I have been thinking about how I should understand the position of course participants who are clearly not “enjoying” what is going on in, and around, the course. I put the “scare quotes” here to indicate that I am using this notion of enjoyment (or the lack of it) in a very broad and inclusive way. There is, first of all, the distress that is associated with all experiences of learning. Piaget talked about the disequilibrium that results when new understandings are being formed within existing knowledge structures. Thus learning is always going to be a disruptive and disturbing process, and this should be welcomed and worked with. I like Papert’s notion of “hard fun” to describe the challenge and exhilaration of that sort of discomfort. One probably recognises that discomfort for what it is, and is therefore less troubled by it.
But there appear to be people who feel that they are not learning anything of value, are simply annoyed and frustrated by what is going on, and are on the cusp of withdrawal. Not really much to be said here. Sorry to have troubled you, of course. I hate to think of anyone dreaming in #tags. There will be people who will find this course meets their needs, and those for whom it is not a good fit. Jeremy has said something on people participating in different sorts of ways in a recent post.
But there was something that I found which troubled me. Alfredo reported that he felt that he had been ignored. What is more, he felt that he was ignored because his views were not in keeping with the “point” being taken by the course team.
… the EDCMOOC team clearly had a point. Those dissenting with their point – as is my case – were not addressed, neither in the forums nor in the hangouts. As if we didn´t exist.
I am sad to think that someone felt this to be true. Anything that I could say would seem defensive. But I would want to say – to any who shared Alfredo feeling – that you were not ignored. The statistics of the situation were against any individual attracting the attention of any one other individual. And for that reason, the attention of any one other particular individual – certainly the members of the teaching team – should not be held to be an important part of the experience of the course. Meeting together with some others – if you wish it – should be. But the feeling of being ignored – consciously – is an attribution that you do not need to make.
Which would bring me to a forum post about how to evaluate this (or any) MOOC. I hope that many will respond to this, as we would find it extremely helpful. I think that the poster would too.