CCK11 – Is there anybody out there?

20 01 2011

Photo of megaphone


This post is in response to a comment in the ‘Sample Link Post’ on 19th Jan about how the comment format “decentralizes the discussions”. This very thought occurred to me today as I cycled to work. Whilst the benefits cited in this comment are valid: that it is difficult for any one individual to dominate the discussion, or for one or more people to ignite flame-wars in every forum, I ‘m not sure they are really reasons not to have a more centralised discussion format, and that we then risk losing many of the pedagogic benefits of focused debate.

My impressions are that the comment system is just that – a series of comments that can easily become decentralised to the point that they are dispersed and disjointed. Comment are made in response to individual blog posts and become lost in the mass of daily new blog posts, which will have their own set of comments. How and where do the deeper, focused, more extensive and on going debate happen that is so integral to the learning process. Where is the space that facilitates the pulling together, weaving, integrating of thoughts and ideas around around a focus? Where is the ‘debate’?

Does it need to happen? I’m suspecting that one response will be that if I feel that is what is needed then I should set it up – but then people have to be able to find it. Is it appropriate for a course such as CCK11 facilitate and provide such a space?

(As an aside, I do acknowledge that it isn’t yet fully clear to me how the ‘comment’ system works – but I was nicely surprised to see in today’s Daily that blogs that had comments on were then identified as ‘new discussion threads’ – so this might actually be the answer.)






8 responses

20 01 2011

I agree on the discussion being not central. But a discussion with that many people will never be central.
I copy Comments I make and comments I like to my blog.
And I choose options as: notify me of follow up comments.
I did even become a ‘member’ of some interesting blogs.
There is a daily newspaper on twitter, and a daily email newsletter from CCK11.
On Facebook some people are connecting in a group CCK11

20 01 2011
About central focus in CCK11 « connectiv

[…] central focus in CCK11 Reply to is-there-anybody-out-there/: I agree on the discussion being not central. But a discussion with that many people as in this […]

20 01 2011
Daisy Grisolia

We are just in the first week of the course. People are getting their ways to identify the topics of greatest interest. I believe that with the evolution of the course will be formed sub-groups (clusters) that will make deeper discussions. Not everything is interesting for all participants with the same intensity. And life is like that.
Knowing how to find people who have common interests and make good connections with them is part of the skills needed to learn more and better together.

21 01 2011

You are right – it is only the first week of the course and yes I too believe that sub-groups will form with common interests and have those deeper debates. I have been utterly surprised by the fact that so many people have posted comments to my posts, so I can see that the subgroups and debate is already happening. Just not in a way that I’m used to!
The weekly Elluminate sessions do also provide some central means of coming together, a way to refocus and orientate oneself…
Thank you for your comments!

21 01 2011
Stephen Downes

There’s a fine balance to be struck between decentralizing the course in order to provide maximal autonomy for those who wish it while at the same time providing a thread that people can follow without completely immersing themselves in that task. The Daily Newsletter represents that balance, hosting course announcements & links posted by instructors, blog posts, and links to the discussion in the gRSShopper discussion system.

21 01 2011
Steve Mackenzie

Hi Ruth and All,

I think it is an interesting development – no moodle discussion.

Discsussion offers the chance of short sharp exchanges there is a lot to be learned from lots of discussions all collated in the same location – it is efficient.

Discussion offers a different type of interaction, hard to explain but maybe not so much work or comittment as blogging and commenting because it is easier to participate.

If we want to promote connecting, then easy participation and conversation is important.

I’d be interested to know how you are all mainly making connections at the moment.

I Commented on Jenny’s blog that i think Quora is a very good solution for CCK11 participants to discuss and interact.Namely it is so damn easy and it’s just got that quality that keeps you interested in the ongoing activities in the Quora environment.

I invite you to type a question in Quora and follow CCK11 topic. here’s my repsonce to a Quora CCK11 question

22 01 2011

Hello Ruth – It will be interesting to see what happens as the course develops. I have never yet participated in the Moodle forums that have been provided by past MOOCs. Two reasons for this – 1) I find them just too overwhelming – rather like a party where everyone is talking at once and you can only pick up snatches of conversation before being interrupted 2) I work on online courses all the time (that’s my job), so I am usually heavily involved in discussion forums elsewhere and it’s enough to get my head round even those, which are much smaller groups.

So – in a sense – I am used to participating in these MOOCs without using a Moodle forum. But even so, it does feel strange not having one this time and even with Stephen’s ‘aggregations’ it is hard to find the people with whom I resonate and who share the same interests.

Like you – I find the Elluminate sessions very helpful in pulling things together. They are also a bit like a ‘party’, but with one clear speaker I find it easier to focus on the ideas being discussed.

Thanks for ‘visiting’ my blog.


23 01 2011

Spot on. I some times wonder, when I twrite something or tweet something in a MOOC like this, “maybe someone allready wrote the same thing in a discussion before me, it is hard to keep updated, to know where the discussion is right know” but the again, it doesn´t matter, it is always new to someone I guess. I joined the facebookgroup now. I would like to have one feed of everything (twitter, fb, blogs) related to the course in my RSS reader, to have some sort of a center.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: