Re-moocer #edcmooc October 2013

A quick revisit back to my blog ‘Martellsmooc’ as I have  just signed up for the #edcmooc Coursera course with the University of Edinburgh Digital Cultures team starting on November  4th 2013. 

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#H817open Activity 7 Martell Linsdell

Activity 7

3 key issues of OER and how they are addressed

My 3 priorities for OERS were Quality, Accessibility and Sustainability.

My key issues have shifted attention to

  • Expectation of the OER Movement to combat societal obstacles
  • Validation and recognition of participation
  • Verification (of participant identity and of academic publication)

The International Institute for Education Planning Report on OER Open Content for Higher Education states in its introduction;

‘Without the constraints of time or geography, the power of education is released to combat economic, social and cultural obstacles.

Through independent, self-determined learning and open academic content, the individual is able to grow intellectually beyond previous personal, institutional or local boundaries. Other benefits range from developing valuable work skills to engaging in life-enriching lifelong learning.’ (Albright Commission 2005) (1)


The degree of expectation of how OER are expected to create a means to combat to ‘economic, social and cultural obstacles’  versus  the struggle of educational institutions to establish an element of maintaining control of quality, accessibility and how to sustain the OER phenomenon.

This ties into issues of validation and verification of OER publication and OE participation.

The statement implies the responsibility of the individual as a self reliant learner to put right the obstacles created on a society through their learning. The expectation requires that the OER participation and learning gained requires validation for the individuals development to be recognised by the ‘institution’ (whether organisation, governmental or educational.

‘Exploring an open badge ecosystem to support skill development

and lifelong learning for real results such as jobs and advancement’ (1)

Verification of the quality of the learning and establishing who the participant is may be an issue.

 This may be counter to the openness of OER, where a learner can participate as and when they wish, at a level that they desire and possibly under an assumed identity or have someone participate in their guise as an element of fraud, to gain evidence of a skill.

The institution would be required to construct  systems to govern and police their courses  in order to administer the ‘value’ of the accreditation/award of the learning.

Not only is it the verification of the participant – as to who they say they are (which may not be so important in ‘just’ self development and independent learning but would be important in gaining roles of responsibility through employment gained by demonstrating an acquired level of accredited/ verified knowledge).


The badge system by Mozilla (that I am also submitting this article to, for recognition) is an example of a system that awards developing work skills through understanding OER.

The working paper opening statement is

‘Exploring an open badge ecosystem to support skill development

and lifelong learning for real results such as jobs and advancement’


later it states;


‘For certification badges meant for audiences such as hiring managers or admission boards, more rigorous assessments may be required to demonstrate critical competencies   ’(2)



Also an issue is the verification of the research published and available through OER to confirm the academic credibility of contributors and establishing ‘truth’ within research publication. This becomes essential to avoid corruption of the validity of the system.

I  may be seen as speaking against the grain of openness and connectivity but as an example; in the situation of important research in medical science / pharmaceuticals; truth and verification of findings is of paramount importance for safety of society and consumers.

Existing educational institutions will modify in response to the issues or new Validation Boards will be created. In order to embed an approach that maintains control of quality, maintains accessibility as an ethos and sustains the OER as a valued learning provider.

The expectation is that the branding of the product conveys a promise to the learner and it will be a strong enough message to attract participation.

To conclude; in my current  knowledge and reading of OER. I question  whether the merit of a badge; a system that gives award and recognition, will deliver the ‘real results’  such as jobs and advancement that it claims, unless there is a robust structure of validation that is respected and recognised by employers and admissions tutors.

This may have to be tested through significant research and evaluation to establish impact of such a system.


  1. International Institute for Educational Planning, INTERNET DISCUSSION FORUM



  1. Open Badges for Lifelong Learning .Exploring an open badge ecosystem to support skill development and lifelong learning for real results such as jobs and advancement Authors: The Mozilla Foundation and Peer 2 Peer University, in collaboration with The MacArthur Foundation .Working Document, Updated: 1/23/12 9:23
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Reflections on a MOOC so far

Reflections on a mooc so far.

This was written over the course of a day trip down to London. I have not edited it since writing it on a Pad as it is a document on thoughts and reflections prompted by the openning chapter of ‘The Digital Scholar’ by Professor Martin Weller 2011.

