Individual experiences in MOOCs, part 3 diversity openness

I cannot stop my journey with the article of Jenny and Carmen, published in IRRODL Jan 2012 until I handle diversity and openness, the last ones (connectivism principles). Please read Carmen’s blogpost from yesterday. I proceed from one principle to another in order to understand what I can learn about the findings. When I have described every principle I get rid of pieces and think about the whole process. This article is Very Important opening to psychology, therefore I do this journey.

I have a diagram again. Diversity from the left column is combined with competence (SDT) and conscientiousness.

Diversity in education is opened to mean all measurable differences among learners (gender, race, culture, socioeconomic status, intellegence etc).

In terms of self-determination the factor of competence is defined as feeling effective in interactions and having the opportunities to enact this effectiveness. Competence empowers individuals to further endeavors. This sense of competence can be affected by many things, including language ability, overall learning and technology skill level, and the ease of user interface and connection.Unconscious influences may also affect expectations and interpretations.

Active MOOC participants are individuals high in the psychological trait of conscientiousness, geared toward duty and achievement, For example, regular attendance at MOOC sessions, consistent public writing, and public collegial exchanges. So I am conscientious just now 🙂 Spontaneous participation is different and it is a part of MOOCs too. – Actually I was astonished about Big Five that this was considered one of those five. I have to use vocabulary in order to check the meaning.

Openness (connectivism) is defined largely in the context of sharing resources, ideas and expertise, and communicating and creating new information and insights through networks.Participants will be able to freely enter and leave the system, and there ought to be a free flow of ideas and artifacts within the system. Privacy vs tyranny of openness is considered here.

Openness in self-determination expands as a factor in personality and autonomy: to perceive ongoing experience accurately, without distorting or attempting to avoid the experience, and a willingness to assimilate novel experiences into self-structures. When individuals function autonomously, they are open to experience what is occurring in the current discussion. It can be called mindfulness: a  fully functioning person is able to encounter experience honestly.

This inner state of openness offers a significantly expanded perspective from the much more externalized “sharing” definition of openness and the “no barriers” definition currently also introduces a potential connection between creativity and connective learning. The personality trait of openness to experience is linked to curiosity, exploration, creativity, and unusual ideas.

I loved that description of psychological openness above. I hope that I didn’t spoil Jenny’s and Carmen’s text by shortening it awkwardly. I am so glad that you have opened this discussion toward psychological concepts in MOOC participation. I have been lazy myself and only pondered in my mind – you have already published the article. What next, then?

You have done enormous work by describing /analyzing all the key concept. Now it is easier to choose some parts and dive deeper. Thanks to Jenny and Carmen and congratulations!

Individual experiences in MOOCs part 2

This is my second comment to Jenny Mackness and Carmen Tshofen about there IRRODL article. This time I am studying the concept connectedness/interactivity and how the article links it to personality theories selected to juxtapose. My insight today is that they need one theory more – Etienne Wenger’s identity. I agree with that, it is no sense to handle a topic like this without the concept identity. It combines everything what is learned in interactions and relations. Another insight is that they need new concepts from web networking, for instance privacy, solitude, control and troll behavior. Yesterday, in the autonomy part, they used lurking as one form of autonomous participation. This is pretty obvious, of course we use concepts that describe the object which is under exploration: living in open online world.

Here comes my new diagram

I wanted to save the previous diagram and show the connections between concepts – how Jenny and Carmen did it. The diagram leaves some concepts outside in this paragraph, you can see them too. And I added the daily life concepts in the places they described. Sorry that the diagram is too broad, but you can click it open. I used Power Point Smart Art and it was too smart to me. Arrows were better if I had drawn with free hand but I do not change it any more.

I try a new strategy to write today. I don’t copy their sentences any more – I only tell what astonished me and what questions are in my mind. Relatedness + Agreeableness + Neuroticism were described together. Why troll behavior was linked to neuroticism?

Identity, extraversion and introversion is the next paragraph. I don’t remember that Wenger have described personalities  with these concepts but of course you can combine what you want. I am glad that you mention Jungian terms because they describe the dynamics of human development. I have strong opinions about psychology and I begin to ask why -questions although I try to respect your choices 🙂 There has been discussions about extraversion and introversion in our blogs (Jenny’s and mine) and I was astonished that extraversion was the main hypothese for blogging. I have always supposed that introverts love writing more.

Privacy, solitude and control are linked to extra-introversion and social learning. Autonomy is found again in this part?

I try to say shortly the findings of this connectedness part of the article. It is a technology-based concept in connectivism and  potential quantity of connections. All links to human relations and emotions mean expanding: relatedness as a sense of personal connectedness, caring, and belonging. These areas take us into an emotional realm. Agreeableness is understood as the tendency to be compassionate and cooperative. Rita Kop has built a model of dialogue. Creativity is described but its links to personal traits leave open. Jenny and Carmen summarize :

The apparent paradox of simultaneously pursuing connectedness and interactivity while at the same time offering the potential to support the individual and that which is “personal” is an aspect of connective not yet fully explored.

Next concept in the diagram is diversity. I have always defined it in my mind that it means all individual differences. Now I understand, and perhaps it is better to limit it into different backgrounds, disciplines, languages etc. I continue about diversity and openness. What an inspiring article you have written!