Monday, October 15, 2012


The TLTGroup of sMOOChers met online last Friday. The group's doing the Current/Future State of Higher Education MOOC(#cfhe12) together. Most of the group had just watched Siva Vaidhyanathan's presentation " Beyond MOOC Hyperbole: Why We Should Support MOOC Experimentation ... Critically and Carefully" CFHE12 is using GoToMeeting and we agreed that we don't like it. You can't see a list of participants and you can't chat with other participants while you are watching. You can send questions to the moderator, but otherwise there is no interaction. Do I see that organizers have a choice about allowing everyone to use the chat window?? I'm not sure why that function didn't seem to be available. See "chat with other attendees" Another aggravtion with GoToMeeting: Watching an archived copy of the first presentation by Jeff Selingo required putting in your name and email address again and downloading a codec (in my case) and THEN watching. Stephen Downes put up a copy of the Selingo's presentation at - no problems there! Having the right tool at the right time makes a difference.

Coincidentally, I was looking through Peeragogy: A Peer-Learning Handbook ( recently and like the way they suggest thinking about tools for self-learners in terms of function. Learners need tools to collect (search/visualize), relate (consulting others), create (and co-create), and distribute/disseminate information. ( ) We sure could add some criteria to a synchronous tool. I would like something more like Bb Collaborate or Adobe Connect.

One of the SMOOCHERS mentioned etiquette - or lack of it - in the discussion forums. I haven't noticed anything even slightly off to me, so I'm trying to figure out what might have seemed troubling. I'm wondering if this was a reaction to some informality(?) (Some participants in CFHE12 know each other, so there's that.) Want to see really bad behavior? There was plenty in the Coursera course I took. The teaching assistants for that course did not use a heavy hand, but they did remove some postings. We can remind participants to be polite, but what should we do when some aren't? Perhaps we should warn MOOC newbies about the potential for a lack of decorum in discussion forums Perhaps we should suggest that newbies warm up by spending a few hours reading comments on slashdot and reddit and get innured to flip comments. Perhaps we should be trained in strategies for dealing with rude postings when we are not in charge. (Some suggestions for dealing with difficult students in the online classroom at )

Last Friday was a day of complete confusion for me about what time I was supposed to be where - both in physical space and online space. I need an administrative assistant! I finally made it online for that first TLT Group sMOOCHers discussion on CFHE12. Talk about confusion in general! I've been using the wrong hastag for sMOOCHers. It should be #tltgSMOOCHERS . I would have sworn that I'd been reading all my TLT email, but I guess not.

Speaking of technology: I do not yet have a mobile device with a data plan/hotspot. I experimented with ways to get onto wifi as if I were getting out of work at 2pm and getting into a 2pm online meeting ASAP. Not much luck with a rapid launch with my current batch of devices from my work location! Maybe it's time to pay Verizon more money? (sigh).

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