I didn’t participate the Digital Storytelling course – ds106 but I followed it via Twitter. I love this blog post in which the facilitators describe the process during that open online course. I can feel the inspiring spirit during studies, how participants appreciate each other. They loved the assignments and wanted to comment and develop further, build and mash up. The participants opened new ways (web radio, web TV). The facilitators ate own dog food = did the same assignments as everyone and that made them understand the studies deeply. I can feel the enthusiasm while listening to the video.
Another interesting blog post came from Rita Kop. She has continued the research about the PLENK course with Helene Fournier. I am eager to follow how they capture our learning. I participated myself and have blogged about my experiences earlier here – and followed their first presentation in LAK11. The background factors about PLENk are still the same, of course. We participants were adults, 27% over 55 and 10% in age group 49-54. I like those numbers. Activity in the basic tools remained low (Moodle, Elluminate), but blogs were written and Twitter was most popular. It is easy to show beautiful images about tweet networks but I believe that they were only information about what was happening. Tweets remind everything, no need to plan or remember.Everything muts bee easy to us nowadays 🙂
What can be said about learning during the PLENK studies, it is interesting. Active participation is important, of course. It made students to reflect, involved them in a creative process and it was fun. Participants wanted to give something back to each other. We produced blogs and what ever (see the slides 31-32). But why some people chose to lurk? They were tactical lurkers who wanted to pick up what they wanted or they had always been self-directive learners and didn’t want to share their experiences. It is not easy to describe learning in open studies. Some participants assessed that active participation is not at all important (20%!) and 10% said it was somewhat important. How this should be understood? I do not know.
The motivational issues were easy to understand: we wanted to learn something new, to find a real gem of information, others recommended something really interesting, to get involved in an online community, see something amazing done by others, to produce something that can be proud of.
I am wondering if anything new about learning is found here. Learning is true in open online courses but some diversity can be seen, lurking is normal as well as active participation and learning with others. Finding something new and co-working increase motivation. These principles are the oldest ones found in learning theories, I think. The research continues and opens new ways in the future I hope. Until this, we have got only new tools for our global online interaction and learning new applications is the main product – is it so? Only new tools or should I say amazing tools? I don’t know.
I noticed some discussion in Elluminate about cliches: someone asked if there are more cliches in open courses than institutional courses. Could it be so? Rita wanted to describe open courses as learning events. Temporary center around the course content, said someone.
Here comes the slide presentation of Rita and Helene, so you can see what they really said. My intention was to draw my own description but I need more time to do it. Don’t know what I am thinking today..