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My blog and my expertise?

The header image of this blog shows the history of my participation. Five years and four months is a long time and now I have a feeling that I want to change something.


In order to deepen my orientation I present more facts which Google Analytics offers me. Here is the overall situation: visitors, visits and pageviews.

Englblogi5vThe numbers of blog posts differ but they don’t correlate directly with the visits. The year 2010 is the top of posts: 20,24,64,16,26,50.

The first two years were connectivism studies CCK08 and 09. It was the beginning of my international participation.

The PLENK2010 course opened more ways and I was active for the first time. The year 2010 seems to be my real beginning towards international virtual life. After that year I have participated in many moocs. American eduMooc gave me some names to follow in Twitter. Two Coursera studies have been great experiences: Fantasy and science fiction. Human mind and Modern world was hard work and taught a lot. ELearning and Digital Cultures was so fascinating that I did it twice. Its facilitators’ team is charming and the community around the course seems to live forever.  First steps of learning and teaching in higher education was nearest to my former work at teacher education. I participated in it twice, first as a student and then as an expert participant. It helped me to find the old educational theorists in the internet and deepen my knowledge.

The following diagram shows the countries from which the visitors came to my blog. The overall number is 130.

Englmaat5vUSA is highest every year but UK goes up in 2013. Edcmooc and fslt are both implemented in British Universities. Australia goes up and more visitors come from there than from Canada. Philippines and India have noticed my blog later. Malaysia could be mentioned too. Europe is less interested in my blog (except UK). Germany was at the top on the first years, now the Netherlands leads the numbers. Finland I have left outside because I cannot separate my own visits from real visitors.

So it is a small English speaking community which I’ve learned to know during these five years. Some of my friends participated in the connectivist moocs but not everyone.  My connections are open and changing all the time. I recognise many names in Twitter and follow their blogs. Although new visitors have apparently come during the courses, the most favourited topics in my blog seem to be very general. They are near my real expertise and my permanent interest. I’ll list the blog posts here in order (how popular they have been):

Learning theories in teacher education from 2010-10-05 and category teacher education are at the top from year to year. Almost half of all direct visits are connected to this topic.This expertise is part of my history and I’ve no intention to continue in this field. They are opening doors to the  internet and do what they want, it is not my job any more.

Then the numbers of page visits diminish quickly.

  • On connectivism again 2008-09-16 includes a diagram of experiental learning, which we used in teacher education. I suppose that this page is linked by Downes somewhere.
  • Learning theories and technology 2010-10-09 and Learning theories recent discussion 2010-10-07. I remember that Rita Kop appreciated my knowledge about Nordic discussion.
  • Social self organisation 2011-02-24 was connected to a Finnish project published in English. Understanding networking 2011-02-27  followed the same project. There was international interest in the air.
  • Learning Analytics 1st conference 2011-03-04 contains links to presentations. Also the following posts about LAK conferences have got readers for the same reason I believe. How to follow learning (LASI and LAK) 2013-07-12 continues with this theme.
  • Assessment can support development 2010-10-14 deals with the main topic of learning, based on my experiences at the teacher education.
  • Research about mooc pedagogy 2011-12-19 is my permanent interest.
  • I am the platform 2010-09-29 was my way to determine how to participate. This must be nerd talk, much spam to this post.
  • My footprints of edcmooc in febr, 2013-09-03 and the wikispace of the research project are the best research oriented blog posts which I have written until this. I should continue ..
  • Test your blog 2010-10-15 . This is a way to become famous, but I want to dive deeper to psychological knowledge and I haven’t continued in this way. It was interesting that all the answers belonged to introverts.

In the future I will focus my writing better. I do not participate in any courses but follow discussions according to my interests. Online learning, pedagogical principles of moocs and how research can help to find answers. Those are my topics this year.

Next weekend I intend to copy this blog to a new place and say farewell to edublogs. This platform has served very well, but I am not in a right place, I am not a teacher any more. I move this blog to my site helinurmi.fi or actually my son does it and I gave orders. I am not sure how I’ll continue blogging. Time will tell.

Andy Mitchell, one of those edcmooc digital angels, said me in Twitter that

You need to learn to praise yourself. Your contribution is important…

I have a lot to learn. How could I believe what Andy says?

