My autoethnography about rhizo14

I’ve to write another story about my experiences. Some participants are collaborating on an auto-ethnographical story and I want to support all research about MOOCs. Maha Bali is one of those active students and she asked for more information about my participation. So I decided to answer the questions:

Share your personal “story of rhizo14” in your own voice. You could freewrite, link to some of your blog posts, quote things you said on Twitter/facebook, or if you prefer a loose structure, you might like to consider some of the questions below:
a1. Comment on your reasons for joining #rhizo14,
a2. your level of participation and your experiences of the “course”.
b. Comment on your experiences of inclusion/exclusion in this community
c. Comment on how you are experiencing this MOOC, why or how it engages you, how you navigate it
d. Measures and perception of success??? “”measures of success and perception of the success of their learning.” Bentley et al., 2014

a1. Why I came in? I followed some people and I knew the idea of a connectivist course. Participating is normal to me. I follow the social and intellectual affordances of the internet all the time.

a2. My level of participation varied. During the first week this blog moved to this new address and I had no intention to write. I was not interested in the cheating debate, but I joined to the FB group and began to follow the Twitter hashtag #rhizo14. I started blogging during the second week. I declared my experiences and old and new connections in my post. I blogged two posts in week 4: Sense of virtual community in rhizo (8 comments) and  The community as the curriculum (10 comments). You can see that a community around my blog arose quickly. In week 5 I posted four times : Knowledge in interactive practice disciplines (5), Network as curriculum (2), Real or imagined community (15 comments). In my post “rhizo as a gathering place” I explored the visits to my blog and concluded that this is a European and ‘British global’ course, only 29% of the visits were new.  In week 6 I wrote about  My experiences during the rhizo14 and now I am writing another about the same topic. I used all my normal ways to participate: Twitter, FB group, Diigo, reading others’ blogs and commenting on them.

b. inclusion/exlusion in this community. I continue by telling which parts I ignored and why. I noticed interesting experiments with words and poetry but I did not want to participate because English is not my native language. I heard discussions around some names and cultures, music which I could not follow. That brings an experience about exclusion even it is not meant to be. This ‘culture’ increased into the end and I stopped writing. A good example is the new topic ‘Lunatics from asylum’ – not funny at all in my eyes. I don’t know the TV programmes or movies, from which that concept comes, and I do not care. I stopped following the FB group.

c. experiences. Dave Cormier said in his blog before the course had begun that to some people rhizo will

simply be an extension of your normal practice on the internet. You’ll find familiar faces who make references to previous learning events online, you already have web places from which you speak, and many of you are already familiar with the material.  I’ve been experimenting with online community style learning which I have called rhizomatic learning for about 10 years now.  A journey that will have different results for different people.

I am one of those people which are open to social and intellectual affordances of the internet all the time. This was not my ‘first love’ but one of many in my journey on the internet.

c. engagement I chose to handle the basic concepts network, community, tribe, crowd, curriculum, personal learning plan and network. I blogged and received comments and also commented on others’ blogs. Many participants had the similar interest.

c. No problems with navigation, P2PU was open without registration and I followed the course every week. I found the links to recordings somewhere (Twitter or FB threads).

d. measures of success. This is interesting. I have an intention to handle this in another post, but to put it short: some new names to recognize in the future. Three new names in FB including Dave. Many new Twitter contacts which began to go down 415-414-413-412-411 one per day when the course came to its end (and immediately up again when I started my following course). Some new devices or programs, Zeega to express the findings.

I try to embed here the presentation which Frances Bell has done. It is an excellent way to show the blogs and people behind them. And I am honoured to be one of them.