How do we sustain participation in open online courses

First, sustaining participation is a design question. Thought has to be given to this question. You have, at least to consider the do-nothing option.

This question was asked in etMooc over here (maybe) in a Google+ community. I replied:

Tell me about it, and I am an experienced MOOCer & online course runner of things. Both terms “sustaining” and “participation” are problematic. We have seen how complex a concept sustainability has become with respect to the cost of human energy sinks. Is sustainability the only real criterion? “Do they keep coming back?” It could be a regular evaluation question. MOOCs may develop community-like aspects: semi-permeable boundaries; processes of recruitment and completion; moving on within and through the community/network connections. ds106 has something of this character at the moment.
For objective assessment, for accreditation of anything, objectives need to be agreed, and performance against those objectives needs to be evaluated. Self, peer, learning sets, tutors, external examiners, curriculum, QA apparatus, all need to be in place for reasonably fair, valid objective assessmemt to take place for the purposes of incorporation (e.g. professional body membership, licence to practice).

I am also participating in OLDSMOOC. This week I am supposed to be reflecting on

  • What is learner context?
  • How do learners’ contexts affect the ways they interpret and enact learning designs?
  • How can we use context in learning design?
  • How can we personalise designs to individual learner’s needs and contexts?

We are supposed to (by today!)

  1. Bring together and present the best of what you (and others) have done over the week on your portfolio.
  2. Look back at your learning objectives for the week. What have you achieved? What have you learnt? Write a short blog post (or otherwise summarise) to your learning journal.
  3. Solicit feedback and recognition (e.g. apply for badges, ask for skill endorsements on LinkedIn, etc).

Well, if anyone notices, hi! It’s me! Waving my arm in the air. Darn. Never calls on me. Silly teacher. Dark mood. Must get homework done before the night before. Or morning of. Other things to do related to active learning designs. Learning set meeting today. Need to read into forums. Prepare template.

So here will be a sketch of the learning designs we did last year and need to update for this year. Or… I am trying to upload them but we just upgraded WordPress and … hold that thought. We’ll be back later,