I was lucky again to get appropriate assessment in edcmooc2. My artefact is connected to a research project about emergent learning. The project began after the first connectivism course in 2008, where two of the researchers and I participated. I have been following the project from the beginning and tried to use its description of learning. I think that it is one of the best ways to grasp the dynamics of emergent learning. I wrote blog posts about the method in August and September using edcmooc1 as my example. I wanted to connect my artefact to this research.

So I did a prezi around the project. The prezi includes a video in which Jenny Mackness (the researcher) demonstrates the method. My own contribution is not valuable. Only the idea or my intention is worth considering. I do not like my prezi myself and I have no intention to use it anywhere else. I just wanted to contribute to the end of edcmooc and did something to do that. I am very glad that my peer reviewers understood me.

The feedback was delightfully critical and told me everything I had in my mind after sending the prezi to the coursera platform for assessment:

In many ways, the artifact consists more of a reflection on education than on the themes of the course.

It would have been good to review the main themes of the course before putting together the submission. It is difficult to know which one were being communicated.

This artefact has ‘learning’ and ‘future education’ written all over it. I would have loved a few more pages of information on this subject.

Perhaps you could have explained the theory before showing the video. At the end you wrote what “Jenny said”. I would have loved to know your opinion.

My impression is that the student may have taken this course to reflect on learning rather than to reflect on how digital culture is changing the world. Would have liked to see more focused response.

Here comes the positive side of the feedback. I enjoyed this part of course.

 I really enjoyed your prezi! The video of Jenny Mackness is interesting. I have to admit it is a bit confusing at first but once you get the idea it actually makes sense. It highlights that humans do not learn in the same.

Very good artefact! Thank you for making me think about this kind of stuff! :)
Among three of the assignments I marked, this one is the best one, which highlights the course themes and the key concepts in brief.

I like how you started out with writing down your personal objectives for this course. What you wanted to get out of it. Wish I did that as well.

The creator has made a very strong link between the course contents and the themes. The artefact is also related to education.

Good stuff! Really enjoyed watching your artefact and I’ve learned something new.

I have to thank my peer reviewers and agree with their opinions. Now I want to add something . The media (prezi) is not the best for describing a research. I understood that wikispace is much better and it is the form that the researchers have chosen. So it is better to continue inside that wiki. It is open and there are open webinars too if you become interested in it.

My technological skills are not good and I did not manage to connect any voice to the prezi myself. I tried and there was help available but when the deadline schedules changed three times, I stopped trying. Websites or storify could have been more suitable to my ideas. This is all learning and it is more important than a good product. Edcmooc is a good place to try new things and it is my fault that I didn’t use it more. I have to write another post about what I have learned about my motives and passions.

This post is written in honour of the peer feedback. It was working well again in edcmooc. They gave me 1 if you want to know :) We had pass (1) or fail (0) assessment.

Do you know the Golden Snitch? I mean that one, which Harry Potter caught in Quidditch. Here is a link to the topic. My son used to read all the Potter books in English and I had to do the same. It was good practice and helped me to realise that the golden ball in Ping’s image – see the blog header – is the golden snitch of the Quidditch game. I had that insight while editing the image.

sumu2The snitch flies very quickly and it is difficult to catch. You must be a real seeker in order to succeed in catching it. The other players are disturbing you and there is magic in the air. Not easy at all.

This is my situation just now. I should like to handle learning in my final assignment. I want to get a glimpse of the most challenging learning: learning not only from the past but from the future as it emerges. What is the golden snitch in our edcmooc studies? Of course there are many of those and it all depends of the participants’ point of view, but how do I see the snitch? That is my humble question.

I have got some help today by reading other participants’ experiences. Matt Holland presented 5 rules of being human in a MOOC. His content is near my thinking and I got some advice for tools in the FB group. I could get a robot speak my written English (my mic is not working and I haven’t bought a new one). Prezi offers many easy guides for how to do it. Perhaps I have to use it. Here is a link to Matthew’s blog and his new Prezi.

Rajiv Bajaj shared in Twitter the link to his You Tube presentation Technology in Education. I enjoyed it and gave feedback that it is perfect, do not change anything. Perhaps the heading could be broader? The presentation is not only about technology, I can see wise psychology in it. I’ll probably watch Rajiv’s video many times in order to put my mind in order :)


This is a moment of procrastination in my participation in edcmooc. I should plan my digital artefact – all other participants have already done theirs, but I have not even begun mine. So I have to do something else, it’s logical. The impulse to this blog post was Andy Mitchell’s tweet about Edinburgh University’s graduation in the Second Life (SL). Our facilitators, or some of them were going to that graduation yesterday. Here is the link to the YouTube video named School of Education virtual graduation in SL.