A 9 month old , opposite, is being entertained with a mobile phone with an app that makes animal noises when he presses that timage.

Why Am I moocing, how did i get to here in moocland?

I like the sense of community. There are folk here from the previous Mooc. i was impressed upon enrolling to be contacted very early on with advice by one of the moderators to give a direction as to how to lodge my blog on the aggregator. Contact was quickly made with Paige and Alan in the Forum . A course community has grown quickly in this first week. Also  feedback came pretty quickly by mweller. Though it took a while to work out that he was the tutor,

Professor Weller. It  felt good that the lead tutor was giving feedback so soon and made contact with regards to the artefact I had posted. Thank you.

Communications across the h817open group are more inward looking than before, being in the forum within Moodle and Google + in a closed group as opposed to in facebook or across twitter , although I check there occasionally in my gradual orientation of where things are happening within this mooc. I do regret linking my email accounts to the postings as now I have to sift through the inbox to get to the rest ofmylife. ‘reading through the postings is done by rapid scanning on the abridged first lines on the email,time constraints or curiousity determine whether I comment or not or even enter into the posting further.

Iam now travelling on the train back from London.

a fortuitous opportunity to visit theWaterstones in Gower Street aided the link up with Prof Wellers book The Digital Scholar 2011. I have justified buying the book version to myself by the fact that I am off to the West Coast of Ireland tomorrow, want to stay in contact with the H817open course and may not be able to link up on the Internet. i am hoping it goes down well with apint of Guinness on the Burren. i am typing this on the ipad as I cannot connect to te wifi on the train due to my inaptitude towards digital connectivity and I wish I knew how to get riof the click on typing (there prob is a way) Also to explain the bad spelling from the slippery surface of the screen and the font is about 6 on the screen, at least no one can read over m y shoulder.

Ok just to prove I am not so inept after all I have managed to turn the clicks off so now at least less irritating to the chap next to me.

i like the reference to the’ highly connected scholar, creating media outputs and sharing these with a global network of peers’ (p4) btw Im only 5 minutes into this train journey North. i do work in the context of the University, now on the outreach side, widening participation, I have dabbled with technologies but not in a very informed way, more by immersion and doing . i come from an Art and participation background, engaging with all aspetcts and ages ofvthe public in lots of different levels of education in differing settings; coalminng communities, womens refuges, post industrial landscapes, archaeological sites, creatively and using creativity  with all levels from  post grad to primary. tregnd towards collaboration mainly as I am attracted to the spaces in between two disciplines so I have worked alongside civil engineers (linear thinkers apparantly) and art students together, and creative writers and art students with a japan projects officer in anothe project.

And then I tumbled into Moocs in the past few months, this is my second in succession.

I read I am meant to be defined by my network and  online identity that i have established. (still page 4)

o k whats that then. i have a bt yahoo email account that I must have had almost forever and I have my work email identity but I rather walk across the campus to see someone or bump into them in the coffee queue. i twitter, initially just stalked for work purposes occasionally getting brave enough to say something but the moocs changed that rapidly as I was exposed to tweetchats and tutor hangouts; sitting in the dump kitchen with an ipad for tweeting and a laptop for listening as I was makingpizza and quafting a beer. Definitely not a formal learning situation and memorable experience because of that. Since the onset of moocing I have gone into so many more apps, my network I guess is social, work and the Mooc community plus the Cavers forum I am a member of. just to state I am not sure where I am going with all of this.

‘a digital scholar need not be a recognised academic and equally does not include anyone who posts something online,(…) a definition of someone who employs digital, open ,networked approaches to demonstrate specialism in a field.’ As a mooc newbie I feel I do not fit into any of those categories. i am on this course as a non specialist, asa student, maybea wannabe. i am in a process. scholarship is too formal a term for me. as you can tell by the presentation and the grammar and the rambling content here this is not quality or considered. it is a raw reflective and personal presence in the digital environment. The freedom of expression means there are no parameters and no boundaries bar the personally imposed ones of behaviour, language, decency and the possibly of being removed from forums or unfollowed.

having spent many more hours in the past few months in the company of a global community I have not experienced any unpleasantness or unethical behaviour but its out there. Maybe the trolls, abusers, hackers and spammers do not enter the digital school gates? (thats just to say that I am pleasantly surprised, not an invitation to being spammed, hacked or abused.

