Orientation (week 1) in MultiMOOC and 15 steps to follow

Hi Stael and others embarking on MultiMOOC,

Good morning from here in sunny and pleasantly cool Abu Dhabi. 

This is our orientation week in a 5 week session.  Next week we are hoping you will declare how you expect you will proceed in this session.  

As you can see here:


this coming Sunday we are going to hang out with Dave Cormier, the person who coined the term MOOC in 2008 and who created the videos that suggested that success in MOOCs came in 5 steps: Orient, declare, network, cluster, and focus.

With her message that started this post, Stael is doing exactly what she should be doing.  She is helping herself orient with a well directed question.  As a result of this question I have added a line to the front page at http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com/ that says, in bold red:


What should you do next? Listen to Wesley Fryer’s keynote below and then let’s GET STARTED


Wesley Fryer has a one of the most practical, articulate, and approachable podcasts I know for those interested in educational technology.  His job has him driving a lot around the American midwest.  He records some of his most interesting podcasts from the road, where he just talks about what’s on his mind while he drives (safely :-).  In this one he gives his impressions of the most recent Educause conference. He starts with 20 minutes on insights on LMS and finishes up with thoughts on MOOCs and mobile technology.  Along the way he touches on interesting topics like badges, and some aspects of Wolfram Alpha that could be transformational to educators. (There will be more on badges next week.)


The Getting Started page here


explains how you should be orienting in the course this week. You should read that and explore the sidebar to the right of our wiki pages.  You’ll notice in both places that there is a link to Spaces Used in this session:


In constructing these pages I imagined that people would start with the Front Page and then go to Get Started.  There you are directed to Spaces Used so at the bottom of that page there is a checklist of 15 things you should address in the first week (before Sunday) in order to complete your orientation.

One of the steps is to get an account at Posterous and follow http://multiliteracies.posterous.com/.  This blog site has affordances that you will see when you join it.  For example, I have cc’d this msg to multiliteracies@posterous.com so it will appear as a post in that blog.  If you follow the blog you will receive an email that the post has been made and by replying to that mail you can leave a comment. This gives Posterous some potential as an interesting threaded discussion forum.

One thing you must understand about this session is that the orientation you are being asked to do is askew from what you are used to. As I have said elsewhere, this session is not massive enough to be a true MOOC, but it borrows the philosophy of cMOOCs in general (as opposed to xMOOCs) that it is radically learner-centered.  Most educational settings are strongly syllabus-directed, and many learners are most comfortable in such settings, where they don’t have to expend energy on having to make decisions about what they are doing in a course and what they should be learning next. 

I’m not saying that isn’t the best way to conduct learning in many situations, but on the other hand such a course would, in Siemens’s words (from his interview with Howard Reingold on the Getting Started page) have set a path for students where they could walk in the footsteps of their teacher. Siemens speaks of the role of chaos in learning, and suggests that students  might learn more if given space and opportunity to resolve that chaos rather than having a teacher resolve it for them.

This is not to say that one way is better than the other, but a multiliterate teacher should be aware of and have experienced both ways of learning. We might agree that self-directed learning works well for certain types of mature learners but not for learners who were immature, unmotivated, or lacked the literacy skills, multiliteracy skills if will, to articulate issues revolving around their own learning (unless of course they could be better engaged and motivated).

I think that both approaches to learning are important and applicable to certain situations.  Stael and others following MultiMOOC are also enrolled in other EVO sessions where the path is more clearly laid out for them. However, MOOCs are making an impact in the world of education, and attracting enough attention where 10% of US institutions are either running them or planning them (according to statistics provided by Curt Bonk, with whom we shall have a chance to talk in February).  But Siemens’s and Downes’s notions of connectivist learning are being attended to and experimented with in MOOC-like courses such as this one (see my latest re-scoop from co-moderator Ana Cristina Pratas here: http://www.scoop.it/t/edumooc/p/3995116778/my-reflection-on-connectivism-as-a-new-learning-theory-to-date)

So in my view, it is important that we experience both kinds of learning on offer through EVO.  As Wesley Fryer says in his keynote for this session this week, educators need to enroll in MOOCs in order to learn not only the subject matter of the MOOC but what it is like to learn in this new way.

So that’s a complicated answer to Stael’s excellent question, but if you find it convincing, or worth at this point at least having a look at those 15 steps, then welcome to MultiMOOC and I hope you can benefit from you investment of time and self-reflection here, because this session is aimed at helping you discover what you want to learn and how you can do that. It is not going to tell you what to learn, but seeks only to model heuristics for learning that might help us all become more aware of and then apply some ways the potential for learning is changing in a digitally networked world.

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:57 PM, Stael Ruffinelli wrote:



Thank you for the information.  I still need to clarify a doubt.  Is there a link you could provide me with so I can join a group or be aware of what I have to do this week..  I believe this course is a bit difficult for me and I am not on the right track.
Here is the link of a blog I have just opened multiliteracymoocstael.blogspot.com
Please send me information about what I should do next.
Best regards,
Stael Ruffinelli


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