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.


InspireThe University of Canberra (UC) is hosting a two-day SAFFIRE Festival in the INSPIRE Centre on the University Campus.

UC receved a $25.95 million Structural Adjustment Fund grant for 2013-14. The suffix acronym FIRE refers to Flexibility and Innovation, Recruitment, and Engagement. There are five overarching goals to the project:

  • Curriculum design: design and implement a range of distinctive and innovative degree programs across the UC Group that are student-centred, flexible and accessible; capitalise on UC’s existing disciplinary strengths; are delivered through a variety of online, blended, intensive and partnership delivery strategies; provide clear entry articulation; and enable student enrolment growth
  • Support and engagement: devise strategies that incorporate academic and mentoring support for UC and UCC students, to identify ‘at risk’ students and to provide for high retention rates into program development.
  • Technologies and learning environments: implement or renew  organizational and enterprise systems and teaching and learning technologies to create integrated systems across the whole UC Group that support the new teaching and learning models.
  • Cultural change: implement a communications strategy and staff development program to ensure professional development for all staff in the new learning technologies and educational models and administrative requirements, and a broad understanding across the entire UC community of importance of the ethos of flexibility and innovation to the retention and engagement of students to UC’s educational mission over the next five years
  • Policy and process review: review and change administration processes to support the new qualifications and associated technologies.

There has been an excellent Twitter feed during the first day using #ucsaffire. There is a YouTube channel that is showing presentations from the Festival.

I was unable to attend Day 1 but am looking forward to participating in Day 2.

This is my pitch: