In ETMOOC there was a lot to learn and think about. Thanks to the great set-up of the whole course by the organizers. What I have learned has been the topic of most of my blog posts. So my “summary of learning artifact” is my thoughts about the ETMOOC learning cycle.
In ETMOOC the idea was that the participants produced blog posts or other pieces of content to show their thinking about the topics at issue. Participants were encouraged to use all types of tools and media to express their thinking. Most of the time apart from some hints there were no specific assignments from the organizers of ETMOOC what you should blog about. So a lot was left to the creativity of the participants. As you were using your own blog to produce your contributions to ETMOOC the content remained your own and you could and can also use it for other purposes then ETMOOC.
One of the main ideas behind blogging is that you use links in your text to direct the reader of your blog to relevant background material or sources for what you are blogging about. In this way what you produced was not just your own thinking but was embedded in what others had produces about the topic. At the same time the links show the context for your thinking.
What I learned is that this is a good way to get learners to read about a subject, to analyze what is worthwhile to use and what is not, and to synthesize that into a product of their own. The fact that you publish it on the internet gives the added effect that you know that everybody can see it, so you tend to think a bit more about what you produce.
Participants had to distribute what they produced to the other participants in ETMOOC. This was mainly done with tools like twitter and google+. At the same time the ETMOOC blog had a mechanism for syndicating all the blog posts into one place. All the participants had to do to enable this was register their blog one time.
Because the distribution like the production was also done with tools that the participants “owned” they were free to distribute their posts to other networks then ETMOOC also. For example by not only using the ETMOOC hash tag but also the MOOC hash tag when twitter was your distribution mechanism.
What I learned is that it will probably payoff for my university (and others) to think a bit more deeply about what they now see as trivial: the handing in of assignments by students. As it is this is a totally anonymous procedure within an institution and just making it visible already has an effect (shit she is already done and I still need to start). What is more when you hand it in with a tool like twitter you need to think about what you tweet while handing it in. Which is a great way to practice summarizing the main point of your assignment. The collection of “handing in” tweets from the students tell a story in itself.
It was encouraged to read the blog posts of other participants and to place reactions to their posts. It was considered good form to react back to any reaction you got. In this way a conversation/discussion could start about a topic among the participants and if you were lucky a cycle of reactions could deepen your understanding of a topic.
Because you were blogging on the internet everybody could react to your blog posts, not just the other participants in ETMOOC. In that sense what you learned was open to see and react to for others. Broadening the possibility for worthwhile reaction cycles about topics you were working on.
What I learned it that the visibility of the whole reaction cycle is something that can be improved. The initial posts and distribution were clearly visible while reactions were only visible for yourself and the people reading your post after the reaction was placed (unless they had subscribed to the post). Reactions also ended up in places like twitter and google+ making it less easy to follow the cycle of reactions to a blog post. I experimented a bit with making reactions to my posts more visible for example by tweeting about them. That felt a bit boastful (look who has reacted to my post) so I stopped doing that.