I ve just got to item 8 on page 5. ‘should bloggers use institutional systems or separate out theit blogging and formal identities’ Having just found the confidence to merge some of the presence that Ip had previously kept very separate I feel my digital presence is in chaos and would take a lot pof unravelling. do I have to keep academically / professionally on guard all of the time? When blogging reflectively naturally leads towards the cathartic and life dump? The mooc blog is my first , beyond a couple ofmore formal e-portfolios I had created for award recognition at work; the SEDA SLT elearning award and for the dialogic route into the FHEA. It feels quite liberating as a form of expression. also this blog os not likely to translate into a book in the future so I am not conciously accummulating my responses here with a purpose. But I am here at this point because I have elected to become astudent of digital culture and e-learning. but yet to understand how this might affect my practice in my work. Although just saying that I was engaging with a stakeholders group on a consultation in another institution recently  and delivered the session via notebook ona smartboarrd that I had not done at all before. i was able to save the slides of the notes and translate them as evidence of a consulative process . i am dabbling in a survey approach, again quite new to me in this blog at a point on time we are planning to engage with young people via their ICT classes to establish their aspirations and motivation towards Higher Education so it is providing me with solutions and experiential skills that will be useful in this.

Page 7 openness as a state of mind and a technical feature; a set of tools so anyone can contribute. this reference to openness as a state of mind;a philosvohical concept ( sorry the train is quite bouncy at this stage, hence the misspelling, my fingertip aim is pretty bad. i had realised in putting together Activity 4 asa mind map that I was approaching the problem quitestructurally, from the view of the institution thatIam part of (i mean HE as we currently know and deliver it

Fast cheap and out of control (p.9) this could also reference the MOOC experience and not just the technologies that have enabled or acte d as acatalyst tow ards the mooc growth.

Page 10/11 ‘…human behaviour is, to a greater or lesser extent, shaped by technology’

Technology Determinism. Pedagogy via technology. Having experienced mature students in tears because they could not handle the technology to produce an assignment I am aware of how the degree of digital confidence, literacy and skills can determine outcomes. Technological pedagogy can be the reading writing literacy that is increased due to the reflection within a e-portfolio, pupils blogging and communicating with each other. the digital haves and have nots.

Oh Ive just read forward to the end of the chapter which references chapter 14 and that rings a chord; ‘anxiety surroundingdigital scholarship and proposes a perspective based on ‘ digital resilience’ I am tempted to treat the book like the web and jump to that area rather than read from beginning to end. i am drawn to building resilience, not only in myselfbut the students I engage with. i want to be able to enable within themselves the survival and study skills, the confidence and curiousity to have a go for themselves.

At this point I would like to give my profound apologies to Martin Weller for stomping through his openning chapter but it has shaped some of my responses and comments here and has served admirably to pass this journey. i look forward to continuing reading ‘the Digital Scholar’ whilst in Doolin sitting by a peat fire after bracing walks across the Burren and exploring the caves there.



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Activity 4 20/03/13

Activity 4  20/03/13

Free Mind mapping for consideration of priorities for activities and research in Open Education Resources that as a funder I may have concerns for.
My selected three would be

How would a MOOC provider ensure the quality of the course and the student experience? Rather like a NSS (National Student Survey) of MOOCs where all aspects of Teaching Learning and Assessment are monitored annually, creating league tables of HEIs and Programmes. Quality of the interaction, timely provision of clear information. Feeding forward and Feedback. The reputation of the MOOC Institution I felt was quite important.

2.Accessibility . Ties in with quality as the design and user interface, level, support and guidance is important. 


How are MOOCs going to fund themselves? What is the legacy beyond the MOOC? You can see the Institutions using it as a promotional tool , marketing their other accreditted programmes. It disemminates the work of the authors of papers , publications and gains their work credibility and puts them on the Conference circuit. A lot appears to be part hard brick part Open where one is informing the other.
This exercise has raised loads of questions, which you can see that I have touched on the map and I am aware that I need to know more about the reuse policies/ creative commons and IPR. Which I think is coming up next in this course.

I am also aware that I have approached this from the perspective of somebody who is operating within the system of Higher Education and very much using the model I know.

