Pedagogical principles of MOOCs

Last week we studied the future of digital life and learning in our edcmooc course. One of the recommended articles was Bonnie Stewart’s Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation? in JOLT. There has been a lot of discussion around different MOOCs after the birth of xMOOCs in 2011. I want to contribute to this discussion using a presentation of Lourdes Guardia. She is professor and researcher of the eLearn Center (Center of Research, Innovation and Training in e-learning) at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Her presentation was broadcasted online to Turku, Finland and the link is found in this program. I appreciate her researcher attitude because I was tired of hearing about competitions between c and xMOOCs.

The areas of research in which Guardia is focused on are the techno-pedagogical design or instructional design, the educational technology and the didactics, the e-portfolio, and the development of models based on the use of the ICT (e-learning). She has been working in all them participating and coordinating different projects of research and of innovation, at national and international level. She has published different articles, papers and chapters of books about techno-pedagogical design and the use of the ICT. Nowadays she’s participating in projects of research and of innovation about techno-pedagogical design, personalization of the learning processes, e-portfolios and the evaluation of the learning process.

In this slide you can see how Lourdes Guardia presented the long history of online learning. I think our orientation in edcmooc is similar.



What happened to learning during this long history? What improves and prevents or even obstructs learning? MOOCs are quite new, in 2008 began the connectivist movement and in 2011 the x MOOCs . I participated in CCK08 and my many studies are described in this blog. I’ve tried to assess my learning, beginning from practicing English – my first challenge. The factors affecting behind learning are changing but it is not easy to analyse how  and when learning becomes better or worse.

I didn’t know this situation in Europe : Spain offers more MOOCs than other countries. UK, of course, offers many 🙂

europaThe growth in the number of courses has been rapid. The quantities are always easy to measure but the quality would be more important to know. What is the best pedagogy of MOOCs ?

Lourdes Guardia presented her (and many research groups’) findings as pedagogical principles. These are defined in the following picture:

I agreed with these principles in the online session and I suppose that most of these principles are included in the edcmooc design.

We had a Hangout last Friday and some creative innovations were thrown in the air. We decided to crowdsource the subtitle to our meeting and the content. The recording is available but writing a transcript jointly is an interesting experiment. It follows the principles of empowerment, collaborative learning, social networking, peer assistance, media-technology-enhanced learning.

We also gathered photos about the global classroom. Some people took the photo about computers, I thought that myself must be included in the photo. Someone had a baby in her arms. I liked that idea of global environment. I am waiting for the crowdsourced content. I feel that participating in it requires better English than I have. How can we move from the transcriptions to summaries? Is it the test of quality in collaboration? The language skills restrict many participants’  writing – or I should try anyway, to test how the automatic writer works. I have never tried such a thing earlier. Edcmooc = to do many new things.

Do we agree with Lourdes Guardia’s conclusions? Deep pedagogical debate: is it going on in edcmooc ? We make history.


EDIT 21.11. the first year of xMOOC was autumn 2011 (not in 2010 as I said) and later in 2012 there were more xMOOCs.

The profusion of multimodal artefacts in edcmooc

This post deals with the JISC webinar 7.11. where two edcmooc facilitators Sian Bayne and Jeremy Knox had a presentation The profusion of multimodal artefacts in the MOOC (edcmooc ). I participated in the open webinary and I will now copy some of the slides here. The artefacts of the first edcmooc can be seen here . I was very interested in to hear how the facilitators analysed our products and the new digital literacies which are developing during this course.

New quality of learning? New combination between human action and technology? I’ll write my notes here transparently so that I can make them better later while I have understood better. This is how the webinar was introduced,  This is not an easy text for me 🙂

The profusion of multimodal artefacts produced in response to the EDCMOOC will provide a number of examples with which to explore sociomaterialism in relation to literacy practices online. It will be suggested that this work constitutes a set of sociomaterial entanglements, in which human beings and technologies each play a part. By looking at these examples, we will suggest that sociomaterial multimodality offers a different way of thinking about digital literacy: not as a set of representational practices, but rather as complex enactments of knowledge, specific to particular contexts and moments.

