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#6415682 Jul 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
MOOCs are fairly new, and they are experimental - people offering and participating in MOOCs are looking the uncover good pedagogical practice and theory behind learning in a massive online environment (at least I am ;-) ). I've taken several MOOCs, so I thought it would be good to have a place that is central to the group where people can ask questions, receive answers, and air their grievances against MOOCs ;-) Through discussion we can all learn!
--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6415863 Jul 19, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Guides
82 Posts
I'm not new to MOOCs, and love them in principle, and wish I could teach this way all the time, but that said, I'll offer a gripe:

MOOCs feel so chaotic to me! Where have I been already? How do I get back there? Where's the REALLY GOOD STUFF? Am I missing something that will have lasting positive effects for me?

Who's got a good strategy for extracting the most out of a MOOC?

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+2
#6417258 Jul 19, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Good points!

I don't think I have answers ;) I do have some suggestions though. I wonder if an end-of-week podcast might be a good tool to use. Maybe someone from the MOOC could go through everything MOOC related and do a "best of the week" radio show. Another thing I've considered has been a MOOC wiki where useful resources collected throughout the MOOC can be organized and disseminated. Both of these of course are time-intensive.


#6415863 Beth wrote:

I'm not new to MOOCs, and love them in principle, and wish I could teach this way all the time, but that said, I'll offer a gripe:

MOOCs feel so chaotic to me! Where have I been already? How do I get back there? Where's the REALLY GOOD STUFF? Am I missing something that will have lasting positive effects for me?

Who's got a good strategy for extracting the most out of a MOOC?

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6417504 Jul 19, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Curator
69 Posts
#6415863 Beth wrote:

I'm not new to MOOCs, and love them in principle, and wish I could teach this way all the time, but... MOOCs feel so chaotic to me! ... Who's got a good strategy for extracting the most out of a MOOC?

Beth



Here is a prezi about another mook. It might give you some ideas about navigation of this mooc. I think the finding things issue is common in moocs. It was for me. AK, gave some good advice in Dr. Bonk's mooc, suggesting that you find people and threads that who are interesting and not worry too much about missing something. The roster on shivtr is nice. If you find someone on the roster who is intersting you can go to the roster, click on activity and see everything they have posted.

The other method I have found to stay up with the forums is the using the unread messages link [ http://gamesmooc.shivtr.com/forum_threads/unread ]. I bookmarked that to make it easier to read a topic and then go back to the unread view. Just using the back button doesn't refresh the unread view.

Best wishes on the travels.
Chris
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+1
#6420649 Jul 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM · Edited 7 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Hopefully, the missions show what to read and view and where to post responses for those who are looking for more structure.

Next week - I will add a forum discussion so people who are looking for a particular type of game for their class, can post what they need. Then we can use the collective intelligence of this group to help them find it!

AK and Christopher have given some strategies that they use for MOOCs. I will be sure to include those in the next update. Connectivisim (whether you consider it a theory or a pedagogy) and I'm about to quote ...

Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

At it's core ...

The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual. This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed.

So really look at this MOOC as a way to work on your personal learning network (PLN) - who you connect to and how you connect to them.

For Erin and her co-workers, they have found discussing F2F to be the most effective method. Christopher has let us know about his personal strategy on negotiating this MOOC. Others have found participating in the Wednesday TweetChats to be helpful and a way to connect to ideas and people. Also after the discussions on Thursday, we have had a number of people stay longer in Second Life to continue to discuss the topics.

For me, since I am in ed tech and information changes rapidly - I found it was helpful to use a mindmap during a connectivist MOOC. This may be broader than what is need for this games based learning MOOC - but may be helpful for looking at where you get information.
(Yes - Jerry I used a mindmap.)

It let me look at the different sources of information. I made decisions on what to continue following, some decisions on what not to follow anymore and then also areas where I wasn't getting up to date information. It is based on social network knowledge construction. And also where we know that identifying (making sense of chaos) and also lurking ( just absorbing) is part of knowledge construction especially in online communities of practice.

magenta = magenta
red = lurk
green = contribute
blue = create
purple = lead

Click to make larger.

twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



+1
#6421878 Jul 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Curator
69 Posts
Over in Forums » Jane McGonigal » Thread Game Attributes AK comments about the four attributes in the McGonigal video. I thought it was worth re-posting here as it gives an interesting perspective. I agree with his sentiment.

