Saturday, August 2, 2008

(FOC08) - Where will this take me?

As mentioned in my last post, I've undertaken an open, online course hosted on wikieducator. The course is entitled Facilitating Online Communities. In this first week, the active members of this course have been having many discussions within the google groups email forum. These email conversations have opened a new world of thought for me.

How do you facilitate a community to encourage participation by many, when open registration will result in a range of abilities and needs? There needs to be the chance for lurking if that is what the participant wishes, but the facilitator would no doubt want engaged interaction to enable learning. I know that in any group situation there will be members who dominate the conversation, how do we encourage the "shy" to contribute. As a teacher in face to face environments this is a little easier. You can "see" the people not engaging. Whereas online, are they lurking, or are they not there at all?

The other train of thought the course has inspired is the old question of which tool is best. In this first week we have been exposed to wiki, blog, email forum and RSS aggregator. These are not new concepts to me, but to many in the course they are. So the thought is which tool is the best for open online communication. I will hold my judgement on this until the course completion.

What excites me about this course is the opportunity to engage and network with a range of talented and knowledgeable individuals. I am yet to be involved in a network or community where I did not learn. This is connectivism at it rawest.

Have you been involved in online learning before? Leave a comment about your experiences.


deb thompson said...

Hi Shane,
I was most interested in the comments you made about lurking and have written about it in my blog -
thought you might like to take a look at what I said. Am still struggling a bit with the best place to publish my thoughts - am not sure if responding to you should go on my blog or yours??
maybe it doesn't matter!

derek said...

There ain't no problem with lurking in FOC08 I suspect. I can tell there will be enough interaction to learn things.

But what if we all lurked!!

Do you think shy people will not be able to have a voice here? I'd have thought here they had one. Just try to do this F2F!! Loudest voices, quickest thinkers win. Generally. - Derek said...


Everyone lurking would be interesting, but I suspect highly unlikely. I think the blog is the ideal place for the shy or the unsure to have a voice.

Elaine Dittert said...

Hi Shane
I am one of those shy people you mention - and also a newbie to all of this technology, so blogs, RSS etc are a big learning curve for me. Hopefully as my confidence grows then I will become more active in my participation!