I discussed the first week in the Coursera course, E-Learning and Digital Cultures, in my last post. Now, four days later, it has been interesting to see the social side of this massive open online course unfold.
Friday, I attended the Google Hangout session for the class. Bud Deihl joined me in my office as we watched:
It was fun to listen to Jeremy Knox, Siân Bayne, Hamish Macleod, Jen Ross and Christine Sinclair – their distinct personalities definitely came through! Having Bud with me in the room added to the experience, but what made the Hangout even more engaging was the excellent Twitter backchannel going on, which the profs integrated into their comments very well. Jen Ross confirmed by Twitter that they used Hangout-On-Air – first time I had seen it in action.
Eleni tweeted the stats for the backchannel for that session:
Actually, Twitter has been quite active this week (not to mention that the hashtag was active before the class even started). Rob tweeted:
I think that it was Sian who mentioned that out of the 40,000-plus who registered for this course, over 17,000 had been active the first week. As MOOCs go, that is not bad! For me, what has been interesting is the variety of social media means by which people worldwide connected.
First, blogging, which I have been using. Not sure of my rationale, but I did not want to be constrained to just four people in quadblogging (which appears to be pretty popular). Instead, I subscribed to about 20 blogs I randomly pulled of a list generated in Facebook. I have tried to comment to every blog that I read, and I have had a half-dozen people comment on mine. I did notice in the Edublogs stats that my hits had doubled over the past week. So not a big jump in readership but some. Some blogs I enjoyed this week:
- Rob gave a good background on precourse activity and compared this course to another Coursera course that he had completed.
- Paula discussed her take on technological determinism.
- Eric discussed dystopia in science fiction (which was a nice trip down memory lane for me)
- Helen had an excellent post on posthumanism and cyborg literacies which I enjoyed. She also linked to one of Sian’s prezis on uncanny digital literacies that was pretty cool.
- Martell’s interesting take on “the ripples of community and learner support”
- An Australian’s reflection (which mirrored mine) about where was all the action if 40,000 were engaged in this course? (Though it has picked up since she posted)
In addition to blogs, one could connect to fellow students through the Coursera class discussion board, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and probably others I am not even aware of. I noticed that a group in Minnesota had a face-to-face meet up.
For me, Twitter , Facebook, and the EDC MOOC News feed within Coursera remain my main links to this course. I dipped my toe in to the course LMS discussion boards, but they seem too massive and lacked organization. One could say the same about Twitter, but at least I know I am dipping into the stream there. Maybe it is a comfort level thing…I am comfortable with Twitter (backed by Tweetdeck for following the hashtag stream). I also have not gone into Google Plus much, other than for the hangout session. Between Twitter and Facebook, I am remaining engaged with people worldwide (and enjoying that). The News Feed provides new blogs to check out.
I may not be a social butterfly, but I am enjoying the diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and even culture as the course unfolds (neat to remember that it is summer in Australia as I shiver here on the American East Coast). I am looking forward to week two!