak about numbers:

  • 460 learners from 32 countries were registered in our MOOC, 302 (66%) were at least once active.
  • Mostly they were students from our university but some of them came from other universities as well and a small group were lifelong learners.
  • All together there were 48,738 views at the cope15 website, in April on average 1304 views a day, in May 699.
  • The learners wrote more than 4100 comments at the cope15 website mostly as answer to the assignments. There was no interaction in the Google+ community and few activities in the Facebook group.
  • 126 learners (27,4% of the registered learners, 42% of the learners who were at least one time active) got a badge – 102 business students, but as well students from social work, information design, communication design and construction. 6 lifelong learners got a badge.

The topics of the week were about online learning, global collaboration, business and communication. This was the distribution of interaction during the cope15 weeks:

As usual in MOOCs there were many activities during the first two weeks. In the following 4 weeks about 25% of the registered learners were active. 37 (8%) contributed to all weeks, and 49/50 (10%) to four respectively five weeks.

There were some differences to last year’s cope14 MOOC. This year nearly all the activities were conducted on the website via comments. The business students were the drivers of the common learning process and the exchange. Last year in cope14 there were more learners without sound knowledge of business topics. Therefore they posted their questions to be discussed in the weekly videoconference. This year there were only a few or no questions at all which made the exchange with the experts of the week not that exciting.

The update of the content worked well. Whereas last year there was too much content in one week this year all weeks worked really well. In the reflection of week six the learners stated that they were satisfied with the MOOC and that they learned a lot.

We used the footprints of emergence again to evaluate the learning process. 49 learners created their footprint, especially interesting is the work of Alex who was a learner in the cope14 and the cope15 MOOC. I plan to write a post about footprints soon.


Footprints of Alex, left: reflection of cope14, right: reflection of cope15

In cope14 and cope15 there were two moderators who monitored all activities and supported the learners and experts. On large A3 sheets I tried to document all the comments and interaction. In this way I had the feeling to get to know a rather large number of learners. I believe that bonding facilitates learning and I like to care for my online groups.


Assignment 1.2 in the cope15 MOOC invites the learners to plan their participation. Their answers (59 learners) cover a broad range of intentions.

How I will learn

Concrete ideas

  • decide level of participation as well as the form of it on a week to week basis.
  • Last year I mainly participated via the blog platform, using social networks from time to time – this turned out to be a working solution, so I keep it this way.
  • That is why my primary strategy will be a rather passive one at the beginning by only fulfilling the given assignments and then – when I have already become a little bit more familiar with the whole system – I am planning to actively participate and to contribute with valuable inputs
  • my plan is to get into the system and to get to know everything, and to make the assignments
  • fulfilment of assignments (as far as I can::)
  • Posting regularly (just comments, no blogs)
  • I love getting badges
  • I will do as many tasks as I have time to, because I think MOOC might be a good opportunity to learn effectively
  • to be honest – I don’t have plans for the next weeks yet.

The Newbies

  • Since this is new to me, I am a little bit unsure about how this will work
  • I do not really know on what to expect from the MOOC way of learning
  • I am not sure about what I should expect from this online course
  • Actually i do not know what i should expect
  • I absolutely do not know how it works, but i am quite excited about all this
  • I like to explore new environments, so I’m just curious
  • First of all, I would like to learn how MOOC works and afterwards I am ready to plan my activities and to get connected

The optimistic newbies

  • I think we will get into it soon
  • Right now it is a bit challenging for me to understand the whole system, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out pretty soon.
  • So I guess in general, I’m trying to figure out, ho this system is working.
  • I hope that during the weeks I’ll become a MOOC-expert :p
  • During this 6 weeks of course I will do my best
  • I also hope to get more accommodated and used to the website and the methods
  • I hope that I will soon be able to understand how MOOC works
  • I am sure it will be fun

Autonomous learners

  • It’s good to let anyone decide free to accomplish a task at any time.
  • Working at your own time sounds really great to a night owl like myself…

Where I will learn

  • For the beginning I try to follow on fb too
  • Maybe I will post some activities about my MOOC at google+
  • but rather stick to the comment section
  • Because of my full time table I will just stick to writing comments
  • look at hangouts