Jeremy Knox was introduced as his research concerns relationships between critical posthumanism, new materialism and the open education movement. Sian Bayne’s research interests revolve around educational change as we become more and more enmeshed with the digital. Her current particular interests are around posthumanism and online education, the geographies of distance education, museum learning and multimodal academic literacies.

I was curious enough to follow the webinar, although the sound was not good all the time. The examples from the first edcmooc helped, because I participated in it. I have to say that I got hunches about new ideas while listening to Sian and Jeremy. I understood that I had thought simply about the question of who is the subject /doer/owner? I used to think it is always a human being and never the technology. But who does all these Wordles and other word collections? Isn’t it the machine?

Here is a slide that says that better, I don’t trust my skills to use English language. The image is too big, please click on it. I wanted the heading of the seminar and the text of the slide to be readable.


The identification of a single author of digital work is problematic. That’s what I meant while speaking about the subject/doer/owner. It is better to read their text. These questions about knowing and learning must be asked and I am happy to learn more about these.. That’s why I participate in #edcmooc, to learn more about digital literacies. Here comes another slide from the same seminar:


it is a long jump from the oldest university to these questions or how is it? Perhaps the new challenges can be received best in the oldest universities?


From the first closed systems to the open edcmooc

I have to continue the travel in my own mind even if it doesn’t touch other participants’ ponderings in #edsmooc. This time I take a big jump from 1200s to a research session, which was held last week. A big gap remains between these two and I can only guess at some factors influencing to this gap.

I traveled in Central Spain for the first time in my life in September and I visited the old university of Salamanca. It is one of the oldest in the whole world, only Bologna, Oxford and Cambridge have older universities. The name is still in the wall:

universitasIt was great to see the old building with its church or chapel, the spirit seemed to live there still.

One of the old lecture halls was in its original shape. It was too dark to take a photo there but you can imagine the black benches and a stand in front of the classroom. Only one professor had the right to speak and his assistant repeated his words. The students were not allowed to turn their backs toward the professor and they had to listen, of course. Poor people warmed up the benches before the students came in – there were many hierarchies. The teaching was organised so that each branch of science was taught only in its own hall. This was informed clearly at the door. Here is one of those guides:

saliOf course I knew this all earlier, but I have to tell that the visit touched me and my view and ideas changed by the visit. Knowledge was owned by a few people and shared without changes to selected people. It was dangerous to think, to obey was the only way to live.

Now we have universities and even open courses open to everyone. It is a long journey that the human mind and organisations have done during eight hundred years. Now one of the old universities, the Edinburgh University offers us an open course and we meet in Google Hangouts f2f with our facilitators. Technology is one of the factors which make this possible, but what are the changes in our minds? Do we believe in hierarchies between people still and what are the grounds of these hierarchies? How to participate, share expertise and learn from each other? Many pedagogical questions in air but here we are now: this map is from the beginning of our edcmooc course:

edcmoocmap2I had an intention to write about a webinar of ALT / JISC  7.11. but now I understand that I have to write another post of it. Otherwise this post will be too long. My idea is that in that webinar, where Sian Bayne and Jeremy Knox presented their findings, I really lived in the future. The recording Multimodal Profusion in MOOC  is available. It is not mentioned in the edcmooc course but it was open and worth of listening to. The findings are based on the digital artefacts of the first edcmooc in Jan-March this year.

This blog post aims to raise the question: how do we use our freedom to learn in the internet? Do we have old useless restrictions in our minds which we could throw away (not minds but restrictions 🙂 )

It is a nice coincidence that Esko Lius from Finland, a participant of edcmooc, blogged about old Spain Cervantes: Don Quixote. You may read his post here.


My orientation to edcmooc number 2

The first week of the second edcmooc course given by the Edinburgh University has passed and I have passively followed what’s going on. Actually, the edcmooc course never ended in my mind. The previous blog post deals with the 1st course and the FB group has worked all the time. Fran sent me an email before the course began and I have followed her blog. Some of active students on the 1st course are now called ‘community teaching assistants’ and they participate even more actively this time.

