Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 4 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Process for Connecting


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 4 seconds

I’ve been thinking for a while and a lot today about my process for connecting, especially in a new cMOOC… or in general, really, because sometimes I have spurts of connecting with people outside of any formal or informal context…

Then I came across this really interesting post by Teresa MacKinnon (thanks to Simon Ensor who pointed me to the graphic on google+). I saw the graphic before I read the post – and decided to hack it. It’s important to note, though, that the post talks from the perspective, I think, of a designer of a learning environment/experience and how to make it such that it promotes collaboration.

Collaboration Pyramid by Teresa MacKinnon CC-BY

Collaboration Pyramid by Oscar Berg CC-BY found on Teresa MacKinnon’s blogpost (linked above)

My hack, on the other hand, takes it from a learner’s perspective, and how to create collaborative opportunities as a learner. I sort of didn’t like the pyramid idea, but liked all the words floating around Teresa’s image. I also think a lot of what happens is cyclical and overlapping so I tried to capture that in my hack.

Before I post my hack (still working on it as I type this post) – I don’t understand the visibility continuum she is using. If the first thing you do is make self visible & participate, then how is that low visibility? So I’m starting with finding/discovering people; then connecting (on smaller level of following on twitter, liking/favoriting, and later commenting on their blogs or retweeting them). I think the sharing what we know/think can be on a small level that is focused on connecting with others (like comment on another’s blog) or on a more extensive level focused on expression (blogging) – although you can be extensive and blog to connect (like doing “curation” blogs where you link to other people’s blogs as well). I’m working on trying to make it more cyclical than linear; trying to make it less hierarchical as well because each of these things can be done at different levels, so I am also posting possible ways of doing each thing via social media…

So here is my messy version (this took loads of patience because piktochart was soooo slow because I was uploading videos to dropbox – I know, my mistake! So i ended up just doing the arrows on my iPad coz they wouldn’t load on the laptop anyway I’ll do a fancier thing later)

Process for Connecting (rough draft)

Process for Connecting (rough draft – excuse the mis-attribution, the image is by Oscar Berg CC-BY but I found it on Teresa’s blogpost, so…)


I am not a very visual person so I feel compelled to explain my design. I’m trying to say that we begin approaching connection with our own purposes, values, motivations, etc., and those lead us to finding people but also sometimes lead us to sharing our interests… and sometimes doing either of these will encourage us to start connecting/relating with others, and these actions go both ways… and usually the more connect to others and post your own thoughts, the more you can contribute/participate more heavilty, e.g. with curation posts that build on and link to the work of others. Through all of this discovery and connection with others, there is opportunity to build trust, and sometimes, if you look hard enough, you’ll find opportunities to collaborate – and through those, sometimes you find yourself revising your initial purpose, motivations, etc.

This idea is still a work-in-progress – happy to hear feedback; I think Simon Ensor already had feedback on twitter šŸ˜‰ which I’ll consider and come back…


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