How to contribute wisely?

Still pondering about my participation in the course fslt12 in order to help the researchers and myself as well. Answering this comment: “.. would be interesting to know if you felt that you helped other with their learning in any way… if you felt that you contributed to the collective level ..?” This is a challenging question again and got me to think :

What is a contribution actually? Does it need to be heard? But if happens only in one participant’s blog post, is it a contribution? The timing is another important factor here I suppose. And then a simple diagram:

There are “good” discussions going on, for instance about learning or teaching. The topics are in line with the course curriculum, everyone wants those topics. When you give something that helps others and they give feedback, everything is fine = contribution A. So what I did:

  • I gave a map (Google map) so that participants could see how global the course was. Some liked, not everyone. But the purpose was to help.
  • I checked my online habits in a blog post and gave lists of others’ blogs – and said thanks to Eleni Zazani who had helped me. This is community building I suppose.
  • I analysed the feelings during third week – it was a mirror to others and there are comments. This was conceptual work and I appreciate this more than my secretary work (the map, the lists etc).

My main feeling is that I was somewhere in the border of fslt12 community and did not contribute to the collective level in the Moodle discussions. Sometimes I mentioned that I agree and gave some sources of Finnish education to them who were interested (Ida, Lucy). I was disappointed to myself that I could not give more, my expectations were higher (read: always too high).

Contribution B is for instance my blog post about the British Empire. I did not wait for comments either – I knew it was outside the course but I wrote it anyway. It is not good to be so critical that you cannot write out of topic. I am still studying the Empire, we have interesting TV series going on in Finland. Global courses always teach about other countries, it is fine.

I am not used to conceptualize on the collective level, I have forgotten that word (it was used in the political student movement when I was young). I have used ‘community’ instead. Collaboration or co-operation could suit better? I could say that I was near some emerging moments but not in any collaboration.¬† I have read again some papers of Allison Littlejohn which she offered in Change11 in autumn 2011. I liked her research orientation, I was interested in the same questions. But it is better to write a separate blog post about her concepts¬† so that I can write on a general level, not only my experiences in fslt12. These self assessments have been very useful to myself, I wonder if this is the last one (said so many times already).