I have been passive but I am happy with my situation. No hurry needed, I may do what I want, I am not performing anything, just enjoying. Twitter seems to be an important tool for following, and the course news too. It was delightful to meet Chris Jobling in Twitter again (he participated in PLENK2010).  The first Hangout on Friday was great and it is good to have those meetings every week.

I give time to my thoughts to develop in my mind, thoughts and feelings. I can analyse the factors which are important to me: the team seems to work even better than in the 1st course. They are an excellent model as a facilitating team in online studies. They are able to interact with us, they give feedback about the discussions and tell us about their ponderings. They listen and respect each other and us, the participants. I feel at home as a passive participant in the course. That’s why I speak about my orientation, it is the right concept I think.

My orientation has long roots. I was an online teacher (in teacher education in Finland) until retirement 2010 and I had developed a similar kind of pedagogy as the edcmooc team. I gave freedom to my students both in content and time schedules and asked for only one assignment with a free subject. It is good to choose yourself. All this freedom is challenging and this is one of the questions that are dealt with in edcmooc at the beginning. This is normal but not so interesting to me any more. I am free and I have no need to ask if I am free or not. I have to use my freedom, that’s it.

My interest is the human mind, what is happening to learning and interaction in digital life. I want to understand this question more deeply during the next weeks and my digital artefact should handle with this questions. I don’t know how, but in some way 🙂  I love the way how we deal with the long history of mankind (from the ancient Greeks) and the tradition of Edinburgh University (thanks Sian Bayne). I want to feel how my consciousness broadens in order to understand human life better and better. Is there something called time, what is it? I admire the way how the facilitators use their expertise: they have no need to tell about their research (I found in my doctoral dissertation this and this, listen to me) – instead they use their expertise flexibly in the interaction and they give space to new thoughts. they wait and respect every new question.  They are open and inquiry oriented or research oriented (how to say this in English?) We are all peer learners but the facilitators’ model is relevant for creating the course atmosphere.

Today is all Fathers Day and our adult son came to meet his father, so I want to participate f2f. See you later!

EDIT 12.11. correcting my English (adding the and prepositions – we don’t have those in Finnish 🙂



Footprints of emergence: presence

The story continues more footprints will be described in this post.

Presence/Writing is defined as exploring, articulating and networking yourself, your ideas and your feelings. (Why writing in the heading? is it supposed that writing is crucial in expressing oneself?). There are five factors in this quadrant. Presence is personal, I think, so I have to tell about my doings and feelings during edcmooc.


Solitude and contemplation. The dimension begins from isolation, untested ideas, echo-chambers and ends to personal space for interaction with people and texts. Edcmooc offered plenty of opportunity for interaction but also plenty of opportunity to stand back and reflect. I had a blog as usual and I built a network of other blogs around it. I was alone when I wanted and interconnected when it suited to my mind. Should I describe this situation as light zone, sweet emergence?

Casual encounters/ conversations. From highly formalised interaction to chance, serendipitous encounters. I don’t remember any highly formalised interactions during edcmooc. Also the G+hangouts  which were planned by the facilitators, were very relaxed and enjoyable. We could not speak there, but we could chat by writing and one of facilitators followed chatting. Serendipitous encounters I remember very well, they made my feeling comfortable. So where goes my mark, to outer darkening blue perhaps.

Networks, encounters and engagement. From formalised, inflexible groups to initiating, creating, engaging with new contacts and groups. Edcmooc was the only mooc where students organised meetings and places for them already before the course begun. This kind of networking and encountering continued through the course, it was open, new friends available all the time. So I have to give full marks – the dark blue = challenging emergent learning. I cannot assess only my behavior, this factor needs other participants too.

Hybrids, informal/ante-formal. From mono-media, mono-modal, abstract interaction to diversity and choice of media and modes. This factor is easy to describe in edcmooc: it is challenging learning with the latter end of the dimension: diversity and choice of media. The assignments showed great variety of media. The topic digital cultures tempted to this direction. So my mark will go to dark blue, sharp emergence.

In/formal writing and inscriptions (what is the difference between these words?) From formal ritualised assessment to informal, creative, light interaction. In edcmooc the assignments promoted creativity and assessment was rather open. All should be accepted if it was seriously done. Perhaps – or surely- there was also diversity in assessments: one of students got feedback that her digital artefact was too serious. I thought her work was well done. My mark goes to sharp emergence.

