#oldsmooc: Fishbowl

MOOC Hangouts

I’ve never been in this situation before, in a Google Hangout Convergence Session with academics from afar. Participating in #oldsmooc has broadened my experience of Connected Learning and opened my eyes to it’s effectiveness.

I was nervous.


OLDS MOOC Week 2: Inquire

Convergence Session

This week focuses on context. What is learner context? How does learner context affect ways learners interpret and enact learning designs? How can we use context in learning design? How can we personalise designs to individual learner’s needs and contexts?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5AQctVkGnM&w=280&h=160]

Session Notes

OLDS MOOC Week 3: Ideate

Convergence Session

This week will focus on design representations and their value in enabling design thinking, discourse and sharing. Understanding the form of design thinking will build upon your previous work in this MOOC, namely the vision for your Learning Design, your project (group or individual) and way in which learner context may impact upon design. Throughout the week you will be introduced to a number of conceptual learning designs that will help you to develop your own design ideas and representations, and enable you to consider Pedagogical Patterns, the focus of week 4 activities.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXhrc-O4OlM&w=280&h=160]

Thank you to the @oldsmooc team for inviting me into these Convergence Sessions.

#oldsmooc: Cat’s & Wet Feet

Occasionally I come across interesting examples of technology use, learning and unlearning. In this case the main protagonist is my cat, Wally.

He thinks he’s pretty smart.
Image source: Penny Bentley

Wally has a love/hate relationship with water. He sits beside it, watches it and sniffs it whenever her can. If he touches or steps onto something wet he goes crazy, shaking and licking his paw until all signs of water are gone.

Along comes the iPad, with Pocket Pond installed, Wally is in heaven. Water everywhere, watery noises, fish and even chirping birds. Strange thing is, when he touches the iPad with his paw he still shakes it like crazy.

Image: iPad screenshot of Pocket Pond, Penny Bentley

I’d like to explore what’s happening here in a little more depth before #oldsmooc is over. How many learners out there are still “shaking their feet” when using these brilliant new tools of discovery?

I’ve sort of got my head around Week 3 which focussed on IDEATE…ideas for my project are now falling into place. Yes, if I can persuade a couple of unwilling academics to come on board, I think I know what I’ll be doing with them. It’s an online course meant to lead them calmly from e-mail to MOOC. Turning academics into MOOCaholics. Sorting out the minor points of putting it into practice will occur in the weeks to come.

I’ve sketched my visualisations, rather than use tables and lists. Since I’m designing the course to be online and as mobile as possible, I’ve used my iPad and iPhone for most of the planning stages so far. I’ve also played with a number of tools to enable this process.
So, the Learning Design of my #moocskills Project has been imagined & roughly mapped out, using some new tools and activities.

Now comes the Big Plan…how am I going to pull it all together and, am I doing this process in a similar way to all other #oldsmoocers putting their projects together?
That’s right, it doesn’t matter what out projects are about but, are we using the same “recepie” to put them together? Who knows, I wish there was more chatter on Facebook and Twitter. When I find out, watch this space, you may find a universal code for Learning Design.

#oldsmooc: asleep at the wheel of a a pdf

Learning Designers can’t do it all. Creating beautiful digital work, with an underlying narrative that links to age specific content, is a specialised field.
I’d like to share with you the best example I’ve come across.  Don’t stress about the mathematics, see if you can understand the message.
Let this video load, enlarge it to fill your screen, turn the sound up full blast, sit back and let it wash all over you.

Source: Cristóbal Vila

Every time I see this video I’m affected by it’s beauty and simplicity of message, from the Fibonacci Sequence to nautilus shells to sunflowers to dragonflies, relationships exist between mathematics and the natural world.

Cristóbal Vila’s message gives students a context in which to make sense of number patterns and geometry.

This exercise from a Year 7 textbook doesn’t.


The mathematics covered in Nature by Numbers ranges from simple to complex, something for everyone. It’s precise and works beautifully with music and 3D animation…how can all of that fall into the job description of a Learning Designer?

