this should ‘splain it, the madness too

Originally posted on Nomad War Machine:

rhizo14 My name is Sarah and I am a MOOCaholic

Only joking, well sort of.

This post has been brewing for a while and it’s been sparked off again by some discussions in our #rhizo14 Facebook group.  I posted a link to one of Martin Weller’s blog posts and the comment that one of his graphs:

shows that if you get to 12+ weeks it’s probably just some bloke in a shack in Arkansas left

This amused me greatly, as we’re just going in to week 12 of this crazy roller coaster experience, and we’re still carrying on.  Anyway, it’s got a few of us thinking about why we sign up for MOOCs and why we drop out from some and there’ll probably be some messy* writing about it at some point.

So – why do I sign up for MOOCs?  Well, initially it was to find out about them and…

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Forget the learners, how do I measure a MOOC quality experience for ME!

Week 3 – Dave Cormier | MOOC Quality Project, 2013

Are MOOCs the new model of online education for all? Are they fit to democratize education? and above all – what is a good quality MOOC?

The MOOC Quality Project, an initiative of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning,  tackles the question with a series of posts by recognized MOOC experts and entrepreneurs, each addressing the issue from their particular viewpoint.

More about || Schedule/topics

Week 3 – Forget the learners, how do I measure a MOOC quality experience for ME! By Dave Cormier | MOOC Quality Project.

CSEDU, Day 3, Final Keynote, “Digital Age Learning – The Changing Face of Online Education”, (#csedu14 #AdelED @timbuckteeth)

Originally posted on Nick Falkner:

Now, I should warn you all that I’ve been spending time with Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) and we agree on many things, so I’m either going to be in furious agreement with him or I will be in shock because he suddenly reveals himself to be a stern traditionalist who thinks blended learning is putting a textbook in the Magimix. Only time will tell, dear reader, so let’s crack on, shall we? Steve is from the Plymouth Institute of Education, conveniently located in Plymouth University, and is a ferocious blogger and tweeter (see his handle above).

Erik introduced Steve by saying that Steve didn’t need much introduction and noted that Steve was probably one of the reasons that we had so many people here on the last day! (This is probably true, the afternoon on the last day of a European conference is normally notable due to the almost negative number of participants.)

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Thoughts about community as curriculum in #rhizo14


good post from many good ones emerging from an imminently satisfying connectivist MOOC — reflections on community as curriculum week, weaving community threads into a curriculum catching net

Originally posted on Jenny Connected:

richard-giblett-mycelium2Source of image- (Richard Giblett)

The idea of community as curriculum is not new. Etienne Wenger wrote about it in his 1998 book on communities of practice - and since no ideas are truly original, his thinking was probably influenced by prior writers -but nevertheless his book is the most thumbed on my bookshelf and in 1998 he wrote that education is:

‘… about balancing the production of reificative material with the design of forms of participation that provide entry into a practice and let the practice itself be its own curriculum… (p.265)

He has grounded the idea of ‘community as curriculum’ in the practice of the community, but he has also stated very clearly what he means by community and what he means by curriculum.

There is clear evidence from communities of practice that the practice itself is its own curriculum. The strongest community that I am…

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Nothing is inevitable.


keep repeating that—just remember that repetition alone won’t make it happen

Originally posted on More or Less Bunk:

One of the great things about blogging is that you literally have no idea who might stop by in the comments. When I first assumed my role as “Self-appointed Scourge of All MOOCs Everywhere,” somebody famous in MOOC circles might stop by and I wouldn’t have the foggiest clue who were they are . Thanks to the famous Bady/Shirky debate of 2012 , I know exactly who Clay Shirky is. While I’m still on Team @zunguzungu, I must say it’s quite an honor to have somebody with 301,000+ Twitter followers stop by the comments of this post and write enough material to merit a post of his own.

Another great thing about blogging is that you can move long conversations in the comments into a new post if you’re so inclined. I am so, here it is. Before I start getting into details though, let me just start by noting…

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MOOC Scraper Update (3) – (and Hello #FutureEd !)


