A Course, A Community?

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Shortly after the #ucsaffire Festival earlier this week, I wrote a post about small open online communities.

In the post, I noted:

I had a brief conversation with Danny Munnerley about the capital C in SOOC. Danny made the excellent point that C stands for Community rather than Course. I am going to act on this excellent suggestion and think about longer-term aspects of open online opportunities.

Stephen Downes picked up on the post and observed in OLDaily:

courses have start and end dates, and communities don’t. So if your thing has a start and end date, it’s a course. It may foster and support community, but it’s something different. (Stephen’s emphasis)

I agree entirely and do need to make a clarification.

The cSOOCs with which I have been involved are available after the chronological end date of the course. In sport coaching we discuss concentration and dispersal. I am thinking this is what happens in cSOOCs too. We come together for focussed discussions and then go off about our daily business.

Danny’s proposal resonated with me in so far as the resources created for the cSOOCs are available to foster and support community development.

I have been thinking about edgeless learning and lifelong learning that may or may not involve credentialism. In my earlier post, I mentioned Susan Blum‘s Huffington Post article in which she argued:

If our ultimate goal is to educate human beings, then we must focus not only on knowledge and information, discipline and surveillance as measured by tests, but also on non-academic pleasures, motivations, skills, and the full array of human engagement that sustains attention and meaning.

Thanks to Stephen’s clarification, I do think this blending of courses and communities is part of the transformation Terry Heick discussed recently and is part of the reflection Debbie Morrison discussed in regard to MOOCs.

My realisation … when I discuss cSOOCs, I should specify that these are available after the ‘end’ of moments of concentration of collaborative or cooperative activity. They remain as resources in the dispersed communities they were designed to foster and support.

I am thinking that is the potency of the lower case c in cSOOC.

Photo Credit

Rainbow Over Innovation Park, Yorkali Walters CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Small Open Online Communities

slide-1-638I had an opportunity to present some ideas about a cSOOC at the #ucsaffire Festival.

Shortly after presenting, I had a brief conversation with Danny Munnerley about the capital C in SOOC. Danny made the excellent point that C stands for Community rather than Course.

I am going to act on this excellent suggestion and think about longer-term aspects of open online opportunities. A few days earlier, Susan Blum wrote:

If our ultimate goal is to educate human beings, then we must focus not only on knowledge and information, discipline and surveillance as measured by tests, but also on non-academic pleasures, motivations, skills, and the full array of human engagement that sustains attention and meaning.

Whilst I was presenting, Paul Perkins, a friend facilitating the Introduction to Box’Tag cSOOC was welcoming another participant in the community:

On this SOOC: An Introduction to Box’Tag we have a number of experienced and exceptional coaches including, Professor Keith Lyons, Professor Allan Hahn – Keith and Allan have many years of experience working with elite athletes across a range of sports. Losh Mathews and Joe Leahy – Both have a wealth of experience in coaching boxing at the development stage and club level. Lewis Kiddy, who has just started as a coach and is coaching a junior program designed to improve agility, coordination, balance, while introducing young athletes to exploring skills and assisting with their overall personal development.

One of Australia’s best-ever athlete/boxer, Paul Miller – who won numerous National Championships and a Gold Medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games is also on this course and it’s interesting to hear his thoughts on this emerging sport. We have Doctor Jason Berry, who is a skill acquisition specialist, David Briggs, a strength and conditioning coach who has worked in the pre-elite and elite level for a variety of sporting program and Sid Burgees – A fantastic coach with over 20 years of experience in rugby league and rugby union.
As for myself I have been fortunate to coach at every level of the sport of boxing, from club level through to International competition.

Apart from this course there a many other coaches who would like to be connected to learn and share their experiences, all it takes is a coming together of like-minded people who share a similar belief.

There are 103 participants in the online Box’Tag community at the moment. Following a brief conversation with Dean Groom at #ucsaffire, I am hopeful that this community might grow to include new members.

The OpenLearning platform for the cSOOC will continue to be available as a touchstone of and for the community.