We had a meeting in Elluminate yesterday about a research paper of CCK08: see Jenny Mackness blog for details. Forty participants came to discuss even information was not spread broadly .. we still find each other. I have followed all research papers about CCK08 course but the meeting gave some new ideas and interpretations.
I’ll gather here my thoughts at this moment, two years after those studies. I was an experienced teacher educator when I began CCK08. I heard about the possibility in a Finnish Social Media community – someone told that the facilitators are the best in world. I had read Knowing Knowledge but didn’t follow international discussion very much. I was a beginner in global participation and I was unsure with my English. I participated in one course 2006-07 and wrote about those experiences. I could reflect myself and I knew all learning theories very well, also in practice. I wonder where I lost my expertise when CCK08 began.
The big pattern of participation in CCK08 have been reported in researches and it is obviously seen as deceleration of participants’ actions:
Many introductions in Moodle and first week’s discussions, then activity goes lower and lower. Blogs remained, I don’t know how many but I wrote mine. I worked alone but didn’t feel myself lonely. I was glad about every new contact, for instance comments in my blog.
Moodle was very massive and hard to follow at the beginning and I had not much time to use for studies – so I stopped reading Moodle. I opened Daily but didn’t read it always. Too much stuff and too long time, said someone yesterday and I agree with it. We were full-time workers, many of us using a foreign language. The expectations about instant collaboration were not realistic. Much happened but in small goups. The information that 86 % dropped tells, however, only a small part of our learning.
In teacher education I had used a model on self-directive learning (Grow fro instance) and we built own models about adult learning. The following curve was a normal pattern, it took many months to find the individual style of learning and take the ownership of studies. But after it happened, then only sky is the limit:
The intrinsic motivation maintained enthusiasm and creativity reinforced actions. Studying became joyfull. Alienation and cynicism diminished or disappeared. Personal Learning Plans were used with self reflective diaries. It was in the year 1989 when a ne level of collaboration was found as a highest level of learning and acting. Our students worked in learning circles and supported each other, built together new models and assessed each other as well. It was very challenging but enjoyable.
I can see the same acceleration curve in CCK08. John made a Ning community in January 2009 and the research began: Antonio Fini, Jenny, Roy and John. Something continues but what it is and why?
My interest was to study connectivism as a learning theory, could I recommend it to others in teacher education. I supposed that the facilitators George and Stephen were Dr of education or philosophy or some other science. It took a long time to believe that they were not. Some research oriented people had excellent discussions in Moodle, I liked to read, but facilitors had no time for research. I was really astonished. How to build a learning theory without former knowledge about learning? – My students had done it in teacher education in order to find their own teachership – but in a global course I could not trust the facilitators any more. So I did not change my conceptions of learning which can be seen in my Final report.
If they were not experts in learning (or teaching) what was their expertise that got us to follow? Is it expertise in networking skills that had led to the reputation I followed in Finland. Open source movement was one way to these studies, I knew Linus Torvalds and had read other books about open source people. It inspired me and it was a part of CCK08 studies. It divides participants if I understood rightly, some were against openness. But it was an Massive Open Online Course really. And now it is a part of our history. It was great to live it through and the journey will continue forever. We need practice in global networking and CCK08 triggered enormous learning experiences for participants and lurkers. Is it one of the most effective courses in the world?