Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 51 seconds

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 51 seconds

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 51 seconds

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 51 seconds

hey Frances,

Sorry for my shorter replies earlier. Was in a rush. Here is a longer response. I am not sure which questions you’re hoping the article will answer. I’ll assume you mean the ones you asked in your earlier comment?

There are a few reasons why I expect the article won’t answer them from Dave’s perspective:
a. The question where he answers that was in the YouTube hangout (linked from within the article but you can find it here: and he was responding to someone who was asking about how to run a cMOOC, then to Sarah’s written question about “what made #rhizo14 successful, hint hint was it the brilliant participants?” – those were all questions asked in advance of the hangout and storified and Dave answered them all in a row. Sarah and I did not stop him unless it was something we felt was really unclear or did not make sense, etc. We basically let it flow and let him respond to other questions happening on Twitter, etc.
b. The interview, when we wrote it down, had to be cut down to be readable and clear. That part is in it, but if you want the full full context, you can watch the hangout which has been online for a long time.
c. The interview in general was meant to not be a critical research-type interview. It’s for a section on JPD where you try to focus on a known figure and help readers understand their perspective. For something like cMOOCs, rhizomatic learning, etc., that are quite difficult for most people to grasp (JPD is, after all, not an ed tech journal or anything like that, so its audience is diverse) – so our objective was to be as clear as possible. We asked a couple of editorial board members to review it for clarity. It’s not an interview I’d count for my PhD research, if you know what I mean. It’s an interview where I meant to “receive” Dave’s perspective and not to critique it.

Now RE: the questions I *think* you’re asking:
***Who decides who is the ‘right’ group of people?
I can’t speak for Dave, but I can speak for what I meant when I quoted him. In the particular context I was using it, I meant they were the “right” group of people for ME. So I was talking about people in #ccourses, and that regardless of the “syllabus” of that course, the facilitators and what they do or don’t do, I am happy with the side discussions I am having with a lot of the people there. It’s not just one group. There are a few rhizo14ers, a few CLMOOCers, a few who were in both, a few totally new people, etc., but I meant they were “right” for me at this time in my life with the kinds of interests they have and things they want to talk about and do together. My goals for a MOOC are emergent and my approach to cMOOCing is emergent. What I say now will be different from what I say in a couple weeks’ time.

***What is the process through which the ‘rightness’ emerges?
Again, I meant that as an individual decision of what is “right”, but I think “rightness” emerges when I’m not the only one who feels things are “right”, but the others I feel “right” about feel the same way, reciprocate. Then a general feeling of “rightness” emerges between us. In most cases, for me, this is a one-on-one thing, in DMs and PMs and not in the public spaces; sometimes it’s in the public spaces, but often not. Often what gets posted on my blog or twitter is only the tip of a much deeper relationship with people that develops privately.

So for me the “rightness” is about the interests and means of interacting/connecting? but the MOOC is really just the vehicle that brings us together. So for me, what makes a MOOC successful is if it brings together people and sparks conversations that will introduce me to new people I’m interested in interacting with. Sometimes these are one-off conversations on one person’s blog and I’ll never talk to them again; sometimes it’s sustainable, and it is the sustainability that Dave also mentions in the interview, and I think the sustainability relates to the “third discourse” that is not as serious and does not respond to the “central” or “first discourse” of whatever the course facilitators had in mind for us.

I’m often concerned about how my interactions might make other people feel excluded. As in they’re not part of that “inner circle” or whatever. I try to avoid using the hashtag for some conversations so as not to flood everyone else’s stream. That can be thought of as “considerate” (not flooding their stream) or even more “inner circle” behavior as it excludes others from the convo. Often it just happens naturally because you need the extra few characters to be able to make your point.

But I mean, really, there are 100s of people in these MOOCs. There is room for multiple overlapping groups to form who feel good together, whether they’re talking about the first discourse, and using the second discourse to agree or disagree…

For example in #ccourses, I talked about the overwhelming amount of reading. I know, I know I am not required to read it. I am saying I’d like to read some but because there is so much it’s actually even difficult to choose among them. Others don’t feel overwhelmed and that’s fine. It doesn’t mean the facilitators are doing something “wrong”, I’m just expressing something that (apparently) other people feel as well, and from private conversations, other people feel even more strongly about than I (let’s not get into this one, shall we? I think we don’t see eye to eye on it and may never do. You may need to try to be in my shoes to be able to understand it, and you’ll never be in my shoes, so it’s OK. I’m also not in your shoes so I may not be understanding you on it, either).

****It could become self fulfilling if the ‘wrong’ people find they don’t get anything from participating. That could be quite a bruising experience.
Frances, I’m not really sure who the “wrong” people are. It’s not an either/or. It should be totally acceptable for someone to enjoy a certain kind of interaction and for another person not to. When I don’t like the way something is going on in a MOOC, I leave peacefully, or if I have hope, I voice it. If there are enough people who agree, and who would like to continue to engage in the MOOC, I continue or I work around it. It does not mean that other people who are happy with it or want to do something differently are “wrong” or not even that I don’t want to know them. But is it actually possible for a course of 100 or even 20 people ALL to get along? It’s possible for a small group of people to have different views from a large group, whichever becomes “dominant” in a class.

But there are situations where I don’t feel I am getting much out of a MOOC and I disengage; or I disengage from the main MOOC hashtag and continue conversing with a small group that have similar interests with me at the time.

Those are all not fixed. Contextual as I said, for me. Depends on time in my life, how busy I am, what my priorities are, what kind of interaction I’m looking for. There are times when I need intellectual stimulation and other times when I want affective interaction (not lovey-dovey, but a “women’s ways of knowing” type of thing).

This should have been a blogpost all by itself!

I’m going to stop editing and post this before my electricity gets cut and I lose all the text