I started the Creativity, Innovation and Change MOOC (#cicmooc) this week as well as a Collaborative Exploration (CE), “Everyone Can Think Creatively!” offered in collaboration with the Critical and Creative Thinking Program at UMass Boston. Exploring self was the focus of the two activities I engaged in for CIC and understanding how my personal story connected with others was step one with the CE.
Reflecting on self in CIC was a relatively deep endeavor designed to unearth my creative style, my motivations, my driving forces, influencing factors and thinking about blocks and supports. Connecting with others in this context is a secondary activity and a community of learners is still in the early stages of emerging. The injection of a quadblog group headed up by Cathleen Nardi helps with the idea that I’m at least accountable and connected to others who are sharing this experience. That I am part of a learning community. The return of familiar names and faces from the previous #edcmooc is also connective. So, here in CIC-land I’ve had time to consider material and think on self and move slowly into “conversation” with others. Although the conversation is right now more like a bunch of random broadcasts waiting for response.
The CE starts from a different place. The content is less prescribed and as such the starting place is a little more unsettled. I’m very familiar with this format now — I have my sea legs so to speak. While a small group has formed around a loose case or idea, the first step here is to really get to know each other. Intensive autobiographical introductions are the mechanism for doing this along with thinking about where each of us connects to the others. These connections are collectively shared.
So these are two very different places to start in thinking through creativity and creative process — structured content and a loose community vs. loose content and a structured community. It will be interesting to see how my thinking and knowledge builds through these two distinct learning experiences.