Expectation about the method

  • My expectations of MOOC is to get a better understanding of the new learning method.
  • to get to know something about MOOC and e-learning.
  • to get an overview of how Mooc works
  • I expect to get a better understanding of the online learning process


  • I am curious about how all the different participants will interact and communicate in this medium
  • I am planning to get in touch with people from outside Austria to see how they think
  • to get in touch with many other people and to learn something about other cultures
  • I’m also very interested in the input from other participants here.
  • I hope to get to know some new and interesting people
  • meet new people and having fun
  • it would be also nice to get to know some new students.
  • I hope to get in touch with people i don’t know until now and maybe we became friends. It would be a pleasure for me to have friends all over the world.

Expectations about the content

  • I will learn some new things and topics
  • a more overall understanding of globalisation and communication between different cultures
  • I hope to learn a lot of new things
  • I hope that I will soon be able to understand how MOOC works
  • There are some really interesting topics we can work on.

After two days in cope15 I’m really excited how these people will proceed in their learning processes.

As initiator of the cope14 mooc and in my actual role as moderator I’m thinking about the motivations of the learners. Actually we are in week 4 which is the most challenging week with a lot of materials and assignments. In this week there are not so many learners actively posting contributions and it is easier to analyze fewer persons. Nevertheless my feelings about the learners were developing during the former weeks as well.

Self-motivated learners with lust for learning

There are learners who want to learn about the topics of cope14, they are curios about the content and they immerge in their learning processes. I suspect that these leaners are older than 30 or 40 years. Observing them I perceive that some of them have already had experiences with MOOCs but others are newbies. I admire their energy for learning. A part of them comes from abroad and all profit from the openness of cope14.

Semi self-motivated learners who bond with their teachers

There are students in our MOOC who got invited to cope14 by their teachers which are not their business teachers. And in some cases business is not a part of their study degree at all. I love to read their comments, they are funny learners who are open to new and challenging topics and they try to understand what’s going on in a special week. They seem to be satisfied with the insights they gain in their learning processes. (these students are coming from our university as well as from other universities).

In their attitude they are similar to the self-motivated learners with lust for learning. And … in some of their postings I got the impression that their bond with their teachers helped them to enter cope14 with an open mind and to overcome the challenges of learning in our MOOC.

Externally-motivated demotivated leaners

Furthermore there are learners who didn’t succeed or do not want to understand the principles of learning in cope14. (During the preparation phase I discussed the cope14 MOOC with many teachers and asked them to include it as part of a regular class and to allow freedom of learning for their students). Many of these learners are business students and were invited by their business teachers. My first hypothesis is that the open approach of cope14 is very different from the day to day experiences as business students or business teachers.  My second hypotheses is that the dialogue and negotiation between teachers and students about learning in cope14 failed as well as the briefing process between teachers and cope14 initiators.

I expected some of the business students to love the openness of cope14, the materials and questions, the videos and the efforts their teachers invested into preparation of the weeks. In week 4 I cannot detect any of these students which is rather strange.

Of course these are my preliminary findings based on my observations and feelings and my leaners’ lists. After the end of cope14 we will evaluate all the material we gained during our MOOC experiment in more detail.

Today is the fifth day in our cope14 MOOC. As foreseen about 500 learners signed up for cope14, about 55% are students from our university of applied sciences. There is a great mix of learners coming from many different countries. A great part of them are (bachelor or master) students, some are teachers, others are busy in different fields of work.

There is a lot of activity on the website itself, 776 comments during the first 4 and a half days – and more than 1000 page views each day. I’m happy that so many learners feel up to make their learning public on the cope14 website. More than 100 learners joined the facebook community and Erika, its moderator, reports of many interactions. The fb community is public but the participants have to join it to post comments. The Google+ community, moderated by myself, is a closed community to give learners the opportunity to exchange their experiences in a protected room. About 30 learners choose this possibility.

My role in cope14 is to facilitate and to moderate learning processes (at least that’s my vision). In the cope14 team we aim to differentiate between the jobs of moderator (convener) and facilitator. Facilitators prepare the “virtual room”, in this case the websites of cope14 of the respective week. They give professional feedback to the topics of the week and attend the hangout at the end of his or her week. This means that most facilitators are active only in one week of cope14. The moderators accompany the learners during the whole 6 weeks. They monitor what’s happening on the diverse channels of cope14 (website, fb, g+, twitter, individual blogs), support the learners, acknowledge the learners’ efforts, and help the facilitators to get an overview of what’s happening.