#6416268 akoutropoulos wrote:

...thinking about my own gaming behaviors, I could see Urgent Optimism and Blissful productivity. I don't think I've come across epic meaning much, and since most of my games (with the exception of Ikariam) are single player, I am not really part of the social fabric.

Then, I started thinking about my MOOC participation, and, oddly enough, I think I have hit upon all 4 categories while participating in MOOC learning experiences.



I think it is worth thinking about the mooc in terms of hard fun or the rabbit hole of an ARG. If I understand that idea correctly.

A MOOC is in a way an Alternate Learning Game that takes some getting used to. You wake up from the world in which the "learning is given to you", as happens in school, to the world of the real in which you have to learn as you go, as in the every day world. (to paraphase Morpheus)
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+1
#6421956 Jul 20, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Guides
82 Posts
Goodness! These are absolutely wonderful replies to my question(s)! I asked them in the context of thinking about people who might have joined this MOOC without quite knowing what was in store.

And if they read this thread, I am willing to bet that their experience will be entirely transformed! I hope that their engagement here will now bear considerably greater significance to them as they think about their own classrooms, or as they think about the educators that they support.

Here's another question about MOOCs as a learning platform:

I know that for many, many professional educators, it can be terrifying to let go of our sage-on-the-stage training. Sometimes it's about ego or inexperience, but more often, it's about the overwhelming sense of responsibility that teachers shoulder. Teachers take responsibility for their students as human beings, and as future human beings. They accept responsibility for the subject matter. They shoulder responsibility for the Others, those who have been dispossessed of self-agency and/or stripped of their voice. Teachers agree to responsibility for a community and its shared sense of purpose. These are heavy burdens to bear, and yet teachers shoulder those burdens every day, intentionally and cheerfully.

How can they be sure those responsibilities are met, when learning is decentralized?

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6425347 Jul 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Initiate
9 Posts
Next week - I will add a forum discussion so people who are looking for a particular type of game for their class, can post what they need. Then we can use the collective intelligence of this group to help them find it!


Kae ~ This sounds great to me although I'm not sure what 'I need'! Would it also be possible to add a forum with good links to games that you experienced folks use/have used related to certain disciplines and/or difficult subjects within disciplines that you and might suggest for us novices? Thanks!
8) KathyL
+1
#6430747 Jul 23, 2012 at 06:50 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
As far as the Sage on the stage goes, I think that sometimes we do have professors that are terrified of letting go; and at other times we have setup a system where IF they let go, we view them in a lesser light, because after all "what are we paying them for?", and from a student's perspective "why are they here, if 'any joe' can relinquish control?"

I think that we need to train and empower our faculty to, in fact, let go, and act more like herdsmen. If the sheep go too close to the cliff or too close to some else's pasture, it's time to intervene. Otherwise, exploring topics in your own pasture is just fine :)


#6421956 Beth wrote:

Goodness! These are absolutely wonderful replies to my question(s)! I asked them in the context of thinking about people who might have joined this MOOC without quite knowing what was in store.

And if they read this thread, I am willing to bet that their experience will be entirely transformed! I hope that their engagement here will now bear considerably greater significance to them as they think about their own classrooms, or as they think about the educators that they support.

Here's another question about MOOCs as a learning platform:

I know that for many, many professional educators, it can be terrifying to let go of our sage-on-the-stage training. Sometimes it's about ego or inexperience, but more often, it's about the overwhelming sense of responsibility that teachers shoulder. Teachers take responsibility for their students as human beings, and as future human beings. They accept responsibility for the subject matter. They shoulder responsibility for the Others, those who have been dispossessed of self-agency and/or stripped of their voice. Teachers agree to responsibility for a community and its shared sense of purpose. These are heavy burdens to bear, and yet teachers shoulder those burdens every day, intentionally and cheerfully.