SL is similar to  authentic life experiences. Choosing and building an avatar is a touching and important moment. Your personality transfers to your avatar and everything that happens to her, happens to you. I had a long break in my visits to SL, but in honour of this transhumanism week I decided to check if my avatar is still alive and working. So I found myself in eduFinland and flew around there. Then I went to the discussion forums (general discussions> meeting in SL) to write down the landmarks of the Edinburgh University (SL search gave too many possibilities). I transported myself to the given place and began to fly in order to see better. And I saw an avatar walking in a street. I had to stop flying and descend on the ground.

SLedinburghThe avatar was a handsome young man and because I have a ring which shows me the names of avatars in the neighbourhood, I saw that his name was Esko Levee. It was easy to remember that his real name is Esko Lius and he is a participant of edcmooc. I am not sure if we have met f2f in Finland but we knew each other virtually from many Finnish forums.

It felt like a real meeting on the street in Edinburgh University’s SL. When I watched the video of the graduation, I recognised this place there. I have been there! We had a chat discussion in Finnish , my mike is broken and it’s often  better to write in SL, because voice can disturb other avatars. It was night or late evening as you can see.

My appearance in SL comes from the autumn 2007. The avatar is a Japanese young girl and I have not changed it much. I added green hair and I like it. Some T-shirts I’ve got while visiting in different places. I am lazy when it comes to taking care of my appearance and I have forgotten how to do it in the SL. I should do something to my careless appearance but I am not sure if I want to use my time on clothes or hairdressing. I don’t mind such things in real life nor in augmented realities. But there is something in the SL which I love or the little child inside me loves. I love flying and transporting from place to another. This was a nice meeting and the graduation is worth seeing.

My heading was first Human presence in massive open courses but I made it shorter. I am following the edcmooc course and contextualise all my thoughts accordingly.

In week 3, we are looking at examples of approaches which respond to the apparent threat to ‘the human’ posed by technology by re-asserting the importance of what is irreplaceably valuable in human ways of being and learning.  We are considering the view that human nature and human ways of being are in some sense under threat by technology, and that this has the potential to undermine the basis of our commitment to humanist ideas which underlie many educational philosophies and approaches to practice, such as equality, freedom and autonomy.

What are the different ways of human presence in purely online-held courses? I have a personal history of working as an online facilitator and I had a feeling about being closer to my adult students online than if it had been f2f. I am convinced that human presence is possible online, but it is not easy to define its conditions. I had an excellent partner, Pekka Ihanainen, with whom I facilitated some online courses for two teacher education colleges (in Finland). We wrote and published about our experiences but only in Finnish. I’ll try now to tell shortly about our findings. As I said in another blog post, I have a feeling that edcmooc is similar with our way of facilitating adult students’ learning.

Dialogical space is a necessary condition and facilitators have a role in creating it. Dialogical space is safe and supporting, creative and challenging. It is the atmosphere in which everyone wants to do his/her best and enjoys the work. Presence can be described in many ways and the parts are connected to each other. This image helps to define the dialogical conditions:

Dia2Facilitating presence includes all actions which help the students to learn. We used the concept “didactical” but it is not used in English and “pedagogical” does not sound good, so I chose the term facilitating presence.

Emotional presence is very challenging and interesting to define. The teacher must be personal, it is not good to hide one’s personality. It is good to locate oneself in some ways. In edcmooc  we took photos about ourselves in a Hangout situation. We can see that we are human beings (with much technology :) ). Emotional connections are between people but also toward online studies. It is good to share problems and solutions and be anxious together. And to build up community humour when it is possible.

Cognitive presence is easy to understand, but it is complex in practice. We have a duty to disturb our students intellectually, said someone in edcmooc. It is good to avoid direct guiding , and better to support students as they find their way. The general guide lines must be clear, but thinking and assessing is students’ work.

When the community reaches a dialogical state and finds its own working habits, every monologue is also a component in the shared dialogue and new connections are found. It is emergent learning, every participant is learning and creating. In edcmooc the photo “competition” in week 3 supports this side of studies, otherwise it could be too serious.

