CSCL-intro "The Biweekly" #1

April 27, 2011, [MD]

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="233" caption="CC BY aussiegall @ flickr"][/caption]

This course is inspired both by "Wiley wikis", and by "MOOCs". One of the innovations that Stephen Downes brought in with his first MOOC back in 2008 was the concept of "The Daily", a daily e-mail that would summarize the readings, the events, and some of the most interesting blog posts or other artefacts that course participants had created.

This was especially necessary in the MOOC, because of the almost 2000 participants (although not everyone participated actively, there was an incredible amount of postings generated). We will not have anything near that size, but people often feel a bit "lost" in P2PU courses too (or in online courses in general). It can be easy to "fall off", and not be sure what exactly you are supposed to do, what is going on, etc. So we thought we'd try to do a "bi-weekly" newsletter. I am posting this on my blog, because the broadcast feature on P2PU right now does not allow for rich text. I will blast out an announcement on P2PU each time I post a bi-weekly, which should reach all of you (we are still experimenting with the various communication systems, thank you for your patience!).

We're off

So for Monica and I, this is a very exciting time. We have been planning this course for a very long time, and to see people sign up, begin to blog, engage with the readings (and each other), tweet, comment on the P2PU site etc, is very exciting and rewarding! And since we are both committed to participate fully in the course, it's also exciting to be sitting down to actually read these resources that we have found, take notes, think about what to blog about, discuss with others, etc.


****So far, we have 13 participants. There are two or so participants who applied, but didn't supply enough information - I left comments on their applications, and hope they got them, and will complete the applications. We decided to extend sign-up until Sunday night this week, so we might still get some more people.

We also have 26 followers. They have not committed to go through the course, do all the readings etc, but they are welcome to the Big Blue Button meetings, and we hope to hear from them occasionally (or frequently). If they blog, it's best if they tweet the URL with the #csclintro tag (or check the Netvibes page to see if it shows up in the blog search). I will include links to blog posts from network participants in the bi-weekly as well.

This week's topic

****This week, we are both warming up, getting used to the platform (we've already had to make some adjustments), getting our blogs set up, etc. But we are also starting out with constructivism, which is an important educational philosophy often bandied about, but also often not very well understood. I really enjoyed sitting down with some of the texts, taking notes, and writing some blog posts, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

We are also looking at Communities of Practice, which is another very well known concept both within CSCL and the sister discipline Computer-Supported Collaborative Work.

Resources for this week

Blog posts

****We had a number of people posting "introductory posts", talking about their participation in the course, their expectations: Jennifer, Monica, Rebecca, NateMartin (who also wrote about a neat way of making the course feeds part of his daily Internet reading), and I.

Monica added some great questions on the weekly task, and Nate jumped in trying to answer them. (For future weeks, we hope that others in the group would like to formulate some reading questions as well). Monica also had a nice post about communities of practice herself.

Martin grappled with the concept of group or individual grading, especially from the perspective of medical education, and I blogged about constructivism (see also some of my wiki notes).

And one of our participants, Joe Corneli, is actually running another course on P2PU, about P2PU as a platform, that might also be of interest to some of you.

Meeting in Big Blue Button

Sorry about the scheduling confusion. We used Whenisgood, and got about six replies. Everyone else are of course welcome to attend, but don't complain if it doesn't fit your schedule :)

We will meet twice in the first week, to make sure everyone can meet and get the course off on a good start. We will probably only meet once in future weeks. This is the URL.

(Everyone who signed up to Whenisgood should be able to meet at one of these two times). We will spend some of the hour introducing ourselves, discussing the design of the course, badges, responsibilities, etc (pretty much anything is up for discussion/change - don't be shy!), and some of the time discussing the readings.

What else?

I am still missing blog feeds for about half the class, please add them here. I have set up a Netvibes page to make it easier to track all the blog entries etc (trying to suck in the activity streams on the P2PU course page was a mess - a valuable lesson, we're having lot's of discussions on how to do this better in the future).

Looking forward to hearing from all of you, and learning with you. If you have any doubts or problems, leave a message on the class wall, and we'll try to resolve it. See you soon on BBB!


Stian Håklev April 27, 2011 Toronto, Canada
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