How can they be sure those responsibilities are met, when learning is decentralized?

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+1
#6443121 Jul 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Edited 7 years ago
Guides
82 Posts
#6430747 akoutropoulos wrote:

As far as the Sage on the stage goes, I think that sometimes we do have professors that are terrified of letting go; and at other times we have setup a system where IF they let go, we view them in a lesser light, because after all "what are we paying them for?", and from a student's perspective "why are they here, if 'any joe' can relinquish control?"

I think that we need to train and empower our faculty to, in fact, let go, and act more like herdsmen. If the sheep go too close to the cliff or too close to some else's pasture, it's time to intervene. Otherwise, exploring topics in your own pasture is just fine :)



Two fascinating points here:

1. "Empower our faculty"! The lack of respect for teachers is an oft-heard criticism in public policy debates about the American educational system. After thinking about it for a long time (because I want to be fair), I think it's true. I think that the United States does not have a culture of respect for teachers.

2. The gamification of the classroom renders the teacher irrelevant. Does it? Come to think of it, it could! Do we need to think afresh about who and what a teacher is?

I have typically thought of the sage-on-the-stage attitude resulting from ego, or from teachers simply doing what their teachers did. When I was a lecturer, I was a popular one, and if I could, I would still do it. I resigned as sage for practical reasons. As an adjunct, I couldn't survive by writing lectures. Adjuncts just aren't paid enough to lecture. So for me, quitting as sage-on-the-stage was practical. (If the school wants me to do it, they can pay me to do it, and we know they won't).

Therefore, I transformed my classroom into a participatory space.

Perhaps for these reasons -- lack of respect, lack of pay, lack of reward, threatened irrelevance -- teachers cling to the role of sage/lecturer because it's a defensive posture!

How can that be helped? I'd love to hear from some of our non-U.S. participants!

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+1
#6444722 Jul 25, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Beth, I think that the sage-on-the-stage mentality can be a result of many different factors. Arrogance or ego can be one thing. Insecurity may be another: for example, I understand that in western cultures it's generally not cool to answer a question with a question, especially from a teacher. We expect our teachers to tell us things, rather than (what might seem like) deflecting and throwing it back at you with another question. From a faculty point of view (especially an adjunct one, where you have little job security), it seems like free form guide-on-the-side is seen as not-knowledgable; thus bad evaluations means that you lose your job.

Now can gamification of the classroom make the teacher irrelevant? I doubt it. Who is going to gamify the classroom if there is no teacher present? Some software company? Who works at the software company? Who guides the learners when the software fails? Who is the more-knowledgeable-other (Vygotsky)? The role of the teacher may change (the day to day work), but I think that the underlying work that the teacher does stays the same. Gamification can help the learners get engaged, but it doesn't teach :) (at least, those are my 2c at this point in time ;-) )
--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6461042 Jul 28, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Initiate
34 Posts
MOOCs do pose a challenge, not just for the "teacher" but for the learner as well. I definitely have a problem keeping up with all the different threads that have begun to snake in and around this topic. However, I wonder if possibly that is good in itself. That way you tend to focus on a particular area you may be interested in at that time. However, you can always go back and read the "unread" posts to see if there is something else that interests you that you missed. I wonder what it would be like to have an actual classroom set up similarly. None of us can learn everything there is to know and limiting learning to only one voice is pretty boring.

I do think getting students use to this type learning could be just as difficult as having the teacher make the transition. I would love for my students to take more responsibility for their learning. Too many times they simply wait for you to point them in this or that direction.
Margaret M. Ridgeway, MSED
Concentration: Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
Teacher, St. Helena Central High School
Greensburg, LA
+0
#6461364 Jul 28, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Guides
82 Posts
Except that the Socratic method is highly valued, at least in my field.

I can definitely envision the end of faculty. I have the Teaching Company's "Great Course" on Shakespeare, and sometimes the lecturer brings me to my knees. It's on film, and can conceivably last forever.

