May 06 2012

More on #BonkOpen and other MOOC-iness

Published by at 7:43 pm under facilitation,learning,networks

Last week my post on Reconceptualizing facilitation and participation in a networked (MOOC) context garnered some interesting attention and some great comments. I wanted to offer a few more links to other blogs which are part of this distributed conversation, not only because they are interested, but I’m interested in weaving together these threads, both between the #BonkOpen MOOC (Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success) and the #Change11 MOOC. So here we go!

Here are some more general MOOC-y blog posts:


Any other ones I should be reading and linking to?

Edit: May 7 – here are some more!


8 responses so far

8 Responses to “More on #BonkOpen and other MOOC-iness”

  1. Kate Bowles ("Kate in Australia")on 07 May 2012 at 5:32 am

    Thanks so much for the link, Nancy. I’ve been reading over your previous post carefully as this whole conversation has opened up some new ideas for me about the intimate and provisional nature of pop-up collaboration within massive social groups. It seems to me that MOOCs might productively be thought of as forms of “imagined communities”, simply in that like nations, they function on the basis that people in them may not directly interact with one another, but they’re aware of the scale of their shared project.

    But some of these benefits might be at cross-purposes with the promotion of an opportunity to interact very directly with particular individuals. This is a really complicated proposition for the new generation of massive communities that in some cases are leveraging the celebrity of either individuals or elite institutions to draw a big crowd, some of whom must inevitably feel a bit deflated by the stadium experience.

    I wonder if there’s a very simple issue here, to do with managing expectations?

  2. Nancy Whiteon 07 May 2012 at 6:31 am

    Hiya Kate – and glad to learn your last name. Late yesterday I had not found it. 😉 Thanks for adding a ton to the discussion in just three rich paragraphs.

    I had to smile when I read “imagined communities.” I think at some level you are right on. And as a MOOC moves forward, within the overall pool of members, REAL communities can and sometimes do form. (Not always!) My husband used to call all my online friends my “imaginary friends.” Then when they showed up at my house to stay, he realized they were “real!”

    I was also nodding vigorously to this sentence: ” This is a really complicated proposition for the new generation of massive communities that in some cases are leveraging the celebrity of either individuals or elite institutions to draw a big crowd, some of whom must inevitably feel a bit deflated by the stadium experience.” Mama mia. You are right about this performance/celebrity piece and I think the problem is the audience. We are getting too conditioned to this. “Elite” institutions, etc. But I’ll leave this cultural issue aside for the moment, at it deserves a LOT more thinking and attention.

    I think from any individual MOOC (or any semi formalized encounter) perspective clarity on expectations is really useful. THis is a basic facilitation practice that is easy to forget. I know, I’ve forgotten it. I’ve observed that the old adage “under-promise and ove-rdeliver” really applies in so many places — like a MOOC. So some of the current excitement may over promise. But we can facilitate each context so that the ‘group’ (if it IS a group) has some sense of expectations. I’d add though, that MOOCs are as much, if not more, about individuals setting their own expectations, goals and understanding their own motivations. MOOCs, in my mind (perhaps idealized) are about individual construction of learning in a social context, if that makes any sense at all! So yes, managing expectations is an important issue. But I’m not so sure it is simple. 😉

  3. Gerry McKiernanon 07 May 2012 at 1:42 pm


    I maintain a blog titled _Alt-Ed_ that is “devoted to documenting significant initiatives relating to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), digital badges, and similar alternative educational projects.”

    It is located at



    Gerry McKiernan
    Associate Professor
    Science and Technology Librarian
    Iowa State University
    152 Parks Library
    Ames IA 50011

    “The Problem with Learning is Education”

  4. Fred Haason 07 May 2012 at 2:26 pm


    Thanks so much for linking me in this great conversation that you have aggregated. I followed one of your discussion threads on CourseSites to your blog, which I began reading closely, leading me to Lisa Lane’s blog. The conversation and intersections between you two kept me reading only to find Laura Gibbs in the mix, someone I have known of virtually for a little while. It was all kind of fantastic convergence. Plus, Bonk was chiming in both blogs too. It was kind of inspiring. I had no idea my post would get swept up into the broader conversation. So thanks again.

    Finding your blog was also a great connection because of your Digital Habitats book which has been in my Amazon Wish List cue for a couple of months. I didn’t see the cover at first, but then later realized, “Hey, you co-authored a book I have been meaning to read. No wonder I am liking your blog.” I look forward to reading it.


  5. Nancy Whiteon 07 May 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Gerry, thanks for the additional link. I’ll edit in up there.

    Fred, good to “e-meet” you – let me know what you think of the book. It is now out on Kindle as well (the images aren’t great, so we put a link on for PDFs of all the images!)

  6. Nancy Whiteon 07 May 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Fred – I thought I posted a comment, but it seems my own blog ate it. I wanted to mention the book is out in ebook format now too, but the images are squished, so you can find PDFs of all the images on the website (book site!)

  7. […] the full article » Browse Nancy White’s roundup of the debate around MOOCs » education, open ← Aggregating election social media in real time to prevent conflict […]

  8. […] Mark McGuire, Matthias Melcher, Heli Nurmi, Mary Rearick, Howard Rheingold, George Veletsianos, Nancy White, Bon Stewart, Valerie, and many others that I would like to list them all […]

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