Footprints of emergence: agency

In this post I’ll handle the agency quadrant of the Footprints, which I am studying in order to understand better learner dynamics. The entity which I want to describe, is the course E-learning and Digital cultures (edcmooc, see my previous post).

Learning dynamics, visualisation of learning events without absolute good and bad statements is the idea. This is qualitative research without quantified scores. I began to fill the Footprints circle from a part that is easiest to me. My education pushes me to observe and assess individuals psychologically. Agency is the heading of the quadrant and it means Developing your capability on your own terms. First I changed that to ‘my capability and my own terms, but it was not working. I thought the participants as a crowd. Here comes my image, look at the right side only.

tulos1krThere are six factors for illustrating agency. Identity varies from complying fixed roles to creating and developing your own roles, affordances and capabilities.

In edcmooc it was obvious that we = participants could determine our roles from active engagement to observer. Anonymity was allowed in the discussions and sometimes it was in use. Many participants took on the role of supporting other participants. There were thousands people participating and even experienced ones needed support. Following the given description I gave my point to darker outer zone, because it means more challenging learning. I chose a drop to be my point.

Negotiated outcomes is the following factor. It varies from externally determined success factors to mutually determined ones. We had an assignment to do, a digital artefact, but it could be almost anything. We received feedback from three students and of course we had to give feedback too. The outcomes were not externally determined. My drop falls on the challenging learning area again, because there was great variability of outcomes.

Autonomy means in this context the dimension of working with others agendas to creating your own agenda and goals. During edcmooc we had to choose our own goals.  I have problems with translating agenda here, it is broader than goals? How could a course influence or change participants’ agenda?  We were allowed to act as autonomously as we could in our life general. The drop follows others to the dark blue, sharp emergence area.

Self-organisation varies from hierarchical fixed processes to creative self-organisation and self-motivation. The topic of edcmooc, digital cultures in the future is open to many directions. I had never thought that it could be hierarchical, but of course some parts of the course could be constrained to selected gurus. This was not the case, or I did not see it. Now I read the guides again and remember that I should describe self-organisation in this factor, not the curriculum. To put it shortly: we could engage or not as we chose. An example of self-organisation could be the digital artefact of one participant. He chose to build a fake account for a facilitator to Twitter  and published it. The facilitator was pleased, not angry, it was a good joke and demo of how easy it was to do. The students were adults so this was possible. My drop falls in the same line, even on a little bit darker blue because of full freedom.

Open affordances varies from compliance with predetermined outcomes to creative innovative engagement. Now I have a feeling that I have already dealt with this topic. What could I add any more? The given  advice to peer grading were general nature and allowed freedom. Here is my blog post about this topic. My peer learners understood my ideas better that I could expect. I was lucky perhaps, but I was interested in all kind of feedback, not only positive. The drop goes to the same line again.

Cross-modal and multi-modal dimension is not easy to follow to me.  Mono-modal, abstract interaction is the other end of the dimension and synaesthesic, embodied, holistic interaction the other end. Interaction during edcmooc was very multi-modal and cross-modal, even trans-modal because of the topic. I have never experienced so great diversity of expressions and interactions. So the drop falls again to the same zone of challenging emergent learning.

Now I’ll take a break, my brain has worked enough. Why all my descriptions are so alike, like each other? Do I miss something, is this halo-effect with memory distortions? I’ll continue with the other lower quadrant named presence after the break.

My assessment about edcmooc

I decided to assess one course, E-Learning and Digital Cultures, in which I participated, first with my own words and how I remember the experience. Then I check my posts about the course and add something if important things had fallen out of my memory. The final part consists of building the Footprints of the course according to the research project, but it comes later.

The edcmooc course lasted four-five weeks (Jan Febr 2013) and consisted of the following parts:

Block 1 Utopias and dystopias: week1 Looking to the past, week2 Looking to the Future

Block 2 Being Human: week 3 Reasserting the Human, week 4 Redefining the Human

Week 5. Final Assessment and Peer Gradings, Research about the course.

