One of the things that I have found to be quite remarkable since signing up for “E-learning and Digital Cultures” Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with the University of Edinburgh and Coursera is the sheer volume of online pre-course activity that has been generated by the EDC MOOC students – a kind of “limbering up” before the big event if you will. Not only that, there is huge potential and opportunity for what could be described as “Massive Open Online Socialisation (MOOS)”, generating newer and bigger social networks of people that are converging around a course / subject / discipline / interest, etc.
I tweeted Jeremy Knox today, who is both a tutor on the EDC MOOC and the “Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning course on the MSc in E-learning programme from the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, and asked how many people have enrolled into the course thus far. Jeremy’s response was a staggering 36,000+ students!
Whilst we are waiting for the “big event”, some of these 36,000 people have been galvanised in putting together a range of pre-course activities using a plethora of well-known and not-so-well-known digital technologies, here is just a few of the things that they have organised:
- An EDC MOOC Facebook Group
- An EDC MOOC Google+ Community
- An EDC MOOC Twitter Hashtag and Participants List
- An EDC MOOC “Where do you live?” Google Map
- An EDC MOOC wiki using WikiSpaces
- An EDC MOOC YouTube Channel
- An EDC MOOC Grooveshark Playlist
- An EDC MOOC Diigo Group
- An EDC MOOC StudyRoom
- An EDC MOOC wall using Wallwisher on the question of “What is your definition of ‘Digital Culture’?“
- and Coursera offers the opportunity for students to arrange Real Life Meetups
Let’s be clear, this is not something that has been organised by the teaching team on the EDC MOOC, oh no, this is “digital activism” on behalf of the students on the course who have been inspired, stimulated and motivated by the ideals and philosophy of this course, which is “how digital cultures intersect with learning cultures online, and how our ideas about online education are shaped through ‘narratives’, or big stories, about the relationship between people and technology“.
What will be interesting is to see how many of those 36,000+ people will log into the EDC MOOC in it’s few first minutes of going “live” and how many will remain on the course after 5 weeks, or even beyond that period. I think the analogy of a horse race for this course is an appropriate one, because it involves navigating pass the obstacles, looking for opportunities as well as testing the stamina and mettle of the course participants. This is not a race against the other 36,000 students enrolled. This is, however, a race against yourself. So, let the EDC MOOC 2013 sweepstake begin!