Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Participant suggestions for #ccourses – building social capital & trust

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How amazing is it that three of the suggestions that came out of Monday’s #ccourses twitter chat (which I co-facilitated with @digisim Simon Thompson) are really relevant to this unit’s topics!

First, I am STOKED that almost all suggestions (storified here, on padlet which you can keep adding to, and already there are new great suggestions there!) related to participants taking more control and doing things to help themselves and each other. The facilitators and course team love these ideas, too, btw, and @cogdog is copied on much of our twitter correspondence to help brainstorm ideas.

The three suggestions i want to talk about here (also since we stopped using the hashtag while developing them, and I wanted to share with everyone else, because we’d love to know what others think and hope others will be excited) are:

1. Directory of participants – with info on people’s interests and expertise; these things are not always clear from ppl’s blogs or twitter profiles. So far, the idea is to create a google form that spills into a google sheet automatically, which would be filtrable. The question we have in mind is whether to make it public (so ppl are v aware what they share; but it also means we need to be careful not to ask too much, not to incl emails, etc.). And of course we’re still figuring out which questions to ask ๐Ÿ™‚ People so far working on this are Laura Gibbs, Laura Ritchie, Simon Thompson, & Maha Abdel Moneim from Egypt also (yes, two Mahas from here, both of us cover our hair – and we met thru #ccourses thru a tweet by Jonathan Worth I noticed!) – forgive me if I missed anyone ๐Ÿ™‚ @karenatsharon was at the twitter chat but yday had some f2f commitments, so she may also be working on this. P. S. I was going to try to do a TRAM analysis for this idea but it’s too much for this post. Maybe later ๐Ÿ™‚ But already Claudia and Tara from DML and Mimi Ito are helping out with moving this forward. Maha created the draft questions, now getting revised.

2. Participant-generated Daily Connects I am really excited about this ๐Ÿ™‚ Participants can suggest daily ideas for connecting, some of which can be makes and go into a bank. This idea is being developed either as padlet or blog or Known thingie to collect suggestions and disseminate… Working on this are Simon & Laura Ritchie again, plus Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax). Kevin just created a wordpress site to get us started. Simon Thompson posted the first “daily connect” yday , now here (Kevin did a cartoon today). [follow the dailyconnect blog and submit your own ideas here – thx Kevin for setting it up]

3. Buddy system This is meant to help newbies by pairing them up with someone to work with them closely at first. I think many of us try to do so naturally (e.g. Try to comment on blogs that have no comments, to respond to the new unfamiliar tweeter, etc.) but maybe formal buddies might help, or that ppl could ask for one (maybe as they join the directory, tho we would not make the directory compulsory obviously!)

There is a 4th idea that came out of Howard’s first unconference but Mia Zamora is gonna blog about that ๐Ÿ™‚

P. S. I’ve been invited to join the facilitation team (among others, what an honor to join such an amazing team) and what I am happiest about is that all the suggestions above are about leveraging the power of the participants and helping them build social capital. Kira just asked on google + the question of what helps us trust others online or join conversations. I am hoping all the suggestions above help with that, to some extent. You see, suggestion #1 could help ppl find common interests, maybe find project ideas together; suggestion #2 helps them contribute ideas and find low-investment fun ways to connect, widen their circle; and #3 would hopefully help newbies dig in!

Ideas, suggestions, questions?

P.p.S. One other cool suggestion was to podcastify & transcribe hangouts. Howard seemed interested in this one – part can be centralized, part crowdsourced as some other MOOCs do

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