Sunday, January 20, 2013

Synchronous Activities Begin

Today our group met synchronously in Elluminate to listen to  to watch  to learn from to interact with (cross outs intentional) Dave Cormier - who originated the term MOOC.  His teaching style, even for this seasoned educator, inspired me to set the bar higher for myself.  Although he had his prepared slides, he constantly asked for participation - on the slides and in the chat - and speedily read, processed and responded/reacted to what we all had written there, all the while incorporating it seamlessly into his "presentation."
He was clearly looking for any new kernels from us and, at one point, found one, asking for the participant's ID for attribution.  It was Steven Fellows, who commented that MOOCs create "different spaces of resonance" in response to Dave's prompt to provide why it was important to call a MOOC "open." Actually this comment helped me because I am teaching a multicultural perspectives in education course and I ask my students to conduct their online discussion each week on what resonated with them from the given chapter (Joel Spring, The intersection of cultures).
I highly recommend the recording, and I will need to revisit it myself.  He began with an graphic from Dave Snowden known as The Cynefin Framework.  I am still refining my understanding, but the upshot of using this in the session was to suggest (spoiler alert) that the MOOC exemplifies the "emergent" approach to instruction because the learners are dealing with material that is "complex" in nature.  Please clarify this for me if I have it a bit askew.    
We also discussed how the cMOOC and xMOOC differ, one of the items on our week's checklist if you are ticking them off!
As I posted in the chat:  this was an excellent session all around.


  1. Hi Laine, thanks for your comments and feedback on this session. One interesting thing in reading George Siemens's take on MOOCs is how the word 'chaos' keeps cropping up, even as a teaching tool when a 'teacher' encourages the learner to create own-knowledge by surmounting a threshold of chaos. So I was hearing Dave say that MOOCs were particularly good at both emergent and chaotic levels of learning difficulty (and not so effective where training is intended, following steps, as in the lower echelons.)

    Incidentally, the presentation you are referring to is archived here (until Posterous shuts down at the end of April):

    1. Yes, I realized later that when I revisited it that he included both emergent and chaotic. I had been trying - as we do in traditional multiple choice - to pin MOOCs to one category.
      Thanks for providing a context for the learning within chaos, which does make sense, given my limited experiences inside MOOCs , Bonk's primarily.