OLDS MOOC W2D5 More thoughts on Convergences


Haven’t had much time to study or implement anything today as I was busy at work doing e-learning stuff (conducting an appraisal, shortlisting job applicants, ordering a couple of video cameras, meeting a colleague about a proposal for a Changing the Learning Landscape Leadership Foundation bid and talking to IT about the ever increasing capacity of our VLE to consume megabytes). I did, however, manage to catch the OLDS MOOC second Convergence in a Google Hangout streamed live to youtube and connected to the world via twitter.

Not many people seem to attend these events live – I guess their jobs get in the way – but I find them useful for a number of reasons.

Firstly the discussion of those in the goldfish bowl (I think someone used that expression today) is illuminating and helpful.

Secondly, you see your tutors live, moving, yawning, smiling – real people, and this ‘human’ connection (albeit one way) is I think motivating for some students (like me). Penny Bentley from Australia was on cam today and said she had felt a little isolated in the first week and this was one reason she had set up an OLD MOOC Facebook group. I wonder whether the experience of being part of the Convergence made her feel more part of a community. Certainly from my point of view, sitting at my desk munching my lunch, she appeared to be sitting around the same virtual round table as the others in the Hangout – a big part of the MOOC. And I too, not on camera, felt part of it by virtue of being connected via twitter. (I think I;ve waffled a bit here and muddled my points – makes the MOOC human and allows people to feel connected is what I mean to say).

Thirdly, what I like about these Convergence sessions is the conversational aspect of them. They are not lectures, we watch and listen to interesting people discussing things and can interact via twitter. This might be a format I promote to our academics on their online courses, especially as they can have conversations with colleagues at other universities anywhere in the world.  What a great opportunity for our students to eavesdrop on that and be able to ask questions as well.

Anyway, tonight I see from the schedule that I am to “read and comment on at least 2 other participants’ portfolio updates for week 2”.  I haven’t done a portfolio update myself  but it might be profitable to look at what someone else has done. I’ll report back later. (Or tomorrow.)

One comment

  1. hope to see you in the fishbowl one of these weeks Bob!

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