So, why am I carrying on about maths and number patterns?

Professor Grainne Conole initiated my thoughts after posting this excellent question during our Week 3 wrap up….

What is the relationship between precision and creativity in learning design?

I stopped, paused and read the recommended reference, all 17 pages in pdf format.

Beauty and Precision: Weaving Complex
Educational Technology Projects with Visual
Instructional Design Languages

 Micheal Derntl et al.

Ever had an experience of driving somewhere, of being aware when familiar places flash past, you know you are heading in the right direction but don’t remember the journey when you got there? I need to give this reference another chance, but heavy text and confusing diagrams just don’t do it for me. It’s content, however, I don’t want to let go.

Weaving this video into a discussion around beauty, precision, instructional design, learning design and education still leaves me with a messy vision of what we are trying to achieve in the #oldsmooc.

That’s great, suits me just fine, we still have 6 weeks to get it sorted.

Addendum: don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the removal of all pdf files containing academically rigorous content from the online courses we design. Far from it, lets push the boundaries of critical thinking…but please, don’t slap a course together with a truckload of content, available only in written form. Stimulate our senses with art, fill us with joy as we discover things we’ve never seen before and leverage the power of technology to take us beyond the walls of our institutions.

My advice…sign up for a diigo account and file those pdf’s away for future reference.

#oldsmooc Growth in the Answer Garden

Emerging from the answer garden are shoots, some bigger than others. It’s beginning to reveal some clues about people’s perceptions of the meaning of Learning Design.

In my quest for enlightenment, I’ll re “Wordle” at the end of Weeks 6 and 9.

answergarden olds week 3

The size of each word reflects the frequency of answers.

Would you agree with the emphasis placed on these larger words in the context of looking for a definition of Learning Design?


#oldsmooc MOOC or COOP?

Earlier today I made this comment on the blog post of an OLDS MOOC participant.

“The serendipitous nature of connected learning has quickly led me to a like minded learner. Many thanks for considering my personal detour part of your learning experience in this MOOC. Our online identity should reflect our personality, this doesn’t mean compromising our privacy. I wonder, is that an ingredient in the learning design process?”

My comment arises out of Helen Crump’s post that you can read here.


Image by Penny Bentley, New South Wales, Australia

Helen and I shared a brief exchange on Twitter, about camping, during the OLDS MOOC Google Hangout. Sharing a tiny snippet of our authentic selves gave me a sense of connectedness with someone on the MOOC journey.

This week I wasn’t the only one overcoming obstacles to finding a way around Cloudworks, the online platform used to host our artefacts, reflections and conversations during this MOOC. It was fine in the end, I’m learning and contributing to Education Research, I’m not going to relinquish this unique opportunity.

So, what were this weeks defined learning outcomes? I need to give them some thought before applying for my first “badge”.

  • explore a variety of definitions of learning design
  • initiate my own learning/curriculum design project
  • define learning design, as a field of research and practice
  • identify some of the grand challenges of using a learning design approach to the design of learning in the 21st Century
  • identify specific topics of interest for further exploration

I’m a Secondary Maths and Science Teacher. My professional training didn’t include design theory, it’s just understood and expected that you will go out there and make the learning better.

At this early stage my understanding of the definition of Learning Design is limited. Others are miles ahead, it’s their area of expertise.

What I have achieved is finding several like minded participants to work on a project with. Converting classroom teaching into online webinars is our plan. Topics for further exploration are sure to arise as time progresses.

I’ll end it here by saying this MOOC seems like a COOP, a Community Open Online Project.

OLDS MOOC on Twitter

One way of viewing a Social Media conversation is to select snippets from places like Twitter and Facebook then use a web tool, such as Storify, to arrange them in a story.

Here’s part of the unfolding narrative of #oldsmooc-wk 1 that I was able to post directly from Storify. The html code is also available to use on other websites.

Twitter is one of the best web tools for learning online as users have free access to a constant stream of searchable information, from around the globe, in real time.

