Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

A Small Victory for Autoethnography in MOOCs

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I had a small victory the other day. Good news in the midst of a difficult time in my personal life.

I received official acceptance of my first Collaborative Autoethnography article (co-authored of course, “collaborative”) on MOOCs in a journal.

No, it wasn’t a #rhizo14 CAE article and that stings because… For many reasons. But it was a CAE about cMOOCs (we talk about multiple MOOCs, and rhizo14 is among them, my narrative in it) for a special issue of Educational Media International on the learner experience in MOOCs,  coming out soon (it’s closed access but I’ll figure out which version can be shared openly and link it when it is out).
I say it is a victory because our previous #rhizo14 thing was accepted at #et4online but that’s a conference and it was about the untext not the actual CAE. We are rhizome(s) and still persisting.

Also a victory that there is another CAE or similar type of research in the same special issue. So we’re not like the weirdos in the special issue who did participatory research 🙂 tho that would have been OK with me.

It gives me hope for rhizo14 that we will get there. I still don’t know really how i keep writing methodology sections on autoethnography for different papers and some get better reception from reviewers than others. I am the same person doing similar research, writing similar methodology sections and roughly taking on leader roles at diff times and yet somehow, something makes rhizo14 less appealing to Reviewers. Or something. But that’s the point: trying to explain what rhizo14 was like, that’s what the CAE is trying to do and it seems we haven’t gotten thru yet. It’s sooo hard in 6,000 words. Maybe needs a change in direction. I think we’re getting there with some of our newest projects. We’ll see

Final note: thanks to Jeffrey Keefer whose feedback on a rhizo14 thing helped me revise this other paper I co-authored with the wonderful Rhonda Jessen, Maureen Crawford, Mia Zamora, and Paul Signorelli. Looking forward to sharing here when it is out inshallah!

4 Comments

  1. Great news, Maha. Although I’m not intimately informed about all the things you mention here, I can see your passionate persistence in making known something you know is of deep value. Your energy and positive persistence is inspiring, Maha.

  2. Maha, there may be an element of complexity in the acceptance process that sometimes sets things aside? The newness of what you are doing might also scare some people?

    The fact is, things don’t move forward just because us totally advanced people think they should:-) Some things are challenging to the point of people reconsidering or retreating to a safer position. Sometimes we take people too far out of their comfort zone and they really can’t make a reasoned decision and fall back.

    Another consideration involves resistance to change. It’s one thing to fool around speculating about new things and another to be presented with an example that proves it can be done. The consideration process suddenly becomes one of dealing with reality.

    Doesn’t this all make you feel better?

    This is an interesting article from Debbie Morrison on moving ahead and also backwards –
    Need-to-Know-News: What Will Next Generation Learning Environments Look Like? Two Reports Share Different Views & MOOC sans Lecture Videos
    https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/need-to-know-news-what-will-next-generation-learning-environments-look-like-two-reports-share-different-views-mooc-sans-lecture-videos/

    • Haha dunno if i need to label us as “advanced”. I am happy to be “different but valid/valuable”. Happy to be alternative. In social science, unlike science, for some reason the postpositivist paradigm remains alongside interpretive and critical research. While I wouldn’t myself ever do postpositivist research, I kind of understand where others are coming from even when I don’t agree

  3. Congratulations, Maha! “Persistence is All.”

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