Week 1 of new cMOOC

Finally I was accepted at the Federica.EU platform for the new cMOOC “Connectivism and Learning”. (Two earlier attempts failed even though I clicked on “I did not receive activation email”, and their support email address did not (yet?) work. But now the activation email was successfully received in my spam folder.) On the ‘plattaforma’, I did not find anything except Downes’s excellent videos and slides, but this should not be a problem in a cMOOC with blogs and all that. And the only remaining problem, the missing hashtag, can be added later on. So let’s start.


Stephen offered plenty of great questions for reflection, e.g. “Reflecting on your own learning, can you identify a process that you currently follow?” or “Do you think you could improve your learning if you had a better understanding of how you learn?” These questions remind me that I wanted to compile some notes about my workflows, hopefully soon.

Another question was about interactivity:

“Why do we need it ? […] second, we need to know that other people are in the learning experience with us.”

IMHO, this includes that we are watching our co-learners in their stage of recognizing, which is much more similar to the recognizing that we need to do ourselves, than the settled, packaged, resources presented by a traditional teacher. If the co-learners ‘teach’ us what they have just come to understand, they are ‘modeling and demonstrating’ their own understanding process.

And watching our co-humans, puts us automatically in a mode which is more open to immediate, contextual, multipoint, ‘all-at-once’ experience than consuming a slice of canned information. Frankly, I was long sceptical about the value of ‘social’ learning, and I suspected that it just helps those who are not willing to interact directly with the resources, and (of course) benefits those who repeat the stuff by explaining it to the weaker students. But in the meantime I have understood that there is more to it.

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3 Responses to Week 1 of new cMOOC

  1. jennymackness says:

    Thanks for this post Matthias. I also cannot sign in to the Federica.EU platform even though I registered some time ago. If I had not followed many MOOCs since 2008 and know that these sorts of technical errors have to be born with patience, then this would probably have put me off.

    I have though been able to watch the three short very good videos in Unit 1 without signing in. I don’t know what more I would see if I could sign in. I think I saw somewhere that there will be discussion forums?

    In terms of interactivity I don’t necessarily relate this to interaction with someone else at the other end of the learning activity. I remember asking Etienne Wenger about this and although I don’t have a record of the exact words of his response, he did say that social learning could be through reading a book, because by reading you are interacting with the author’s ideas. I hope I haven’t misinterpreted him here. I have sometimes wondered whether we put too much emphasis on social presence and connection at the expense of other forms of interaction.


  2. jennymackness says:

    Just to say that I have now managed to sign in and the support email – support@federica.eu – seems to be working now as I got a very quick response to my email.


  3. x28 says:

    Thanks Jenny for this information, and for the wider view on interaction which makes sense to me. I have not found forums yet but I won’t complain because usually I don’t like them so much.


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