For Week 1 I shared ‘Open Matters‘ with a bit from the reading, and an Open Education Manifesto that I put together in 2011.
I really haven’t done much more that summarize the readings, add a bit of reflection, and some of my thinking (previously) influenced by others… nothing really new, just summaries and review of things I’ve already thought about.
For that reason, it was refreshing to see Lisa M. Lane discuss OERs again.
“I’ve posted a number of times on Open Educational Resources, and mentioning these might help explain why I subject the entire issue to serious criticism, a small sigh, and a raised eyebrow…”
Go ahead and read the post, and the comments (please).
I found this refreshing because this was the first of the learner contributions to the course that went beyond summarizing the reading or past thinking, and it was also critical of the conversation.
Even my post on “More Free”, while somewhat argumentative on the Creative Commons ideas of what is more or less free, was still just reiteration of Stephen Downe’s idea, which he again mentioned in the last 38 seconds of his video, in this week’s course content (shared below).
In the course so far, Lisa’s post was the first student contribution that I’ve found, which promoted conversation and discourse. Discourse is actually the thing I most appreciated about a previous project involving George Siemens and Stephen Downes, “Online Connectivism Conference: Healthy Discord”
This discourse is something that I have seldom seen in the world of educational blogs. There seems to be an unspoken etiquette about being non-confrontational when discussing ideas on other’s blogs. Essentially teachers don’t criticize others’ opinions. Even when there is disagreement it is often polite, reserved and… well, annoying. On the other hand, there seems to be thoughtful discord and discourse happening in the Connectivism conference forums.
Yesterday, Donna Fry connected with me on Twitter (she is the reason I jumped on board to take this course ‘with’ her and others. She linked to a Tweet about another open course Learning Creative Learning, and also said, “…I am so far behind in
#OpenEdMOOC already (right @datruss ?)”
Don’t try to catch up, just start at week 3 and move forward. You aren’t doing this ‘for’ others, you are learning ‘with’ others #openedmooc
— David Truss (@datruss) October 21, 2017
This morning we connected and had a great Facetime conversation. This conversation was the second time my thinking has been challenged in the course. Donna helped me re-evaluate the value of the ‘No Derivatives’ aspect of CC, which I didn’t see a purpose for, because I thought of it as equally as restricted as copyright. Her example was sharing something controversial, where ‘altered’ works could then cause mis-attribution and confusion about your original message.
Another key topic discussed was that we both learn from healthy discourse (and even discord)… something lacking (so far) in this course.
Donna shared with me (and on Twitter with #OpenEdMOOC) an article by Margaret Wheatley, “Willing to be Disturbed“:
“There are many ways to sit and listen for the differences. Lately, I’ve been listening for what surprises me. What did I just hear that startled me? This isn’t easy – I’m accustomed to sitting there nodding my head to those saying things I agree with. But when I notice what surprises me, I’m able to see my own views more dearly, including my beliefs and assumptions”
and Doug Belshaw “On CC0”
• CC0/Public Domain: “No Rights Reserved” — I have created this thing, and you can do whatever you like with it.
…For me, the CC0 decision is a no-brainer. I’m working to make the world a better place through whatever talents and skills that I’ve got. While I want my family to live comfortably, I’m not trying to accumulate wealth. That’s not what drives me. So I definitely feel what Alan says that he’s “given up trying to be an attribution cop”.
Both of these articles have pushed my thinking a bit, both are initiated not by the course content, but rather learner relationships.
— Donna Miller Fry (@fryed) October 22, 2017
And so with the following 2 tweets in mind, I planned to call this post “Open Discourse”:
— David Truss (@datruss) October 22, 2017
I see those issues in K12 OER as well. It is refreshing to see someone supportive of disagreement in education.
— B 🐰👖🔆🇨🇦 (@_Ms_J) October 22, 2017
However, I started thinking about why this idea of disagreement and discourse was missing, and that got me thinking about course design. So far, I can see this course being more informational that conversational and that makes me question the value of it being a MOOC, and not just an online course where the student, teacher and content are the primary focus.
To me, the value of a MOOC is that the participants get to openly engage with each other and the curriculum in a way that fosters greater value than if students immerse themselves in the course without the networked connections of other participants.
So here is a little image that I’ve put together to look at the MOOC as Learning Experience.
Venn diagrams are about the relationships between things and I think these relationships are key in a MOOC. Donna says above, ‘MOOCs are more about conversations & connections than content’, and I think learner experience in a MOOC is really about the relationships we have with each other, as much or more than the relationships with the content… if not, where is the value in being ‘open’?
Here is a brief description of the relationships that I see between a MOOC, the teacher(s), and the participants:
MOOC content <-> Teacher
- If the material is Open and Online, the design around how things are shared needs thoughtful consideration.
- Participant contributions are distributed and so a component like the ‘Learner Activity‘ page is essential.
- Social sharing/hashtag/conversation beyond learner activity content is essential.
Participants <-> MOOC Content
- Content is open and easy to access and share.
- Learning activity is open and easy to access and share.
- Content is designed to go beyond information delivery and designed to promote dialogue and discourse.
Teacher <-> Participants
- Focus on open, publish sharing
- Teacher as provocateur, agitator. The course delivers the content, the teacher inspires the conversation.
- Teacher as questioner, not answerer (more socratic rather than a focus on content delivery).
- Social interaction – connections and conversations with other learners – are fostered.
- I think there also needs to be intentional teacher presence if the conversation isn’t happening, and perhaps intentional teacher ‘tongue-biting‘ when participants are asking the right questions and contributing to each others’ learning.
Ultimately, learner experience in a MOOC is about fostering relationships between the teacher, the content, and the other participants to add value to what the course would be if it were not open.
It is about connectivity and networked learning, not just a student <-> teacher <-> content relationship.
I invite conversation, by all means, go ahead and disagree with me… ask questions, provide alternative perspectives. Help me learn.