  1. My new #oldsmooc mantra: I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
  2. I just stumbled on #oldsmooc OLDS MOOC 2013 – looks quite interesting. I’ve missed 9 days of it but am wondering if I should dive in anyway.
  3. Finally up and “running” in the Open University’s #MOOC adding to the #oldsmooc_wk1 activities: cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape… Exhilarating 🙂 #yam
  4. A Couple of Proof of Concept Demos With the Cloudworks API bit.ly/WJyly8 [#oldsmooc @sheilmcn @nfreear @yishaym @mhawksey ]
  5. Just starting Week 1 of #oldsmooc. Any team/study group available?. I’m in Melbourne AU & interested in ethical training online (or other).
  6. Feel good to complete the week #oldsmooc week. Applied for a badge, let us see how it works.
  7. #oldsmooc reflections The Virtual Leader ow.ly/gRDbp ~ or, the student applies for her first badge
  8. Is there a synopsis of the #oldsmooc #oldsmooc_conv? The video is over 1 hour and I am not sure I am going to find time to watch it all.
  9. Interesting #oldsmooc_w1 #oldsmooc_conv alternative ‘cloud’ where people r posting about teams & circles
    wallwisher.com/wall/kn2n9f60l5 Tks @sialker
  10. #oldsmooc_w1 #oldsmooc_conv alternative ‘cloud’ where people are posting messages about teams and circles
  11. Still digesting ideas from chat here on #oldsmooc_conv #oldsmooc #oldsmoocw_1 Thanks everyone for mental proddings
  12. any volunteers to storify #oldsmooc_conv and share via the open list?
  13. never hit the Reload button when the live YouTube session you’re watching falters #learnedtoday #oldsmooc_conv
  14. @OLDSMOOC I wouldn’t say the platform is confusing, just complex. Openness is complex
  15. @OLDSMOOC from way over here in Aus, what time are we meeting in Google Hangout…Aus time pls? #oldsmooc #oldsmooc_wk1
  16. Dreambazaar cloud draft, Measuring Outcomes/Learning Gains in Open Access Language Learning Environments cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view… #oldsmooc_wk1
  17. @crumphelen @virtualleader Me too! Hope I’ll get hang of Cloudworks eventually..speaking of, I better pay anothr visit re team #oldsmooc_wk1
  18. #oldsmooc_wk1 dream bazaar development topic Cloud is Stephen Bright:: dream bazaar – Online course design basics
  19. Anyone working on the @OLDSMOOC want to team up to work on use of twitter/social media in teaching? (week1) #OLDSMOOC
  20. interested in collaborative writing? want to join a study circle? #oldsmooc #oldsmooc_wk1 #oldsmooc-wk1
  21. #oldsmooc_wk1 Applying for badges to have evidence of completion for employer
  22. @suewatling @OLDSMOOC use the hashtag #oldsmooc then we will find your mooc related tweets easier so we can retweet them.

#oldsmooc Week 1

The OLDS MOOC “Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum” is a project based 9 week course.

An excellent outcome for time spent learning online, a project to put into practice once the MOOC is over.

My reasons for signing up for the #oldsmooc are….

  • it’s project based
  • collaborative
  • learner centered
  • it contributes to education research
  • the use of free and open web based tools
  • it brings together educators and designers

I’m sure to add more reasons as the MOOC progresses.

Progress So Far

    • Reading the “the spine” of the MOOC such as topics, activities, announcements and discussions, helped me to get started. 
    • Figuring out “the flow” has been interesting as it involved setting up my workspace in Cloudworks, deciding how to keep a Professional Development record here on my blog and directing RSS feeds into Google Reader.
    • MOOCing in the garden during summer appeals to me, it’s way too hot stuck in my home office. Saving URL’s as bookmarked icons on my iPad now makes it easy to head outside, with drink in hand, to read and chat to other participants. For people short on time, going mobile to access content and conversations, may be beneficial. All you need is a mobile device and an internet connection.

iPad Screenshot