webinaring with fellow MOOCers and disconnected throughts to connect #cmc11

Will I make it?

Will I make it?

Rushed home to login and participate in this first webinar. I couldn’t believe it when I had difficulties loggin into Blackboard Collaborate… I thought I would miss it! In the end I didn’t…

I have to admit, I expected… the masses when I arrived. I thought finally, I will understand why a MOOC is called a MOOC and what this is all about.

Yes, I am still wondering why these open courses have been baptised MOOCs. If anybody is reading this and can explain this to me that would be fantastic. So, no masses tonight. I was actually thinking that more people would engage in a synchronous way than asynchronously since this would be a one-off per week but then of course asynchronous communication and collaboration might be more convenient because it can happen anytime, anyhow, anywhere if you have the technology in your pocket or bag. But is it effective for everything? I have heard and experienced many times how slow it can be (too slow? Too slow for what?) How could we use effectively synchronous communication and collaboration? Think about lectures and how these are usually delivered. Tutor and learners are there but who speaks most and why? If tutors are there for the learners, why don’t we let them lead us? And if this is possible and we should be doing this, how would this look like in a webinar? The asynchronous form to communicate and collaborate online has indeed moved away from being a tutor driven activity. Self-directed learners experience this as a paradise. How can non-self-directed learner learn how to thrive in such environments?

Is it just a problem with all the different timezones? Are people signing up without participating? How many are just lurking? How many are just accessing the resources and participate elsewhere, perhaps within existing online communities? And what would make them participate (more)? How do you form online communities? How do we form online communities? How can disconnected blog entries become conversations among individuals and enable them to get together. Do we spend more time searching for such opportunities? Or is it too early yet and I want it to happen now? Am I impatient? If we want to be part of a community we can’t expect that others will find us and come to us, I think. What role do we play, or could we play in the formation of such communities?

I am still clouded about all this and have many questions in my head (loads more than I have included here). However, I have started making some connections and I no longer feel on my own. Some meaningful exchange is happening and I am thinking about this course frequenty during the day. Maybe this is because we just started developing our own open course. I wouldn’t call ours a MOOC at this stage but I guess since it will be open access, we should prepare ourselves that it might become a MOOC. But how would we prepare ourselves?

Let’s focus a bit on the webinar itself. The orientation today was very useful and it is definitely something we will also offer in our own little open course. We might use additional features of Blackboard Collaborate doing this such as

  • the video and photographs of the tutors/facilitators
  • design activities during which learners can participate on the whiteboard and polls
  • if the group is small, introductions and why everybody is there, would help to give a more group feel
  • demo site features by using the desktop sharing or weblink to make it more dynamic, live and responsive
  • integrate questions into the session throughout which would enable participants to respond
  • encourage individuals to take the microphone (this might be problematic if not a community)
  • also less is more on slides, we would keep more empty room in the slides to enable adding of thoughts and ideas expressed during the webinar (this could be done by a moderators)
  • Using emoticons can also add to the webinar experience and enable participation and responding in different ways.

Then again we are also keen to explore the use of the BigBlueButton since it is an open access web-conferencing tool.  At the moment we are discussing options and try to identify the best way forward. But it would be great to use an open source tool for an open course… If you are reading this and have any ideas and would like to help us, please get in touch.

Am I focusing too much on the process than on the content of this course? Is this normal at this stage? Was this the point of the orientation tour? Just checking.

Beyond what I have already included, I have two terms zooming around in my head since they first appeared on one of the pages this evening. Multiculturalism and Interculturalism, as an ex-translator and a non-native English speaker, I try to understand the differences between these terms so that I can distinguish between them, add them first to my passive vocabulary but also my active one, if or when needed. After a brief visit to wikipedia, this is how I think I understood it and I am going to share my thinking visually in a very simplistic way. I would really like some thoughts on this, if you are reading this so that it can help me understand better.

snack happy love mix

multiculturalism: loving and celebrating variety

interculturalism: mixing

interculturalism: loving mixing ingredients

Will stop here for now and think a bit more about what I externalised and captured here. I am sure some of the questions will die and new questions will be born.

