So I promised a more analytical response of why etmooc was so valuable as a learning process and here it is. What is interesting is that even though I am no longer in the weekly/biweekly task mode for etmooc, as a post etmooc blog group member our group has maintained that biweekly format, I expect for continuity’s sake. Even though I am a member of different groups now, I miss that etmooc feeling. I expect it is because etmooc made sure to expose us to different thought leaders every week and kept our brain humming at peak intensity. (So am I a knowledge/new experience junkie?) I often wonder how many weeks/months/years of planning and knowledge went into the creation of etmooc.
So a few reasons why etmooc worked:
- Emphasis on exposure to new ideas/technologies and thought leaders
- Discussion of new ideas in multiple formats with multiple avenues for exploration
- Creation and expansion of PLN encouraged and facilitated
- Creation of content by the learner (us) for consumption by fellow learners using both old and new technological tools in creative ways (I still feel Haiku Deck deprived as a pc user)
- Comment on content by peers encouraged
- No assessment except through voluntary peer to peer assessment
- Learner control of knowledge accessed, consumed and conveyed
- Positive reinforcement of any knowledge acquired by peers and moderators
So I would be interested in how many etmoocers actively participated in the journey, was there a difference in the level of engagement between those who started in the beginning vs. those who started later, and what was the overall retention rate for the program?
There are other questions of course. How do we import this model of engagement into the classroom (both K-12, higher ed and training of adults)? Could/should we use this as a model for the future in education? How would the majority of teachers react to giving up control? How would governments react to this type of approach? How does this approach challenge current practices in the field of assessment which is really government’s way of maintaining control of what is taught?
Personally, will I be able to maintain this level of engagement post-etmooc? Can I continue to nurture and expand my PLN without it becoming an enormous responsibility both professionally and personally? Do I have the technological skills I need to support my connections? If I feel overwhelmed and need to disengage are my multiple PLNs supportive enough to let me exit and enter at will? What are the social connections of these networks and my responsibilities to the multiple networks? How much do my own personal beliefs about social interactions govern my sense of responsibility to the networks?
Continuing the journey……