Three Weeks at the SOOC

We have completed three weeks in the small open online course (SOOC), Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

It has been a relatively quiet week for online exchanges. It has given me time to reflect on the format of the SOOC and explore ideas with my fellow facilitators.

I have written daily wraps for the course.

We have 477 enrollments for the course. I am hopeful that the asynchronous, non-linear format of the SOOC enables enrollments at any time. I feel that there is nothing to miss and everything to gain through enrollment.

The quiet week has led me to think about peripheral participation and how an invisible community of practice can flourish.

I am clear that we are a SOOC rather than a massive open online course (MOOC). Following Alexis Madrigal’s lead I have been thinking about how SOOCs can mobilise the power of the dark social to grow their connections.

I have been reflecting too on the role of facilitators in SOOCs . I am extremely fortunate to have five colleagues who have shared the workload of the first three weeks of the course. This has made it possible to have a twenty-four hour service should anyone have teachable or sharing moments.

I am keen to extend the SOOC exchanges beyond a single language and during the week have been thinking about the Tower of Babel and an alternative … polylingual diversity … with nodes of sharing. The visitors to the SOOC from eighty countries could make this possible.

Photo Credit

David asks for directions

#OAPS101: A Sense of Balance

We are into Day 19 of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance. Although we are having new enrollments each day, the volume of exchange on the OpenLearning platform has lessened. I do hope that there is peripheral participation going on and that we are exemplifying how a self-organising learning community operates.

The course has given me an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on my practice and my aspirations for education as enlightenment. After writing the Daily Wrap this morning, I followed a Twitter link to the Ernst and Young Report on the University of the Future. Page 6 of the report has a graphic of five megatrends transforming higher education:

I am fascinated to discover that our SOOC seems to be meeting these megatrends head on. I am very conscious that e-activity has a cost (a point made in today’s #Converge12 discussions in Melbourne). A few weeks ago Kent Anderson pointed out in a Scholarly Kitchen post:

Energy costs continue to be a focus of digital dissemination, especially as online becomes the predominant mode of information exchange. As you may recall, a small study we published here found that even running an archive in maintenance mode could cost tens of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs. This didn’t compare the carbon footprints of print to online, but it’s clear that digital publishing has an appreciable carbon footprint as well as significant energy costs.

The Internet was supposed to be magical — a virtual realm, an effortless superhighway of information, elevating us from the mundane into an electronic otherness. But it’s not magical. It’s a set of technologies that require resources, including extensive infrastructure composed of expensive and dangerous elements and metals; plenty of human support and intervention to keep it running; and lots of energy to light it.

Print is a set of technologies. Online is a set of technologies. The digital world is not clean or cheap. It is expensive …

Notwithstanding these issues I do see the SOOC approach we have taken to be a scalable and inclusive way of sharing expertise within and between institutions and industry sectors.

We have not pursued a gamification approach in our SOOC but after hearing Helen Keegan’s account of Rufi Franzen I am thinking that there are some important pedagogical issues to address as we stimulate and connect learners.

Our SOOC has 450 enrollments and we have had visits from 80 countries. We have taken a non-linear approach to content (participants follow their interests) and offered Open Badges.  I am hopeful that many of those enrolled will provide a summative comment about the course to help the next phase of planning and sharing.

I am thinking that a SOOC model can offer adaptive flow to learning experiences. I am hoping too that a SOOC can be personal and connected.

I am keen to learn how to support a course that has developed its own sense of balance. A free open course has time, I think, to ponder these issues.

Photo Credit

Balancing Act (State Library of New South Wales, no known copyright)

#OAPS101: Two Weeks at the SOOC

We are about to start week three of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance.

We started with 279 enrollments on the eve of the course and at the end of Day 14 we had 420 enrolled.

I have been writing daily wraps for the course. They can be found here. I have found it remarkable that for each day’s wrap, by the time I had completed writing we had new enrollments.

My aim has been to provide a summary of activity during the day for very busy performance analysts. I have started to add some additional discussion points too.

My experience of the course has been one of fascination. I have really enjoyed the pathways participants have taken through this non-linear course. I have been delighted that there is a willingness to share and explore ideas.

We have four groups of Module facilitators. Each of whom has engaged with participants during the first two weeks. Information about the facilitators can be found in this Welcome post. All activities have been overseen by Adam Brimo at OpenLearning.

We have had lots of discussions about Observing Performance. There was some exciting discussions about Augmented Reality in the first week.

Our experiment with Open Badges is on-going. I see one of my roles as being an advocate for these badges. Adam Brimo has made Karma Open Badges available. These Karma Badges recognise contributions to discussion forums.

I am looking forward to week three in the course. My colleagues, Darrell Cobner and Adam Cullinane, at Cardiff Met facilitate discussions overnight Australia time. Here in Australia Mark Upton has worked with me during European night time.

Photo Credit

Banksy? (Markus Trapp, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)