Open Opportunities: Scaling Cooperation

We have had two extremely windy days in New South Wales.

On Wednesday there was a state-wide total fire ban.

This morning the winds of the Internet brought me a number of alerts that had me thinking about other kinds of fires … Plutarch‘s kindling kind.

Stephen Downes started me on my journey with two posts:

Those two posts led me to:

Slide 14 of George’s 41 slides is:

These posts in turn took me to:

 

Just when I was coming up for air I received alerts to:

 

I followed up on Harold Jarche and Jane Hart’s PKM Workshop and liked their description of their approach:

Our online social workshops are not traditional, formal online courses, take a look here at how they run:

  • Our workshops are designed to give just enough structure, without constraining personal and social learning.
  • We curate what we think are the essential resources on a topic and also provide additional links and resources for those who are interested.
  • We encourage all discussions to be done in the private workshop group area, so that people can learn from each other.
  • We try to find ways to help each person as issues arise in the conversations. Without these conversations, we would not be able to help in an informed way.
  • For those attending this workshop, the more they give, the more they will get.

 

I have assembled these links here as an ongoing consideration of issues to be addressed in the formulation of a SOOC that will be available in November on the OpenLearning platform.

As I was about to post this I received an alert to two posts by Paul Montgomery for the Kinetic-Athlete blog:

 

Paul’s insights were another boost to my interest in open sharing and his posts will make a great resource for the SOOC. Which takes me neatly back to Slide 14  ” Learners expected to create, grow, expand domain and share personal sensemaking through artifact-creation”.

 

Photo Credits

It was a windy day

Windy day ahead

A windy day indeed

Thinking about a SOOC

Yesterday I wrote to a number of colleagues to enquire about their willingness to be involved in a Small Open Online Course (SOOC).

The SOOC I have in mind is an introduction to the Observation and Analysis of Performance in Sport.

I am clear that it is a SOOC rather than a MOOC.

A lead from Stephen Downes in today’s OLDaily has helped me think more about the essence of the SOOC I am proposing. Stephen linked to Jim Shimabukuro’s post A Sign of How MOOCs Will Impact Colleges (11 August).

Jim concludes his post with a consideration of the transformational potential of MOOCs:

The promise of MOOCs is their inclusion in the creative design of individual programs of study for degrees and certificates, and the force that will drive it is the most intimate, natural, and informal sort of dialogue that transpires between teacher and student. In this scenario, the teacher becomes guide, advisor, and facilitator; and the student, an active participant in the planning. Together, they will explore all the learning resources in the world to generate an individualized plan that meets the student’s goals and the college’s standards.

I am hopeful that the SOOC I am proposing will articulate with a formal qualification framework. I am very keen to learn more about open badges and how they can be integrated in the process (I think Erin Knight provides an excellent insight into these opportunities and David Wiley a great example of how it does work).

Jim’s post led me to a delightful post by Laura Pasquini (28 July) Online Learning: More Than Just a MOOC. I am sorry I missed its posting late last month. In her post Laura shares and points to some great resources. I liked her observation that:

I enjoy engaging in PD to improve my skills and add to my knowledge repertoire. Across various personal and professional spheres, I have learned a great deal at formal conferences, workshops and education sessions; however, I am also proud to say I learn a great deal from my informal training and development environments that are primarily cultivated online. I think that MOOCs provide a set time period for professionals to learn about a specific topic and engage with others in a similar informal fashion. What is neat about this classroom is, that although the course might end, your network and learning artifacts continue to thrive outside the specific learning environment. (My emphasis)

Laura was a participant in CCK09 and she had the opportunity to meet many of the people I had met on CCK08. I have had the same experience of thriving outside a specific learning environment and empathise completely with Laura’s sentiments.

This morning’s visits to Stephen, Jim and Laura have helped me think more carefully about the SOOC that might connect a community of practice. I am thinking that the connections we can have through a SOOC can be strong if they are built on an intrinsic interest in learning.

Photo Credit

Souq

A Souq-Like SOOC

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

I am grateful to Stephen Downes’ OLDaily and George Siemens for regular updates about MOOC opportunities and debate.

I was fortunate to be a participant in the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08) open online course. George Siemens writes of this:

In 2008, Stephen Downes and I offered an open online course Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08).  As our registration numbers increased to about 2300 students, Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander dubbed the course offering a “massive open online course” or MOOC. The term has stuck and both Dave and Bryan will eventually be inducted into the edtech hall of fame for great word inventage. Since that first course, Stephen, Dave, and I have offered a whack of different courses: CCK09, CCK11, CCK12, Future of Education, PLENK, LAK11, LAK12, Change11, Critical Literacies, and so on. All told, we are likely approaching about 20,000 registrants for our MOOCs (there is overlap from different courses, so the unique registrants would be less).

My thinking about learning was transformed by CCK08 and has been developed by peripheral participation in a number of the other MOOCs George mentions.

I have been contemplating a modest alternative to the MOOC … a SOOC (a Small Open Online Course). I do think the principles of MOOCs are scalable.

I like the idea of a SOOC that has characteristics of its like-sounding souq. According to Wikipedia a souq is:

an open-air marketplace. Historically, souqs were held outside of cities in the location where a caravan loaded with goods would stop and merchants would display their goods for sale. Souqs were held when there was a caravan or more available. At that time, souqs were more than just a market to buy and sell goods; they were also major festivals and many cultural and social activities took place in them.

The SOOC I have in mind is a mother SOOC that will lead to daughter and granddaughter SOOCs. I am planning a five topic SOOC in The Observation and Analysis of Performance in Sport. One of the challenges for me is how to support non-linear personal learning. At present the SOOC’s five topics are:

  • Connecting and Sharing
  • Observing Performance
  • Visualising Data
  • Knowledge Discovery in Databases
  • Augmented Reality

 

I see the Connecting and Sharing topic as the key to supporting involvement in the SOOC. I am keen to persuade colleagues that sharing is the competitive edge in sport. Thereafter there will be a weekly progression through the topics but I realise that the caravans that bring ideas and energy may not coincide with this rhythm.

I am exploring too how this kind of approach resonates with open badges and formal recognition of learning through a qualification framework.

My concept of the SOOC is that it is a fractal of all other activity imbued with a commitment to open, self-paced intrinsically motivated learning.

I see each step in the geneaology of the SOOC triggered by the parent SOOC but increasingly open through generational change to including and crowdsourcing participants’ interests and knowledge. I hope that this approach establishes the connectivist aspirations of this form of sharing.

I am looking at ways to develop this SOOC with tools developed by Adam Brimo at OpenLearning.

Photo Credit

Life offers you tools …

Souq, Aleppo