Week 4 – it’s #edcmooc week!

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 4 of the course – semester is really flying by, isn’t it?

‘flying crane’, by origamiwolf. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16697847@N00/348999739/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Week 3 was a great mix of twitter discussion and tumblogging about the readings, and dipping our toes into the brave new world of #edcmooc. The tumblogs are really starting to take shape – Sian and I will be sending some mid-point feedback next week, where we’ll make a few comments about how each of your tumblogs is meeting the assessment criteria. If you have any questions in the meantime, you can feel free to email us, though.

The launch of #edcmooc last week was exciting, and I know many of you have been in and started to explore. If you haven’t got access to the MOOC site yet, email your tutor. Special thanks to three of our group – Amy because it’s her job to help all the Edinburgh MOOC organisers get things going, and she’s doing a great job; and Phil and Chantelle for responding to my email** asking for help with the first live video chat, held on Friday evening. They made it possible to bring questions and comments from MOOC participants into the Hangout, and that was really appreciated by those who attended. We couldn’t have done it without them. I’ll be requesting help again next week for the next live on Friday 15th (5pm GMT), so if you fancy a rather mind-boggling hour sifting through text chat, let me know!

This week, your task is to create a digital artefact that responds to some aspect of the #edcmooc that you find interesting. This could be related to the content (utopias and dystopias) or the MOOC itself – these strands converge this week as we discuss the future of education and what the significance of the MOOC might be. You can play with metaphors, images, mashups of content, and more. Once you’ve made your artefact (by Friday at the latest, please!), post a link to it in your  Tumblog, and on the week 4 page. We’ll be sharing your artefacts with the MOOC participants, so if you can put it somewhere that accepts comments, that would be great. We will set up a Coursera site thread in a few days where you can also put a link to your artefact – and we’ll send out an announcement to participants when they are all available.

If you know that you won’t have your artefact ready by Friday, let one of us know so that we aren’t waiting for you. But please try to do it if you can – it will be great for the MOOC participants to see your responses, and they will also help them to think about their own digital artefact assignment in a few weeks’ time. This is not an assessed activity for you, but it is a great opportunity to experiment with some of the practices of multimodal literacy that we have been reading and thinking about. This artefact is also something we will be looking for when we mark your tumblog at the end of the course.

You should also feel free to join in with the MOOC discussions this week. If you want to post in the forums and have a ‘teaching assistant’ flag by your name, you should update something (doesn’t matter what) in your Coursera profile – apparently this triggers the TA flag to appear.

Let us know if you have any questions, issues or comments! And have fun.

**If you didn’t get that MOOC help request email, please note this bit of ‘housekeeping’ – it seems that not everyone has yet set up their new student email accounts, which launched on 14 January. If you haven’t, it means you will be missing email from the programme and from the University. Visit http://www.elearning.education.ed.ac.uk/2013/01/14/semester-begins-new-email-service-is-live/ for instructions about activating your new service, and setting up a forward.

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