Embodied Presence in a MOOC – #edcmooc

The five instructors of the e-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC (#edcmooc) held a live Google+ Hangout today.  Each instructor took themes and questions from various parts of the first week to amplify, discuss and present.  Part synthesis and part engagement in the dialogue, the group highlighted interesting contributions, answered questions, talked about course design intents, and may other elements.  The Hangout+ was incredibly helpful in providing some focus and energy to massive amount of content being produced by students.  Most importantly it provided an embodiment,connective thread, leadership or focus to the course.  Very powerful indeed.

Additionally simultaneous twitter and Google+ feeds allowed for students engaged in the Hangout to contribute the overall conversation.  In many ways this was one solution to the issue of my post two days ago “Making Sense of MOOC Conversations”.

In talking to my colleague Kei today about this course, I also wondered how might this role of “synthesizer” or “meaning maker” be codified.  Could it be something that students would be tasked with?  Could a small study group (in-person or not) provide similar meaning and focus as long as members of the group knew their role in synthesizing content?  Clearly this is a model used in Law School in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere) .

A new set of interesting possibilities are now swirling in my head to continue to be considered.


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