I took a short glimpse at other theorists in this field. I remember Terry Anderson and the many research groups, who were working on this theme in 2006-2007. Here are links to Anderson’s blog post and this slideshare.  This image integrates the basic concepts.

Dia1In the middle of the diagram is educational experience. Social presence includes emotional presence. Setting climate connects social presence to teaching presence.

Supporting the discourse combines social and cognitive presence. Teacher selects and recommends the content.

I like the concept of triggering events, it describes the dynamics of learning. Sense of community is another important concept. Otherwise studies can be only external performance with little engagement. I am myself very sensitive to the atmosphere: I registered to an American mooc which was organised correctly (like edcmooc) but I interpreted that the teachers were not authentical themselves and the course was only a play and all supporting acts were like following rules, and same to each student. I don’t want to tell the name of the course, I wish good luck to them. I registered and watched some videos, that was all I did.

I return back to edcmooc again. Professor Fuller links his talk to our key theme of re-asserting the human. His stance seems to be that ‘you can only be morally credible’ if you are addressing issues of human freedom and equality. Thinking about education specifically, might we see MOOCs as an example of an ‘old humanistic project’, particularly in the promise they appear to offer for democratisation, equality of access and so on? I wanted to say that the humanistic project is possible in certain conditions.

Often the question about online teaching is that what is lacking in it concerning human communication. Hersh’s solution was to incorporate more video and audio components into the course-delivery mechanism. Most professors who teach online already incorporate short video and audio clips into their courses. But it is rarer, Hersh says, for professors to use videos of themselves to teach or interact with their online.  I think that in edcmooc the Hangouts bring the facilitators near us, but the most important thing is the atmosphere of equality and enthusiasm to understand elearning and digital cultures. We are studying with our facilitators and assistants without any hierarchy.


I can show the whole picture about my footprints during edcmooc. I have taken distance to this topic in our summer cottage and looking for birds who are gathering to crowds in order to migrate to the South. I gathered lingonberries and noticed that my back does not like the movements. And I have received comments to my previous posts from Jenny Mackness, the researcher in Footprints of emergence wiki. I can answer to her comments here. So, what are my footprints:

tulospienI don’t draw any lines between my points, because they are single footprints. I did not say footprints of learning or emergence in my heading, that dimension is still obscure to me: what am I assessing here?

I am describing my experiences and I have my perspective about what is my ‘full points’. I think that best for me, for my learning is to work in challenging situations and learn new things (content and/or skills). For me this kind of challenge is always positive, it is something I am after in my live :)

Summary: the balance between instruction and emergence was optimal to me in edcmooc. I was working on sweet or positive challenging emergent learning during the course. I had space for self-actualisation and creativity. I learned a lot and enjoyed even more :) .

I believe that my description is similar to the experiences of other experienced moocers. But some of them may consider the course as too easy (the assignment was so open that all could be accepted). And in every massive course there are thousands of participants who are whining for more clarity and guidance and who are very discontented with the design. I am so accustomed to this situation that I jump over their comments. It would be interesting to compare the footprints of all different  participants. It would be a messy image I suppose.

I believe that this footprint method works well when a group of students is using it together and comparing their thoughts. I did my footprints alone, a half year after the course, and it was not easy to remember and assess. My personal interest focuses on learning in open online courses  and I’ve got material for this from this model. Space for learning, space for individual creativity is very important for adult participants from my culture. Ownership of learning must be on in the learner’s hands (brain/mind). I do not believe that we can build one learning model for all learning (children/ autistic people). I think that it is necessary to put borders somewhere. I am interested in adults’ learning on open online courses. Emergent learning is perhaps the most interesting part of adult learning, sharing expertise and learning from each other.

Prescribed learning is necessary, I agree of course, when we know the truth or the best knowledge at this moment. I know that there is ‘good English language’ and my style is far from it. I can try self-correction from post to post. For example I do not  use ‘curriculum’ any more about open courses, I say ‘design’. A design has an artistic connection in my mind. I should take a course of English… We use the concept ‘learning plan’ in my country.

Now it is time to take a break again, I feel tired. This post includes some general comments to myself and Jenny. Something is happening in my mind. The activity level of brain/mind is one of the most important factors in learning and in emergence. Where is this in the footprints model? Agency of course, me as an actor?