Any class on Shakespeare could license these lectures, and then get by with teaching assistants who facilitate discussions and grade assignments. And as we are seeing here, students are perfectly capable of doing that themselves.

The Khan Academy is another tantalizing example of how the end of teaching could happen. In a flipped classroom, you again don't need teachers, but assistants to answer questions and help the slower students keep up.

Teaching will probably never go away altogether, but it will probably become restricted to highly specialized fields (currently, that field would be neuroscience, and teachers are still needed for surgeons and related fields). Some experience in engineering will be necessary to help inventors invent the things that are slowly replacing teachers. Robots will be able to replace teachers, and this emerging technology in trans-cranial digital stimulation is merely a precursor to more sophisticated methods of simply implanting knowledge in a person's brain. The brain won't know if it learned something in minutes or years!

Beth

#6444722 akoutropoulos wrote:

Beth, I think that the sage-on-the-stage mentality can be a result of many different factors. Arrogance or ego can be one thing. Insecurity may be another: for example, I understand that in western cultures it's generally not cool to answer a question with a question, especially from a teacher. We expect our teachers to tell us things, rather than (what might seem like) deflecting and throwing it back at you with another question. From a faculty point of view (especially an adjunct one, where you have little job security), it seems like free form guide-on-the-side is seen as not-knowledgable; thus bad evaluations means that you lose your job.

Now can gamification of the classroom make the teacher irrelevant? I doubt it. Who is going to gamify the classroom if there is no teacher present? Some software company? Who works at the software company? Who guides the learners when the software fails? Who is the more-knowledgeable-other (Vygotsky)? The role of the teacher may change (the day to day work), but I think that the underlying work that the teacher does stays the same. Gamification can help the learners get engaged, but it doesn't teach :) (at least, those are my 2c at this point in time ;-) )

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6461377 Jul 28, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Guides
82 Posts
This is a growing issue in the community college classroom as well, as I know from experience. I find it very worrying. I tend to think that these students will find themselves left behind when it comes to jobs and income. One of my great hopes for gamification is that it will instill in students the habit of taking responsibility for their own learning.

:-)

Beth

#6461042 GrannieTech wrote:

I do think getting students use to this type learning could be just as difficult as having the teacher make the transition. I would love for my students to take more responsibility for their learning. Too many times they simply wait for you to point them in this or that direction.

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
+0
#6461396 Jul 28, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Envoy
45 Posts
My opinion is that is a good occurrence in two respects.

Connectivism (we can debate learning theory or pedagogy another time) has the learner

Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.....
Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information
sources....
Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual
learning.
Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist
learning activities.
Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the
meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting
reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to
alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.


http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

If everything is perfectly laid out and you are being told who to read and what to look at first, are you developing any of the skills above? Are you constructing knowledge from a network or is everything already in place as if you were using a textbook or going to a textbook publishers'site.

These types of forums also mirror what is being produced by the gaming community. Members of that community not only have the modding attitude that Gee spoke about but they also expect to have to research, filter through endless website and forum posts to find the information and finally keep basically a mental rolodex of who is worth reading.


+0
#6463958 Jul 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Edited 7 years ago
Guides
561 Posts
MOOCS This is my first one. I am just learning how they work, and I think one thing that is a little difficult for me is simply so many threads, so many participants going in so many directions, I want to do everything but it is like standing at the end of the Midway at the County Fair and deciding which rides to take when you have xx amount of money.

How is one to really integrate into the MOOC? What is the most important thread/activity? When do you post to a discussion? What do you do when you are concerned you will not look as knowledgeable as others?

These aren't like online class discussions where you have to introduce yourself and answer two peers, be active in all discussions, posting every week the discussion is open. How do you get more participation in discussions when it is not required? How do you get lurkers to be more participatory, to try their wings?
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#6465168 Jul 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Initiate
34 Posts
#6463958 grasshopper98 wrote:

What do you do when you are concerned you will not look as knowledgeable as others?...How do you get more participation in discussions when it is not required? How do you get lurkers to be more participatory, to try their wings?[/b]



Coming from an ex-lurker (as far back as AOL chat rooms), I suspect that most lurkers have some of the same questions you asked. I think possibly it is kind of like taking a plunge into a cold pool. Once you do it enough, it either gets easier or you quit trying. I definitely still feel less knowledgeable than most, but I finally figured the only way I could change that was by looking foolish once in a while and not worrying about it. Besides, online anonymity helped a lot as did getting older and not caring as much. If I can move like Bernie in front of a bunch of 9th graders I can do anything!!

