Open By Design

Art

My involvement with the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport has encouraged me to think a great deal about facilitating open access and supporting disparate learning expectations.

I saw the SOOC as a modest approach to the educational issues raised by cMOOCs.

There is a growing (daily) discussion of the structure of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Yesterday I linked to posts by Alan Levine and Ryan Stacey. Today I was interested to read Dave Cormier’s post Why I think open courses should be about content creation.

In the post Dave observes:

There are many good reasons for creating content when we are learning. It provides an excellent method of personal curation of ideas, of being able to keep track of your work. It allows for others (beyond an educator) to be able to see and respond to your work. For some it provides encouragement to work a little harder, to polish a little more. It could also provide an excellent opportunity to explore other skills around publishing in numerous formats. These are all quite nice… but not what I’m on about at all.

When all participants create content, you have the potential for multiplicity. You can have a discussion from multiple viewpoints, from different contexts, from different life experiences. When different contextual beliefs are combined with difference in ability, race, gender, culture, race etc… a myriad of possibilities and viewpoints can come to the fore. When the course is opened up to the world, your chance for this increases manyfold.

I think there are language issues in there too.

An alert to Inge Druckrey’s Teaching to See film encouraged me to think about the aesthetic and design possibilities for Dave’s multiplicity (note Dave’s comment on this post about Deleuze and Guattari’s work). I was delighted to learn that Edward Tufte was the Executive Producer of the film.

Once again a combination of disparate elements freely available has taken me off to think about re-presentation. Dave’s conclusion helped me to do this:

We have the capacity to connect with each other, to share experience and perspectives and to learn both from and in spite of each other. I’m certainly not suggesting that we should live in some fantastical utopia where everyone’s opinions should be shared and equally valued. Quite the contrary. One of the most difficult thing about learning with shared content is the vast amount of crap you need to sift through. Just like life.

Photo Credit

Frame grab from Teaching to See (3 minutes 20 seconds)

Four Weeks at the SOOC

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Earlier this morning I wrote my final Daily Wrap for the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport small open online course (SOOC).

What a wonderful month it has been at the SOOC.

During November in Australia, Mark and Danny have been with me on the day shift in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, Darrell and Adam have been the custodians of the SOOC.

As I was compiling the Wrap I received a link to a new version of Burn Note. This application takes communication to a different level. What’s a Burn Note?

A Burn Note is an online message which can be viewed only one time by the recipient. Each Burn Note is displayed using our patent pending Spotlight system for resisting copies. A timer starts when the recipient opens the note and automatically destroys the Burn Note once the recipient is finished reading it. Once a Burn Note has been deleted it cannot be viewed again.

In contrast, the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course will remain online and available. Adam Brimo writes:

The course will remain at the same url. What we can do to make it more open is remove it from the our homepage and remove or change the landing page to reflect that the course is open but no longer facilitated.

My hope is that more visitors will find the content relevant and interesting as it remains open. I am thinking it has the potential to become a dynamic wiki so that it updates links and references. We planned the course to be an introduction but we hoped there would be something for everyone.

To my knowledge this was the first SOOC of its kind. We aimed to present a fallible mode of sharing and to learn from the experience. I particularly liked the idea that it was an open course that encouraged non-linear journeys. I did enjoy the excitement of having Augmented Reality available from the first day if you chose to go there … as many did.

Whilst writing the Wrap, I received some timely links about massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Alan Levine (via a Stephen Downes alert) points out that in a recent Coursera Social Networks Analysis class:

61,285 students registered, 25,151 watched at least one video, 15,391 tried at least one in-video quiz, 6,919 submitted at least one assignment, 2,417 took the final exam. 1303 earned the regular certificate. Of the 145 students submitting a final project, 107 earned the programming (i.e. ‘with distinction’) version of the certificate.

He adds:

You see, the course moves at the speed it wants to, not mine. This mode does not use any of the affordances of online learning to be able to flex time and space for me to do work- it just marches on everyone rowing the boat together (or falling over).

Ryan Stacey discusses 15 ways MOOCs will change education. Item 7 on pedagogy is:

While MOOCs typically comprise video clips and perhaps a quiz, they will inevitably include more instructional devices to assist distance learning (and remain competitive). Over time, content providers will supplement their core offerings with live webinars, interactive exercises, discussion forums, wikis, social networks etc. Some may even organise real-life meetups at selected sites around the world.

As of today we had 517 enrollments on the course. It has been the most delightful month of meetings and glimpses.

We had a total of 23,490 page visits from 91 countries.

32% of the visits were from Australia, 27% from the UK, 8% from the USA, 7% from India, 5% from Ireland, 2% from France, New Zealand and Greece.The Seeing and Observing and Augmented Reality pages proved particularly popular.

The wonderful thing about an open world is that we do not have to say we will be back … we will always be here.

Photo Credit

Souq Waqif (Laika, CC BY-ND 2.0)

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