A lot of my thoughts are using structures of Benchmarks, Evaluation, Quality that we have to abide by. most of the participants in the MOOCs I have come across are PostGrad so we are products from within the system that OER is challenging as an approach > My perspective may need shifting to take on Openness as a concept and as a completely different approach to the current system.

If I started this again from the root of Openness, it may be serving a completely different group of students . Could it be that informal learning follows once the formal path of accreditted learning has been achieved? I know there is more to learning than just a qualification but we are all trying to move on somewhere towards something. Or is there something I am just not seeing?

Also I ought to add these views and comments that I am exploring by participating in this MOOC are entirely my own and not of the organisation I am part of!

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#H817open artefact

#H817open artefact

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#H817open. Week 1 response so far

A prezi put together on salient points emerging from the h817open MOOC and suggested reading matter as a contribution . Hopefully I will have more time available to be more reflective on it later.

Ive just found the poll button in Word Press to try out for the first time. Please see below

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#edcmooc , #h817open, continuing e learning,

March 8th, second post, still struggling with navigating and editting in wordpress, finding it clunky and sticky as always. Hence my second post.

Just to say I feel a sense of not quite wanting to let go of the excellent whirlwind of an experience we have just had with the edcmooc course and the University of Edinburgh teaching team. I am also not sure what they must feel to see student migration onto the other courses as we move onto the next available e learning opportunity. Did Open University deliberately time this in such a way as a recruitment tool? it does feels quite competitive in the MOOC Market. Fellow Mooc-ers had announced this Open Education course in the facebook forum which led me here.

I met face to face with Rob, fellow MOOC-er over coffee yesterday to talk through whats next and #robhogg and I are proposing putting a proposal together for a joint presentation on our recent MOOC student experience for an e-learning gathering at the university. Once I write up my scribbled notes from our conversation I may post the presentation plan here. Rob proposes we create a Google Docs collaborative piece of writing to pull it together. I think our discussion and planning has prompted my move on to this mooc, in order to find out more, to have a comparison experience of e learning through participation in the two moocs. Just to say that the feeling of the experience of returning to learning and joining a community of learners is quite refreshing. I like the newness of it all.

I am also trying to make observations as to where it is making an impact on my professional practice in Higher Education. My role is as the Widening Participation Co-ordinator at my university. I design outreach activities to engage with young people mature learners and communities, so the connection with e learning and techologies, enabling access to education is obvious in theory, yet I have to move my own skills along; hence my explorations within the e learning environment.

As an academic I have earlier experience of Blackboard and then we moved to Moodle2 as the chosen VLE. In my current role of WP I have introduced our team to Moodle2 as a means of communicating with our Student Ambassadors Group. I have a user experience of social media such as Facebook , originally strictly for the social side not work but those boundaries are blurring as Facebook was a main source of student communication on my last MOOC. Twitter I used originally to keep abreast of news , papers, publications from the keyplayers in my field of work following HEFCE, OFFA, UniversitiesUK, GuildHE, NEON, etc then #edcmooc experience gave us tweetchats and tutors hangouts which were a highlight of the communications experience and connectivity globally for me.I still marvel at being part of a 43K community and making contact with creative community from across the planet in wonderful places.

With the T E-Learning team I have participated in the SEDA SLT e-learning award and recently completed the Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) Professional Dialogic Route, in which I spoke of embracing new technologies within my practice. But I feel I still have a longway to go.

I come into this course with an introduction into Prezi and Pinterest which I enjoyed as a visual learner, plus this WordPress Reflective Blog my travels into digital cultures and e-learning. I’ ve dabbled in Jing, Thinglink and I was not too drawn to Google+, enrolling with it but ditching its use quickly because its user interface was so…dowdy. I may have to try again there to be convinced otherwise.

In my work I have also used Moodle2 to engage with year 10’s on a Business School Challenge so they could create live business plans. Recently we ran a ‘Connecting Cultures’ day event for a secondary school and primary feeders which had a tagtools , digital drawing activity where the youngsters could draw, project and animate their mark making.

Im looking forward to this mooc with the OU, not sure I can put all the amount of time expected into it but to familiarise myself with the Open Education concept more can only be a good thing. Also I note there are faces and names from my previous MOOC here already so I do not feel alone.

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