Moderating with help of the learners list

Planning my role as moderator I asked myself if and how I would succeed to “moderate” learning processes of hundreds of learners. In my smaller learning groups (up to 30 learners) I’m happy to use lists of learners where I document their activities and add comments. In the cope14 MOOC I’m using a “learners’ list” as well (as I planned in my blog post of one month ago). It’s a A3 sheet with learner names at each side. I had to add the leaners who signed up after the start per hand. With a color code I visualize who is in the fb or g+ community, who writes in his or her own blog. Until now there’s no color for twitter as there are not so many tweets.


I’m amazed and of course very happy that this list is also working with so many learners. To search for the learner’s name, document the activity, and add a comment I “get to know” the learners a little bit. In my list I have already 109 active learners (without counting the activities in fb) – and I have a kind of overview of their interactions. I’m able to relate  some of the nicknames to the persons on my list, I fantasize about their personality when I read their very long or very short or funny or serious comments.

Learning in my role as facilitator

I learned a lot about the topics of week 1 “communication around borders: introduction and warm-up ” following the experiences and ideas of the learners. And I learned something new and unexpected – isn’t it great that our concept of emergent learning is working for me as well?

I know that many web users around the world are using google translate to understand texts written in a language unknown to them. As I’m a little bit snobbish I never use goggle translate and despise its translations. But … there are learners in cope14 who came from countries who do not use Latin characters. Their name sometimes are in characters which I cannot read. So I could not identify the learner and I hated it. Therefore I decided to use google translate. I copied a sequence of beautiful but not readable characters into google translate – and got a translation into Latin characters (and learned that the originals were in Russian and Thai). I was really very impressed by the capacity of my laptop to be able to copy these characters and bye the capacity of google to read and translate it. So the cope14 MOOC helped me already in the first week to become less snobbish!

The preparation of cope14 is done – we will start after Easter on April 22. The only thing left to do is to reflect the design of cope14  – and to enjoy the Easter Weekend.

I evaluated the design of cope14 and our intentions using the method of the footprints of emergence of Jenny Mackness and Roy Williams.


The footprints help to investigate how open the learning design is and if the learners run the risk to drown in chaos. I’m doing footprints for more than 1,5 years now and I like them a lot. The 25 factors give me the possibility to reflect my design in detail and at the end to discover something unexpected.

At the centre of the blue circle and around it there is the zone of prescribed learning. As we respect the principles of connectivism autonomy, diversity, interactivity and openness for cope14, there are no factors in the prescribed zone.

When I’m looking at my footprint I observe that the design is an open one and that I suppose the learners to have a lot of freedom for personal growth (cluster “Agency”). I believe that this freedom for development could also be exhausting for them, as my values for the factors multi modal (XM), open affordances, self organisation, autonomy, negotiated outcomes and identy are rather high –  the outer circle of the white points defines the beginning of the edge of chaos.

One factor is already in the edge of chaos, it’s Mp (cluster “Open / Structure”) – multi path – I perceive that there are many different possibilities to learn in cope14 (the website with its links and videos, the learners’ blogs, the fb or g+ communities, twitter, …) so I see the danger for the learners to get lost. On the other hand if they succeed in overcoming this phase they already have learned a lot and probably acquired competences for organizing themselves online.

Now I’m free to start the Easter Weekend and to relax before engaging in cope14.

On 22. April our cope14 MOOC will start with hundreds of learners – and my colleague Erika and I aim to moderate this bunch of different learners.

I believe I’m not too bad in monitoring online learning processes and I have a lot of experience caring for my online groups – but … these were rather small groups, 8 persons, 15 or 16, sometimes 30 in my teaching or training activities, sometimes around 50-60. And, yes, they wrote 1100 contributions in 3 weeks Read the rest of this entry »

In Autumn 2013 we started to work on our own MOOC – in this post I want to explain why we decided to create a MOOC, how it will look like and what our objectives are. Read the rest of this entry »