Our SP4Ed community is coming into view

First posted on 15/5/13 in Blogger e-Learning Learning

Welcome aboard to the growing participation in OERu’s first mOOC SP4Ed as we pilot these ‘unchartered waters’ with our ‘fleet’ of participants coming into view from many parts of the world.

 I need to tell you that we could not have a better ‘pilot’ leading us. Our lead pilot and designer is Dr. Wayne Mackitosh and, already, I have learned many things by working alongside and supporting his design and construction of this MOOC and its contents.

 One thing that was difficult for me to envision was how our pilot MOOC could wake up come alive – as it is doing even as I write. I have been an online and blended teacher/facilitator for decades (see e.g. Correia & Davis 2008) but the innovative nature of a first MOOC was knocking my confidence that we could facilitate the development of a community. I feared that we were simply designing content, albeit more open that most with OER. And I should note that I am not accustomed to designing in an open education format, so that is also an innovation for me!

John Daniel’s (2012) paper on MOOCs clarifies that the first emerged with a community philosophy so he used the abbreviation cMOOC. However, more recently behaviourist approaches that deliver content and assessment without the development of a learning community have emerged that he termed an  xMOOC. As I read his paper in my preparations to facilitate this pilot MOOC I feared we might be building an xMOOC. Today that fear has evaporated, for now at least! 🙂

The Blog posts by participants are indeed providing the ‘social presence’ (Kehrwald 2007) needed to indicate that a community is forming. As we have found in the past, previous experience in learning online is helping to set a style, e.g. posts by Pinelopi and Waleed, so I hope that we will see many more posts that identify individual perspectives, contexts, and individual ambitions for our SP4Ed mOOC. You already have mine in my welcome video, so I will not repeat it here.

So I will end by saying thank you to all participants and tell you that I am looking forward to reading as many Blogs as I can, but I encourage you to only read as much as you find helpful!


References cited

Correia, A.-P., & Davis, N. (2008). Intersecting communities of practice in distance education. Distance Education, 29(3), 289-306.

Daniel, J. (2012). Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility, Journal of Interactive Media in Education. Retrieved May 23, 2013 from http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/article/2012-18/html 

Kehrwald, B. (2007). The ties that bind: Social presence, relations and productive collaboration in online learning environments. Proceedings of ASCILITE, Singapore. Retrieved May 23, 2013 from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/kehrwald.pdf


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