Rhizo14 in Sunlight and in Shade, part 2

I’ll continue with the theme which I began in the previous post. I will try to find answers to the question: what do I learn about the newest research article by Jenny Mackness and Frances Bell. I chose my line in the previous post: I copied the open survey questions and the reported results as positive (sunlight) or dark or negative (shadow) sides of participants’ experiences. I told that this is a normal situation in any massive courses, how else could it be? Many love, some hate and most people are between. I consider these results as some kind of side effects, very obvious and simple as such.

I am more interested in the content of the answers. The first three begin with “How does the image of rhizome relate to” and continues “prior experience of teaching/ learning (1) or learning in Rhizo13 (2) or future pracice (3). The questions are relevant of course but for instance I could not answer them although I had participated actively and blogged many posts. I do not understand how that image could help me in my learning or teaching. I told this to the researchers and they tempted me to answer the 4th, totally open question about my experiences. So I did, because I always support research about MOOCs.

I didn’t find my original answers from my computer but I am wondering if I can interpret my experiences as positive or negative. It is both as always. I learned what I wanted and my interest didn’t die even it didn’t focus on rhizomatic thinking. The researches mention on the page 31 that the principles of Deleuze and Quattari were not discussed but nevertheless influential in the way the course was designed and experienced.

I suppose that other participants could answer better than me and I should like to know what is the meaning of this sentence: “For some the course promoted deep or wide learning, was transformational and had a positive impact on classroom practice” (p. 32). Perhaps explanations will come in the next article, I can wait. I am writing in order to find my own thoughts.

Is there a hidden belief that Rhizo14 offered some quite new or revolutionary pedagogy in the history of pedagogy? What if a participant has lived in the middle of similar experiment for many decades? People have a tendency to love what they do and appreciate the courses in which they participate. It is a group process with known dynamics which makes people happy for some time, nothing wrong with it. But it not all learning. It would be a theme of a new research to follow for instance happenings in the FB Rhizo group. It is still alive but why and for which purposes?

Ethical implications are still lacking here, even they are the focus of the article which I have handled. So I’ll have to write more some day. Thanks to Jenny, Frances and Mariana for getting me and Simon Ensor to comment!

5 thoughts on “Rhizo14 in Sunlight and in Shade, part 2

  1. I am fascinated by this Heli. Whilst others are castigating us for not being sufficiently positive about Rhizo14 , you are testing us for our positive assertions:) We will try to provide additional evidence of both positive and negative experiences in future publications.
    I am less hopeful about being able to explain why and how the Facebook group from rhizo14 is operating. I feel that is probably outside the remit of our research though does impact upon it.

    • Yes, Frances. I have a feeling that you excuse too much and explain the negative results. Be proud of your research and don’t feel guilty. I hope that my words are OK I am not sure .. The researcher must follow the material, what it talks and don’t speak to any audience.

      I agree with the second piece of your comment. I am not at all eager to answer the question about FB group. I have visited there shortly and become sad. I wanted to comment that if/when the participants activism is the criteria of success, its content should be described in some way. I myself want to stay away and don’t inform about my blog in the FB group.

      Thanks to you and Jenny, I enjoy your writings…

      • That’s such an interesting point Heli about people (not) posting their blog posts to the FB group. Now I think about it there has been a decline in that – what seems to happen now is that the group occasionally bring in posts for discussion on their terms. That might explain the difference in the tone and quality of discussion (that’s my interpretation of course) between there and at the blogs.

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