Edcmooc was one of the Coursera products and used its platform, discussion forums and peer gradings. The resources for every week were short videos, recommendations about articles and lectures and facilitators’ hangout. The four facilitators were working at Edinburgh University, Scotland, and they worked as a team, for instance wrote a blog jointly, participated in Hangouts together.

My free assessment about edcmooc is very positive. The students were excellent, active and supportive. They made a Google group and offered their findings, shared their discoveries all the time. The facilitators were active and relaxed, the atmosphere was full of joy and laughter. The facilitators were interested in us, the participants, and wanted to receive all kind of feedback. The content was easy to follow, the videos were short demos about digital life. I had a feeling that I could step into a new digital world, to participate in an exciting journey. I blogged and commented on others’ blogs, followed the discussion forums when I wanted and followed the extra Google group. I tried Google+ because I got help with trying it. There was a week when we could send images to Flickr, it was extra, perhaps, but very nice. I did not study all of the content but I did not care. I learned a lot, I used Prezi in my Final work first time in my life. I admired other participants’ digital artefacts and published some of them in my blog. I liked a discussion Forum named Age 60+ and blogged about it.

The assessment is very positive. Now I read my posts and check if I forgot something important. I wrote 19 blog posts during the course 27.1.-6.3. The posts included more facts about positive happenings but not anything quite new compared to the previous text. Perhaps the concept ‘digital viking’ is worth mentioning. It is an example of other participants’ ideas which greatly inspired me. From the content I chose the parts dealing with human interaction and I asked the basic question: Have we always, sometimes or never been human? I used the demo videos and lectures in my post.

I did a summary of the results of what I’ve learned during edcmooc (my blog post 4.3.) .


I wonder what I could add to this description by using the Footprints with its clusters and factors?

This image is more about my learning outcomes, while Footprint factors help to describe the pedagogy, learning dynamics. I spoke about it in my first summary in this post.

Critical factors from my point of view seemed to be these two: The activity and high digital literacy of other students inspired me. And the facilitators, I trusted their expertise. These factors made my success and maintained my motivation and activity during the course.  What else can I find? This is an exciting journey…


What did I learn from #edcmooc peer gradings?

My final assignment can be found in this Feb 27 blog post. This time I will analyze the feedback I got from the ‘official’ peer gradings and other comments. The inspiring quality of #edcmooc can be identified in the way that students shared their digital artefacts all the time, before the dead line and after it. The official gradings were written into Coursera platform, other comments to my blog, FB group and my FB timeline.

I copy first the criterion (2 = achieves this fully or almost fully ) and then the gradings of peer 1,2, and 3.

The artefact addresses one or more themes for the course and suggests that the author understands at least one key concept

My peer graders agreed with this statement.

Peer 1 explained that ” I found this addressed a Utopian view into a human entering the digital world. While mentioning technology a lot of it was about new world, blogging environments and social networking – many of which are themes that echo across the course’s weeks of materials. I think the author has taken concepts such as humans in the digital world and addressed them clearly in their artifact.”

Peer 2. ” I could see the link between considering the nature and scope of one’s online identity can be related to engagement with digital education, and having a sense of being human and oneself. So the artefact asked some interesting questions about fear of online spaces, confidence to experiment, and fearlessness in wading into new spaces. I liked the idea of being a digital Viking – a nice metaphor. Yes, the author understands at least one key concept from the course, and expands upon the ideas of human interaction and identity.”

Peer 3 used the concepts given and agreed with it, I suppose he/she is not native English speaker.

The artefact has something to say about digital education

Again the peers agreed with the criterion and showed excellent understanding. I have to admire them.

Peer 1. “While there’s no direct link to education, you can see they have been a self-paced learner during the process and so on a personal perspective it addressed education.” and peer 2  “Indeed, I think it does engage with digital education, although I didn’t feel the artefact explicitly drew attention to the many dimensions of digital education with which it could have expanded upon, the notion of online identity seems broadly connected to digital education”. and peer 3 copied the criteria as such.”

