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In response to Blog post comments (notes on comment aggregation for cMOOCs) I wrote…

Looking at this from a different perspective – that of the learner / lurker, rather than commenting on the actual post, it is preferable to post “comments” or “replies” in my own blog.

If I post a comment on your blog to your post, I have no record of it. If I post in my own blog with a reference to your post (and hence pingback), then I have a trail of my own thinking and participation in the cMOOC.

I have been participating in various MOOCs since the beginning, just for fun and strictly as personal learning. However, in parallel, I have been working in K-8 education on adopting open educational resources, personal learning networks and smartphones. Over time these interests are merging. To use a MOOC-like framework for K-8, there will have to be some direction and accountability as well as feedback and assessment.

While the preliminary comment study looks at some different issues, it does raise some good points for further investigation, including but not limited to functionality to

  • provide a personal record of participation in a cMOOC
  • provide feedback and formative assessment
  • define activities that challenge learners to apply subject content and engage in critical thinking
  • foster community-building and cooperation among learners in-person and asynchronously and/or at a distance
  • meet the presentation and organizational needs of learners
  • support transition to handheld learning

Update:  Martin got back and suggested that better tools are needed, and I agree…

It is an interesting problem. From the feedback in the early cMOOCs, there are would-be participants who aren’t prepared to accept and manage the degree of control over their learning environment that is key to cMOOC innovation.

More recently, facilitators aren’t giving participants the opportunity to figure it out. The latest round of MOOCs have highjacked the name and forced it into more conventional LMS technology that really doesn’t support some of the freedoms that ought to be left to the participants.

As you point out – this needs work…

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