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 reasonsĀ 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.)