The choice of media is appropriate for the message

Peer 1. “The media used (Prezi) worked well, it drove me through the ideas neatly and provided a narrative. The whole thing got me thinking, parts like ‘try a new technology’ made me think of how some people want to explore, break, tweak technology and others want things that ‘just work’ or to pick up one new thing at a time – this is a reduced demand, but still a very normal way to approach things.”

Peer 2:  “Choice of media seems good – though now wish I’d seen something other than Prezis – as I did one and now I think I’ve made a mistake.” (I could not follow which mistake ?)

Peer 3 “The choice of media is appropriate for the message”

The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action

Peer 1 “I enjoyed this artifact, thanks for sharing it &* thanks for making it personal. The artifact clearly expresses an individual who has been avatared into the digital world, perhaps with some reluctance but also what’s most important is they have seen acceptance into this new environment.

Peer 2: “I didn’t feel a strong reaction to it, perhaps because I feel that as adult educators having an online identity should be par for the course. But it’s good to be reminded that many educators are nervous and anxious about engaging with the online world, and therefore perhaps there are mature students who also share such anxieties.”

Peer 3: “Beautiful made. Triggers me ‘thinking’ (criteria 5): what’s my opinion and emotion?”

Peer 2 commented that  “My impression is that this artefact raises a good point about the lack of comfort human beings with frailties and shyness might experience when thrust into the online world for education, for participating in global or local issues and projects. It had a nice narrative, and a strong thread linking the points raised together.”

The comments from other forums were very warm and supportive:

  • I enjoy your presentation a lot Heli. Digital but very human at the same time and a very warm message;o)
  • I liked being reminded of how our identity expands when we go virtual.
  • It is very intellectual, but has a personal angle that makes it easier for me to understand.

New ideas I got from my daughter: voice or music was lacking. I had no time and competence for doing this. And my Peer 1  assessed that “The journey was very personal and as such; the reflections would be focused around the individual and the person how they have gone through this.” Yes it was personal but the interpretation was not.

My self reflection: I did the artefact in a hurry and I surprised how well it was received. The content I chose from my earlier works, all the images were saved  in my computer. The idea of Digital Viking came from the course participants.  The content is a mix and could be organized better. My energy went to training Prezi, which I did not know and it didn’t obey my fingers at all. I deleted all my doings on Monday evening and began to plan a new presentation on Tuesday ; Wednesday was the dead line day. The presentation seems better than I believed, I had a feeling of chaos. The most important insight is that Prezi tells narratives, stories, and I can make the order to follow the story. It is much better than only ‘text and images’. I took a step forwards in using new devices and I am proud of this step. My identity is empowering … thanks to all my peers!


Age 60+ forum in #edcmooc

One of the edcmooc study groups was named “Age 60+”. Dolores McCarthy started it a month ago and it has been in active daily use. To me, it is the only forum from which I receive emails. I have not contributed there, I only told my blog address and my intention to write about the group. Now I read all the content, the threads and comments. There were 25 female and 15 male participants writing to each other using positive supportive ways. I cannot interpret  why Anonymous was chosen 21 times?

First I had an idea to explore the group but everyone is individual, I don’t try to say anything generally. Of course some are techno oriented but most members are ordinary people who have learned to use the computers since 1990’ies at work. The oldest is 82 and the group welcomed also 50+ people. I copy a summary from David Benson:

I thought I would show you my plug for your discussion group. I have found the sense of community here very nice. I came here to ask a question because I knew someone would answer it. I would encourage you in future MOOC’s to always do the same thing. Have an over 60’s group in all of your MOOC’s

.. if you visit that place you see how there are lots of green and up ticks and they sort of understand life better. If anyone wants to know how to act in a MOOC I would venture to their discussion and see how people work in a community. If I ever wanted to know something I would go there and ask because there are “hawks” there … people who are actively watching to be helpful. Every MOOC should have an over 60’s forum for people who understand that sometimes knowing everything is not the most important thing. It takes people a few years and much water under the bridge to figure that out.

The group was worried about people who had no interaction on these forums. Their behavior could be impersonal, technologically dull and short on any real understanding of the themes of this course. Some of the raters gave very low grades and made some really nasty comments. These are problems in every massive course.