EDIT later Here is the address to the wikispace so you can see the machine-made beautiful picture. It is easy, I did it and Jenny Mackness helped to put it in the right place. Some day I’ll continue this pondering.

I decided to assess one course, E-Learning and Digital Cultures, in which I participated, first with my own words and how I remember the experience. Then I check my posts about the course and add something if important things had fallen out of my memory. The final part consists of building the Footprints of the course according to the research project, but it comes later.

The edcmooc course lasted four-five weeks (Jan Febr 2013) and consisted of the following parts:

Block 1 Utopias and dystopias: week1 Looking to the past, week2 Looking to the Future

Block 2 Being Human: week 3 Reasserting the Human, week 4 Redefining the Human

Week 5. Final Assessment and Peer Gradings, Research about the course.

Edcmooc was one of the Coursera products and used its platform, discussion forums and peer gradings. The resources for every week were short videos, recommendations about articles and lectures and facilitators’ hangout. The four facilitators were working at Edinburgh University, Scotland, and they worked as a team, for instance wrote a blog jointly, participated in Hangouts together.

My free assessment about edcmooc is very positive. The students were excellent, active and supportive. They made a Google group and offered their findings, shared their discoveries all the time. The facilitators were active and relaxed, the atmosphere was full of joy and laughter. The facilitators were interested in us, the participants, and wanted to receive all kind of feedback. The content was easy to follow, the videos were short demos about digital life. I had a feeling that I could step into a new digital world, to participate in an exciting journey. I blogged and commented on others’ blogs, followed the discussion forums when I wanted and followed the extra Google group. I tried Google+ because I got help with trying it. There was a week when we could send images to Flickr, it was extra, perhaps, but very nice. I did not study all of the content but I did not care. I learned a lot, I used Prezi in my Final work first time in my life. I admired other participants’ digital artefacts and published some of them in my blog. I liked a discussion Forum named Age 60+ and blogged about it.

The assessment is very positive. Now I read my posts and check if I forgot something important. I wrote 19 blog posts during the course 27.1.-6.3. The posts included more facts about positive happenings but not anything quite new compared to the previous text. Perhaps the concept ‘digital viking’ is worth mentioning. It is an example of other participants’ ideas which greatly inspired me. From the content I chose the parts dealing with human interaction and I asked the basic question: Have we always, sometimes or never been human? I used the demo videos and lectures in my post.

I did a summary of the results of what I’ve learned during edcmooc (my blog post 4.3.) .


I wonder what I could add to this description by using the Footprints with its clusters and factors?

This image is more about my learning outcomes, while Footprint factors help to describe the pedagogy, learning dynamics. I spoke about it in my first summary in this post.

Critical factors from my point of view seemed to be these two: The activity and high digital literacy of other students inspired me. And the facilitators, I trusted their expertise. These factors made my success and maintained my motivation and activity during the course.  What else can I find? This is an exciting journey…


I was very eager to begin my participation in fslt13 week 0. I wrote two blog posts and commented on some forums. I enjoyed the first sessions. Then came a pause: I began to think about my expertise. What could I give in order to help or support my co-learners?

It was easier to recognize what I cannot offer: I do not know the British universities and their assessments or grades. Most of our expert participants live in UK, Oxford, London etc. They know these practices, so I may leave this side to them. I also recognized the difference between fslt13 and my way to act as an online teacher. I did not use any strict schedules or small groups. I gave the freedom to participate when the students wanted, when the time was suitable for them. I even gave the freedom to select their topics. Some people did their assignments at the beginning of their studies, some at the end. Every assignment was very personal and I did not care about the style or correctness of their texts. The diversity was great and I used to be a flexible 24/7 teacher. I cannot wait that this is the case in fslt13, this course is more normal or usual: topic of the week is clear and there are deadlines.

I have to find my expertise on a general level. I have participated so many different MOOCs that I know the process. My former blog posts based on my former experiences. I know that some chaos, uncertainty and disorientation belong to the orientation phase of MOOCs. But I began to ask myself on week 1 that who wants this knowledge of mine? I read again the arrival lounge discussions and found many different expectations.

One group of students aimed to learn to teach better, new skills and techniques. Some wanted to learn more from higher education and enhance their competitiveness. – I used to work in teacher education but teaching is contextualized and depends on the culture. So I am not sure how I could help these people in their career building.