GrannieTech
Margaret M. Ridgeway, MSED
Concentration: Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
Teacher, St. Helena Central High School
Greensburg, LA
+0
#6466155 Jul 29, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Curator
69 Posts
#6465168 GrannieTech wrote:

#6463958 grasshopper98 wrote:

What do you do when you are concerned you will not look as knowledgeable as others?...How do you get more participation in discussions when it is not required? How do you get lurkers to be more participatory, to try their wings?[/b]


I think possibly it is kind of like taking a plunge into a cold pool. Once you do it enough, it either gets easier or you quit trying. I definitely still feel less knowledgeable than most, but I finally figured the only way I could change that was by looking foolish once in a while and not worrying about it.
GrannieTech


I find the posts by both of you (here and elsewhere in the course) enlightening and moving as well. I am happy to be a part of this learning journey. As to integrating into the Mooc, I am thinking it is more about focusing on what you want to learn and then seek others to help you on that path. Both of you are actually doing that now with your game designs you are working on here. At the same time when you have ideas that might help others or further the exploration you have shared it with the community.

In terms of encouraging others to participate, I think sharing your doubts may help others to get into the pool. Maybe the Mooc wraps around each of us in different ways rather than us integrating into "it".

Have a wonderful week four.
Chris
**************************************************
Twitter: @chris_saeger
Profile: http://www.nasaga.org/profile/chrissaeger
Course Dashboard: http://www.netvibes.com/csaeger#Game_Mooc
**************************************************
in the beginner's mind the possibilities are many.
+0
#6468779 Jul 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Anecdotal evidence: You know, I've always said "I will go back and read what I didn't read originally" but I never do :-) I get sucked into the current discussion, and when the MOOC is done, it's done. Maybe I will go back in the future, but it's doubtful. I am currently working on Introduction to Open Education (http://www.openeducation.us) and since I missed the MOOC originally, being the only person in there is kinda boring :) Definitely does take a little extra something to get motivated to complete it.

#6461042 GrannieTech wrote:

MOOCs do pose a challenge, not just for the "teacher" but for the learner as well. I definitely have a problem keeping up with all the different threads that have begun to snake in and around this topic. However, I wonder if possibly that is good in itself. That way you tend to focus on a particular area you may be interested in at that time. However, you can always go back and read the "unread" posts to see if there is something else that interests you that you missed. I wonder what it would be like to have an actual classroom set up similarly. None of us can learn everything there is to know and limiting learning to only one voice is pretty boring.

I do think getting students use to this type learning could be just as difficult as having the teacher make the transition. I would love for my students to take more responsibility for their learning. Too many times they simply wait for you to point them in this or that direction.

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6468786 Jul 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Amen to that!

There is only one way to get active - just jump in the pool get at it :) It' sort of like an old-country folk dance. You can't participate until you jump into the crazyness :)

#6465168 GrannieTech wrote:

#6463958 grasshopper98 wrote:

What do you do when you are concerned you will not look as knowledgeable as others?...How do you get more participation in discussions when it is not required? How do you get lurkers to be more participatory, to try their wings?[/b]



Coming from an ex-lurker (as far back as AOL chat rooms), I suspect that most lurkers have some of the same questions you asked. I think possibly it is kind of like taking a plunge into a cold pool. Once you do it enough, it either gets easier or you quit trying. I definitely still feel less knowledgeable than most, but I finally figured the only way I could change that was by looking foolish once in a while and not worrying about it. Besides, online anonymity helped a lot as did getting older and not caring as much. If I can move like Bernie in front of a bunch of 9th graders I can do anything!!

GrannieTech
--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0