This week’s topic in #NRC01PL is PLEs. A cMOOC like NRC01PL is always inspiring to think about something (even if it is seemingly starting slow, which I attribute to the terrible edX discussions platform). This time, the question for me is:
What does my PLE need as a minumum?
I quickly found the answer that, for me, it is not sufficient to have discussions with posts and comments, but I need to see people behind the comments, and this means that I like to look at their profiles and click the URLs leading to their blogs or other homepages. If there is no permanent address like a blog but only a stream like Twitter, Facebook or Google plus, it is less attractive for me since my preference is not the rapid flow but the more aynchronous affordance of slower conversations.
But on the edX platform, I could not simply click on a name to see the links leading to more about the person. This is a big disappointment for me, as I know since we thought about the relationship between personal and conceptual connections in a previous cMOOC.
It is often emphasized that cMOOCs thrive through content artefacts created by the participants. Should I dig out my old PLE picture (which I find great, of course) and the related blog post of some previous cMOOC? If I were a fellow participant, I would not like old content to be thrown at me and pushed to me. Rather, I like to pull and pick it myself. And this needs the link to the persons of the course.
The discussions in the forum alone don’t suffice, let alone discussions of the stale edX format. Even on Moodle, the forums are much richer and more flexible — the first thread of CCK08 is a real firework compared to an edX forum.