Another group of students wants to learn more about online learning or about MOOCs and the technologies used in them. Here I recognized many questions which I was interested in myself: the engagement, cultural effects, teaching philosophy and style. Some students told that this is their first MOOC and they want to live it through . That got me to think that what makes a MOOC? Is it the openness and the freedom to choose the tools? This fslt can be performed by following guides and deadlines and working alone just like whatever university course, is this?

The diversity of expectations and very heterogeneous students are considered as a richness in open online courses. I have a hunch that this is true in fslt13 and our students will learn quite different skills and knowledge depending on their different orientations.

We have many experienced moocers which already know online learning very well. Our list of expert participants could be much longer than it is (about 22 of 133 = registered in Moodle today). But it is not important how our roles are defined. I believe that this experimentation to use expert participants, as described in this blog of MazWaite, this will produce us some new knowledge. This is a post about my process of losing my expertise and redefining it in this context. I had to define what I am not to understand what I am. Sometimes I wish I were more simple (simpler does not sound right, I am not sure..)

Now I am going to follow Icehockey, Finland against Sweden, our favorite enemy.

My final assignment can be found in this Feb 27 blog post. This time I will analyze the feedback I got from the ‘official’ peer gradings and other comments. The inspiring quality of #edcmooc can be identified in the way that students shared their digital artefacts all the time, before the dead line and after it. The official gradings were written into Coursera platform, other comments to my blog, FB group and my FB timeline.

I copy first the criterion (2 = achieves this fully or almost fully ) and then the gradings of peer 1,2, and 3.

The artefact addresses one or more themes for the course and suggests that the author understands at least one key concept

My peer graders agreed with this statement.

Peer 1 explained that “ I found this addressed a Utopian view into a human entering the digital world. While mentioning technology a lot of it was about new world, blogging environments and social networking – many of which are themes that echo across the course’s weeks of materials. I think the author has taken concepts such as humans in the digital world and addressed them clearly in their artifact.”

Peer 2. ” I could see the link between considering the nature and scope of one’s online identity can be related to engagement with digital education, and having a sense of being human and oneself. So the artefact asked some interesting questions about fear of online spaces, confidence to experiment, and fearlessness in wading into new spaces. I liked the idea of being a digital Viking – a nice metaphor. Yes, the author understands at least one key concept from the course, and expands upon the ideas of human interaction and identity.”

Peer 3 used the concepts given and agreed with it, I suppose he/she is not native English speaker.

The artefact has something to say about digital education

Again the peers agreed with the criterion and showed excellent understanding. I have to admire them.

Peer 1. “While there’s no direct link to education, you can see they have been a self-paced learner during the process and so on a personal perspective it addressed education.” and peer 2  “Indeed, I think it does engage with digital education, although I didn’t feel the artefact explicitly drew attention to the many dimensions of digital education with which it could have expanded upon, the notion of online identity seems broadly connected to digital education”. and peer 3 copied the criteria as such.”

The choice of media is appropriate for the message

Peer 1. “The media used (Prezi) worked well, it drove me through the ideas neatly and provided a narrative. The whole thing got me thinking, parts like ‘try a new technology’ made me think of how some people want to explore, break, tweak technology and others want things that ‘just work’ or to pick up one new thing at a time – this is a reduced demand, but still a very normal way to approach things.”

Peer 2:  “Choice of media seems good – though now wish I’d seen something other than Prezis – as I did one and now I think I’ve made a mistake.” (I could not follow which mistake ?)

Peer 3 “The choice of media is appropriate for the message”

The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action

Peer 1 “I enjoyed this artifact, thanks for sharing it &* thanks for making it personal. The artifact clearly expresses an individual who has been avatared into the digital world, perhaps with some reluctance but also what’s most important is they have seen acceptance into this new environment.

Peer 2: “I didn’t feel a strong reaction to it, perhaps because I feel that as adult educators having an online identity should be par for the course. But it’s good to be reminded that many educators are nervous and anxious about engaging with the online world, and therefore perhaps there are mature students who also share such anxieties.”

Peer 3: “Beautiful made. Triggers me ‘thinking’ (criteria 5): what’s my opinion and emotion?”

Peer 2 commented that  “My impression is that this artefact raises a good point about the lack of comfort human beings with frailties and shyness might experience when thrust into the online world for education, for participating in global or local issues and projects. It had a nice narrative, and a strong thread linking the points raised together.”