The 60+ group shared a lot of experiences about new devices and helped in many questions, thoroughly enjoying the interaction.  In the future you need to take people together and let your presence known. You know most of us learned in kindergarten how to treat people.

David continues taking responsibility and caring about co-learners:

I would appreciate it if all those who are in this community to go to my thread in the General Discussion under Rude and Offensive comments and share a few ideas about MOOC’s. My basic gist  is that the general culture of a MOOC should not be one of a corporate hostile takeover but more akin to some people hanging around the table, shooting the breeze and playing Mahjong. I agree there should be standards and I agree that it should be rigorous but it is like we are partners climbing up Mt Everest and the challenge is not each other but the mountain. We can point out shortcomings but I do not think we should be hostile to each other and even those less than agile ones need some encouragement not our chastisement.

In my former post I spoke about excellent new culture which is growing in massive open online courses. Students from different countries, languages and ages meet and inspire each other. It is great and I want to show that there are more and more 60+ people as participants. We are Grey panthers and take our place in the web as we have already done in so many areas. See you!



Learning outcomes for #edcmooc

The course edcmooc is ending: we have assessed each other and  got the feedback. It is good to ponder the assessment issues, I always do when a course is over. There are numerous ways to assess learning but no simple ways. I deal with following three ways:

1. The facilitators evaluation in their blog and the two hangouts.

I took my heading from Christine Sinclair, her blog post, . I have appreciated the team blog “Teaching E-Learning and Digital Cultures” – it gave a connection to our facilitators thoughts and feelings. I liked to compare their view to my own and usually I agreed with the writers. So happened this time: Christine was pondering how complex are the outcomes, not easy to define. The creativity is fantastic and enjoyable, it has no limits. Only some outcomes can be recognized immediately and it would be fine to check the outcomes after a year.

The team blog also gave facts and quantified information about the happenings during the course. It helped participants to reflect.

2. The peer grading was planned to be rather simple. We had to assess these five components: The artefact

  1. – addresses one or more themes for the course
  2. – suggests that the author understands at least one key concept from the course
  3. – has something to say about digital education.
  4. The choice of media is appropriate for the message.
  5. The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action.

This seems to work when we had only 0-1-2 points to give. The descriptions and arguments were more important than grades and showed how the co-learner had understood the artefact. They are the real feedback.

On this course participants begun to publish their artefacts in different forums and got much feedback in FB group and their blogs’ comments. The assessment was rather public, and it was considered natural. Only the three *official’ evaluators were anonymous.

3. Self assessment goes through the course and the other reflections only mirror it.

Here I try to describe three levels of reflection. I have tried to reflect after many courses, look for instance Oct 2011 “Three years blogging, learning journey” . This time I have a hunch that  I’ve really learned better than ever,  and I want to show it.

I have basic skills and motivations and many meta-skills for learning. It is possible to participate, I don’t frustrate too much about the amount of knowledge and different devices , I know that so it must be. I do not believe that clear rules were a good way to help students, the disorientation must be experienced and a new way must be built up from choice to another. You cannot find yourself by obeying other people and following clear rules. Everyone has feelings of loneliness on massive open courses.

But how could I describe the new and broader  perspective of e-learning and digital cultures. Gardner Campbell had a lecture about real vs fake changes. I have the feeling of real change just now, how wonderful it is to open eyes and understand more deeply  what is going on and see own limits. I have believed that humanity is true and simple goal. No, we have never been human said Steve Fuller. I didn’t know the many possibilities of posthuman and transhuman worlds. I have learned some new content and attitudes, no doubt.

I have learned participation too. This course has many excellent students who built FB group, Twitter chats and wikis. It seems that the idea of MOOC has developed a new generation who really is self directive and uses the technological possibilities. There were models to follow, friends to ask help. For instance Chris at the beginning and Fran Monaghan in the forums, she followed new questions there and answered to many co-learners. The facilitators are not alone, every student can be a facilitator.

This edcmooc was a great experience, the facilitators were excellent models and so were the peers. I learned a lot, time will tell how much. I am not sure anymore what should be the object of assessment: individual student or the course at a whole? Perhaps I should describe the new networked learner?