Over the last three months I spent a considerable amount of time following the #PLENK2010 Massive Open OnLine Course organized by Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes, Rita Kop, and George Siemens.

This post will be an attempt to summarize the impact of that experience and it will be non-static as I will update it from time to time as new thoughts and reflections come to mind. (I do that with other posts as well, so this blog is not intended as an “honest” reflection of my expressed thoughts as they occur but rather of what they might or should have been)

Surprisingly, one impact of the course on me was a kind of mental constipation which set in mid-way through the course which blocked the free flow of ideas required for my full and effective participation, and the first purpose of this post will be to help me understand that.
Perhaps, if it comes to anything, this might also shed some light on the thinking of other non-contributing participants and be useful with regard to the debate prompted by George Siemens’ unfortunate judgemental reference to “lurkers” in his otherwise very reasonable discussion of the benefits of active engagement.

When it comes to asessing what I have learned, I share some of the confusion expressed by others. Actually a lot of it may be intangible but still real – I do think that I may have picked up some skills by observing how others build and extend relationships; and perhaps, by going back and reviewing how the facilitators managed the progress of the course, I may learn some more specific things about what to do (and not do) when trying to “teach” people to learn independently.

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5 Responses to PLENK2010

  1. Heli Nurmi says:

    Hi Alan,
    I am very curious to know more about your mental constipation in mid-way PLENK. I am sure you know something about it, what was it? Please tell freely your ideas….

    It is not fair to begin and then stop

  2. alan says:

    Thanks for the prompt Heli. I will keep adding to this post, but you will see that the thoughts are not yet clear – and that may be a clue…

    One factor that limited my participation was the fact that often, by the time I had decided what I wanted to say on a particular topic (if I ever actually got to that stage) the moment had passed. Or, more specifically, I may have got to the stage of drafting a tentative blog comment which I never finished or of opening a discussion topic only just as (or after) the next week had started and it seemed that new discussions in old weeks rarely got responded to.

  3. Heli Nurmi says:

    Now you told something already.

    These massive open courses are not effective or well organized. You have to write at once when you want to say something, no drafts, only writings.

    Perhaps you think too much? or too well, no space for good thinking in MOOCs – this sounds sad 🙁

    I have same feelings, it is not easy to feel that I have learned anything, just participated and found some interesting people and .. articles..

  4. alan says:

    Thanks, Heli, for your encouragement and for the link to Matthias. I hadn’t noticed that before and found it interesting.

    Don’t feel sad or lack of learning. Even seeing what does not work is learning about what needs to be done differently.

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