#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 Goes Live 5 November: Starting Out

I am posting this blog post on OpenLearning today to welcome participants in the #OAPS101 course, Observing and Analysing Performance.

The course goes live later this morning.

I think we have a remarkable month ahead of us.

Starting Out

Introduction

Today is the first day of our small open online course, Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

Welcome.

Thank you for enrolling on the course and being part of an open approach to sharing ideas and practices.

This is going to be a wonderful learning journey for me and I hope for you too.

I have been writing about the ideas that underpin the SOOC in my Clyde Street blog. For the duration of this course I am going to use the OpenLearning blog facility as my primary blog. This way I hope to share updates and summaries with you directly.

I have posted a video welcome here. There is a written welcome here too. … and an audio welcome (using Vocaroo). Video, text and audio will be important characteristics of this course.

The Course

The characteristics of this course are:

  • It is free.
  • It is open.
  • It is self-paced.
  • It is non-linear.
  • It is an introduction to observation and analysis.
  • It shares content from a number of authors.
  • It offers open badges to acknowledge your involvement and engagement in the course.
  • Content is shared under a CC BY 3.0 license unless otherwise indicated (see for example the licenses of the three images used in this post).
  • It will flourish with discussion and sharing.
  • It will change throughout the course.
  • It will remain on the public internet as a resource for discovery and sharing.

This Week: Week 1

We recommend that you:

Look at the Connecting and Sharing resources in the About the Course Module.

Spend some time finding your way around the OpenLearning platform (including the Need Help? page) for this course.

How about …

Visiting the Getting Started Activity.

Looking at the Introduction: Connecting and Sharing.

Then checking out Connectivism.

We realise that this is a personal learning journey for all of us. One of my hopes is that we share these journeys through the open sharing of our personal learning environments. You might find the Personal Learning Environments resource of interest

Modules

This course has five modules. All five of them are available today. Other content will be added subsequently and we will let you know about any changes to content.

Our idea is for you to follow your interests.

We have set aside a month to share and discuss ideas.

I am hoping to monitor discussions and deal with any requests for clarification. Please let me know if I can be of help.

To make this a 24 hour a day experience, Darrell Cobner and his colleagues at Cardiff Met will monitor the course whilst Australia sleeps.

We do see enormous opportunities for conversations and exchange. We do not have any formal webinars planned and we are not using Universal Time stamps for our work.

We realise that what we are offering is fallible and that it is constructed by all of us.

We hope you are going to enjoy the course and I am keen to learn if I can be of any service to you as you work your way through the course. I am just an email away either through OpenLearning or at this email address.

The Whisperings Within The Course

It is fascinating to find other locations where the approaches used in the course are explored.

For example, Uberveillance‘s Ethos statement is:

This website provides the general public, the community and those afforded free and unconditional access to the world wide web, access to information regarding the concept and understandings of Uberveillance. This website provides invited Authors an opportunity to directly contribute to the development of the website whilst maintaining an open dialogue with the general public.

Uberveillance’s objective is to provide open comment that is:

  • relevant to the topic – is not selling nor spamming
  • conversational – pictures and addresses the audience
  • coherent – maintains consistency
  • respectful – provides reading enjoyment, challenge and value
  • generative – builds trust and connection

 

The spirit of this  #OAPS101 course is invitational, voluntary and supportive. It aims to build trust and connections through participation. It seeks to do so through public sharing.

Photo Credits

Dawn Platform (Isuru Senevi, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Road Ahead is Shrouded in Mist (Joysaphine, CC By-NC 2.0)

Share @Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, NYC (o.blaat, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

#OAPS101 Participants

It is less than a week now to the start of the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport SOOC (#OAPS101).

As of this morning we have 134 participants enrolled. I am delighted that so many people are interested in this small open online course (SOOC).

It is intended to be an exploration in open sharing and connecting. I like the idea that this course will be sustained by intrinsic motivation.

We have tried to make participation as easy as possible. Although nominally the course will run through November, all the content for the course will be available when we go live on 5 November.

We think it will be important for participants to look at the Connecting and Sharing Module first in order to appreciate the functionality of the OpenLearning platform but even this is negotiable. Thereafter the course welcomes non-linear participation in the SOOC.

We have no webinars planned in universal time and I see three ways we will connect and share:

1. Discussion forums

2. Video posts

3. Participation portfolios within or beyond the OpenLearning blog and wiki options

We aim to manage the discussion forum as a 24 hour activity each day. Colleagues here in Australia and in the United Kingdom will monitor the discussions. I aim to follow as much of the discussion as I can throughout the course.

I am hopeful that the month will be a great time for produsers … using and producing resources to share under a Creative Commons license.

We have two Open Badges to offer in this course.

Enrolled

* You enrolled for the course.
* You hose a personal path through the material.
* You submitted a summary statement about your experience of the course.

Participant

* You enrolled for the course.
* You chose a personal path through the material.
* You used the OpenLearning tools to contribute to discussion or to comment (karma).
* You developed an e-portfolio to record your involvement in the course and to reflect on your experience of the course.

We hope the distinction between enrollment and participation is reasonable. We think that the participation mode will enable a community of practice to flourish.

Earlier this month I wrote about the kind of atmosphere that we hoped would pervade the course.

Stephen Downes provided me with a timely reminder about this in one of today’s OLDaily posts. In it he observes:

If you were to review my writing on MOOCs and similar phenomena you would see me most frequently refer to (what we would call) ‘students’ as ‘participants’. The term ‘participant’ to me most accurately represents the relation between MOOC and an individual person – they are not ‘students’ because that implies studying and the master-student relationship, which are antithetical to MOOCs. Nor either are they referred to (much) as ‘learners’, as this suggests that learning is the dominant paradigm at work here. In fact, the logic of MOOCs is not the logic of learning, but rather, of participation, and that’s why I use the word.

This is why we use the term participant too in #OAPS101.

Photo Credit

Fireworks