Keep up with comments on #rhizo14 and #FutureEd blogs (mostly the former)

Originally posted on Connection not Content:

MOOC Comment Scraper

Experimental Comment Scraping
(Based on ‘la vaca de los sinvaca’ – by José Bogado)

I unleashed my experimental MOOC Comment Scraper on the Rhizomatic Learning MOOC (#rhiz014) run by Dave Cormier from Jan 15th and have been updating it once or twice a day (latest output). The idea behind the Scraper is to get a quick impression of MOOC activity by creating very brief summarised versions of recent blog posts along with their comments. For some reason this type of presentation does not seem to be readily available via feed readers but I’ve found the Scraper useful, particularly for connectivist style  MOOCs where activity is typically distributed across numerous blogs, some of which may not be active at any one time.

In contrast, my xMOOC experiences (eg in a Coursera Philosophy MOOC) suggest that blogging around these ‘instructivist’ MOOCs is not nearly so common. Having joined…

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MOOCtopia: history and the futcha of higher ed

Originally posted on Revisions Required:

schools at war

After exchanging messages back and forth for the last year or so on the use and abuse of history in discussion about the future of higher education, via the great open-source think tank/churn machine that is Twitter, we made the slightly rash pact to enrol on Cathy Davidson’s History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education Coursera MOOC.

The language in which MOOCs are presented, both by their founders and proponents, and in media reports, seemed to us to be particularly replete with temporal imagery. Hailed by their champions as the education of the future, MOOCs are frequently positioned against a certain construction of the past.

Davidson’s MOOC seemed a good place to consider this trend, because it explicitly purported to tell us (mostly) about the history and future of Higher Education. We saw this as an opportunity to engage with an example of the ongoing construction of the past…

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MOOCs as a Gathering Place

Originally posted on Sloan-C eLearning Landscape:

Image credit: @twocrowsfarm

“…the fire was not the purpose of the party; it was the catalyst for connection.” Image credit: @twocrowsfarm

At a recent conference, David Wiley, open education pioneer said that MOOCs (massive open online courses) were essentially 1999 online learning with the password protection taken away. He’s certainly not alone in his dislike of all things MOOC – and no wonder. In the last three years the theory-work of decades of educators has been ignored and co-opted. A few good self-branders have suddenly discovered people can learn online. Worse, these people are becoming the voices of online learning and are, in some cases, claiming to be the discoverers of educational approaches we’ve all been using since the dawn of the Internet. Along with these activities, old school behaviorist approaches to learning have been married to MOOCs as if the only way to learn at-scale on the Internet is to standardize everything…

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Multilitteratus Incognitus: What MOOCs Can Do for the Traditional Online Classroom (Part II)

A practical look at what MOOCs can contribute to traditional online models. If you don’t like the model, look at this as making lemonade…

Note: An MS Word or PDF version of this can be found here: 

2014 is upon us! We are now a couple of years from the big MOOC “explosion” in the news, and since we’ve gone to both extremes, too much optimism and too much pessimism, about what MOOCs can and can’t do, it’s now time to have a more refined look at MOOCs and their potential to cross-pollinate with, and positively influence the direction, and practices, of traditional online courses

Multilitteratus Incognitus: What MOOCs Can Do for the Traditional Online Classroom (Part II).

US bans students from “blacklisted” countries from getting a free education


banning students from some countries and blocking access are another, far more malignant madness

Originally posted on Hummus For Thought:

The image you get if you are in Iran, Syria, Cuba or Sudan

The image you get if you are in Iran, Syria, Cuba or Sudan

I’m following a Coursera course entitled “Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World” and just received a rather odd email. All students from Syria, Sudan, Iran and Cuba will no longer be able to access Coursera. As some of you may know, Coursera is an online website that offers free courses from many of the world’s top universities.

Here’s the email, which can also be viewed on the Course’s main page.

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Dear AllI write this email under protest and with a considerable degree of anger and sadness. Few things illustrate the bone-headedness, short-sightedness, and sheer chauvinism of…

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