4 thoughts on “webinaring with fellow MOOCers and disconnected throughts to connect #cmc11

  1. I really like your images!

    I think they reflect well how some people differentiate between multiculturalism and interculturalism. The wikipedia description connects well with other references I checked. But, I’ve also found that most people sue these terms interchangably.

  2. Hi Betty,

    Thank you for visiting ;0) Glad I sort of understood the difference between these two terms. I understand what you say about people using them interchangable. However, they are (at this moment) not synonyms… but they might become depending on how people use them and we have seen that the incorrect use of terms survive for longer and eventually take over the use of the correct term… this is a fact.

    I used to be a translator so precision of re-capturing the exact or closest meaning of a source-term in the target language was always vital but at times very challenging and frustrating as well but very rewarding too when you finally discovered a solution that made sense and didn’t make the translation ‘smell’ or ‘sound’ like a translation.

    Have a great weekend and speak again soon.

  3. I took a Social Psychology course at Empire State last semester, and textbook definitions were offered of what “multicultural research” and “cross-cultural research” mean. I would equate “cross-” with “inter”.

    The differentiation supplied in the textbook was that “multicultural research” means “research designed to examine racial and ethnic groups within cultures” — for example, the multitude of races that live within the country called the United States (the larger “American culture”). “Cross-cultural research”, then, was defined as “research designed to compare and contrast people of different cultures.”

    IOW “multi” speaks to the mosaic within a larger culture, “inter” (“cross”) is when we compare, e.g., Kenyan culture with Greek culture.

    This is “FWIW” (for whatever it’s worth), of course! I never was much of a textbook fangirl. I am suspicious of any idea that is presented as though “written in stone” … written in stone sounds like ‘probably already obsolete and about to crumble” to me 🙂

    Chrissi, I am glad you made it to the live session. I suspected when I heard how many had signed up for the course (250? 300?) that — as those who were not prepared to bear up under the rather chaotic (but exciting!) initial period, who could not keep up with The Stream and are not wired to let most of it slide past, or who just hoped they would have time but, after all, could not make the time — there would be a good amount of attrition. And that is fine! What has become crystal clear after my own initial panic in trying to get a grip on this thing is that YOU CAN’T get a grip on it because it is something we collectively build as time goes on. An earlier blog post of yours demonstrated willingness to wait, feel your way around, look for people and topics that interest you, and FOCUS when the right time comes. Your post actually helped _me_ quite a bit, maybe go back and let it help you, LOL.

  4. Hello Ilyse,

    How nice to see you again here. Pleased that some of my writings have helped you. It was really good to see your name yesterday as a participant. I have to admit that I was looking for people I know or have been communicating with previously. Maybe we can set something up some time and have a voice or video chat in Skype as well, if you like. If not, that is fine too.

    Thank you for helping me understand a bit better the term interculturalism and if we could just exchange the prefix with cross that does make sense. Cross is mixing, isn’t it? Or meeting? Negotiating, learning from each other, instead of living in parallel worlds what multiculturalism says to me now…

    This is the first MOOC I participate more properly. I had signed up for two previous ones but it was the wrong time. I was over-ambitious and thought I could fit it in…but in the end I couldn’t. Then I joined late and I thought that I had missed the train already… I was happy to discover this one, because of my interest in Creativity in Education but not only. One of my Master dissertations was on creative teaching and learning so I have studied creativity for a while and am currently trying to ‘sell’ more creative approaches to our academics. A recent experiment is to turn a creativity session into a mixed-reality game and will play this online and in the Manchester area in a month or so. Happy to share this here with you and others.

    Learning takes time, energy and determination. Having a goal is also vital: Why do I want to learn this? Why do I participate in this MOOC for example? There are actually 3 main reasons:
    1. to learn more about MOOCs, what delivery models are used, what works and what doesn’t
    2. to connect with individuals with whom I share a common interest and explore together how we can support each other on our journeys.
    3. I feel passionate about creativity and feel that too many think that they are not creative (enough). I would like to help them believe in themselves and help them discover their creativity and feel good about it.

    Speak again soon. I will check out the ning also.


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