The comments from other forums were very warm and supportive:

  • I enjoy your presentation a lot Heli. Digital but very human at the same time and a very warm message;o)
  • I liked being reminded of how our identity expands when we go virtual.
  • It is very intellectual, but has a personal angle that makes it easier for me to understand.

New ideas I got from my daughter: voice or music was lacking. I had no time and competence for doing this. And my Peer 1  assessed that “The journey was very personal and as such; the reflections would be focused around the individual and the person how they have gone through this.” Yes it was personal but the interpretation was not.

My self reflection: I did the artefact in a hurry and I surprised how well it was received. The content I chose from my earlier works, all the images were saved  in my computer. The idea of Digital Viking came from the course participants.  The content is a mix and could be organized better. My energy went to training Prezi, which I did not know and it didn’t obey my fingers at all. I deleted all my doings on Monday evening and began to plan a new presentation on Tuesday ; Wednesday was the dead line day. The presentation seems better than I believed, I had a feeling of chaos. The most important insight is that Prezi tells narratives, stories, and I can make the order to follow the story. It is much better than only ‘text and images’. I took a step forwards in using new devices and I am proud of this step. My identity is empowering … thanks to all my peers!



The course edcmooc is ending: we have assessed each other and  got the feedback. It is good to ponder the assessment issues, I always do when a course is over. There are numerous ways to assess learning but no simple ways. I deal with following three ways:

1. The facilitators evaluation in their blog and the two hangouts.

I took my heading from Christine Sinclair, her blog post, . I have appreciated the team blog “Teaching E-Learning and Digital Cultures” – it gave a connection to our facilitators thoughts and feelings. I liked to compare their view to my own and usually I agreed with the writers. So happened this time: Christine was pondering how complex are the outcomes, not easy to define. The creativity is fantastic and enjoyable, it has no limits. Only some outcomes can be recognized immediately and it would be fine to check the outcomes after a year.

The team blog also gave facts and quantified information about the happenings during the course. It helped participants to reflect.

2. The peer grading was planned to be rather simple. We had to assess these five components: The artefact

  1. - addresses one or more themes for the course
  2. - suggests that the author understands at least one key concept from the course
  3. - has something to say about digital education.
  4. The choice of media is appropriate for the message.
  5. The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action.

This seems to work when we had only 0-1-2 points to give. The descriptions and arguments were more important than grades and showed how the co-learner had understood the artefact. They are the real feedback.

On this course participants begun to publish their artefacts in different forums and got much feedback in FB group and their blogs’ comments. The assessment was rather public, and it was considered natural. Only the three *official’ evaluators were anonymous.

3. Self assessment goes through the course and the other reflections only mirror it.

Here I try to describe three levels of reflection. I have tried to reflect after many courses, look for instance Oct 2011 “Three years blogging, learning journey” . This time I have a hunch that  I’ve really learned better than ever,  and I want to show it.

I have basic skills and motivations and many meta-skills for learning. It is possible to participate, I don’t frustrate too much about the amount of knowledge and different devices , I know that so it must be. I do not believe that clear rules were a good way to help students, the disorientation must be experienced and a new way must be built up from choice to another. You cannot find yourself by obeying other people and following clear rules. Everyone has feelings of loneliness on massive open courses.

But how could I describe the new and broader  perspective of e-learning and digital cultures. Gardner Campbell had a lecture about real vs fake changes. I have the feeling of real change just now, how wonderful it is to open eyes and understand more deeply  what is going on and see own limits. I have believed that humanity is true and simple goal. No, we have never been human said Steve Fuller. I didn’t know the many possibilities of posthuman and transhuman worlds. I have learned some new content and attitudes, no doubt.

I have learned participation too. This course has many excellent students who built FB group, Twitter chats and wikis. It seems that the idea of MOOC has developed a new generation who really is self directive and uses the technological possibilities. There were models to follow, friends to ask help. For instance Chris at the beginning and Fran Monaghan in the forums, she followed new questions there and answered to many co-learners. The facilitators are not alone, every student can be a facilitator.

This edcmooc was a great experience, the facilitators were excellent models and so were the peers. I learned a lot, time will tell how much. I am not sure anymore what should be the object of assessment: individual student or the course at a whole? Perhaps I should describe the new networked learner?


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