Week 5: a little breathing space…

First, a massive thank you to you all for the work you put in last week on the MOOC, and on making such a terrific collection of artefacts, and within deadline too (no mean feat given how much content there was for you to get to grips with). The page of responses is really hugely impressive, and as well as the portrait it has drawn of EDC MOOC week 2, I think it has been very useful to the MOOC participants who are thinking about ideas for their own digital artefacts at the end of the course.

It’s been wonderful to see the feedback you’re getting on the artefacts too, from the MOOC participants. The aim of this week is to start to gather some of this into your own tumblogs, and also to make some comments of your own on others’ artefacts, to reflect on the MOOC and so on – anything you can do to try to consolidate some of the work you did last week.

Jen will be in touch via email to see if anyone is willing to help with the MOOC hangout on Friday, by fielding questions in G+ and Twitter, much as Phil and Chantelle did last week. This was quite hard work, but fun – any help would be much appreciated!

So – thanks again everyone – you’ve made a massive contribution to the MOOC and produced some really great work. Next week we move away from all things MOOC and focus on something quite different (if you want to continue on the MOOC as participant, though, you are of course welcome!). In the meantime we hope you enjoy this relatively low-key week on EDC….

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.

It’s week 3! Welcome!

The course has been really active over the last week, with some great blog posts – please keep them coming, and also keep up the commentary on each others’ postings too – a good culture of commentary is already emerging on the course, which is fantastic.

This week the activities are relatively low-key: to do some reading and thinking on multimodality and changing conceptions of literacy, and to start to look about a bit in the EDC MOOC, which launched last night. A bit of time spent familiarising yourselves with the MOOC will be handy for next week, at the end of which we ask you to make a visual, textual or multimodal response to the MOOC activity that week. As far as we know, this is a unique first attempt to bring students on an accredited course into contact with a MOOC  on a similar topic area as teaching associates, so we hope the experiment will work and that you will enjoy it!

Please note that we’ve changed the plan for getting you into the MOOC – rather than asking you to sign up yourselves, we will now sign you up and you should get an invitation into the course (there were some technical problems with Coursera we have had to work around). You will be registered there as ‘Teaching staff’. There are 40,000 participants on the MOOC.

So – please enjoy the week, and if you have any questions about any of this, please post a reply here or drop one of us an email.

Week 2: the film festival continues

It’s week 2, and the second of our three film festival themes begins today – “other worlds”. We will host a Synchtube chat this afternoon at 2pm, and hope to see you there if you’re free. In any case, make sure to spend time in Twitter this week, tweeting and discussing your responses to the readings and films, and nominating new films.

Everyone has now made a start on their tumblogs – well done! Remember that you need to write a summary of your tumblog content at the end of each week (please give this a subject line like “week 1 summary”), reflecting on how it expresses and builds on the course themes, readings and activities. And keep on posting – this week, try experimenting with a format you haven’t used yet (sound, video, links and so on). A post doesn’t have to be long – unlike your blogs in IDEL, these tumblogs should play with fragments as well as longer, text-based entries, and you should aim to add something to the tumblog every few days at least.

Have a great week, everyone!

hello to visiting #edcmooc people!

image by Eleni Zazani, Creative Commons license CC:BY:NC.

Hello and welcome to anyone visiting this site who is taking part in the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, starting on 28 January. We’re delighted to see you! Feel free to have a look around the course site (this one) and the participants’ sites. You might be particularly interested in the film festival page, since some of the films listed there will be on the syllabus for the MOOC (we won’t say which ones, to preserve the element of surprise!).

Please note that the site you are visiting now is not part of the MOOC – it is part of the MSc in Digital Education/E-learning. So the instructions and advice here are for students on the MSc, not participants on the MOOC! However, you’ll notice that some pages and posts on this site, and on course participants’ sites, are open for comments – you are very welcome to share your thoughts, questions and ideas with us.

Oh, and if anyone is curious, this course is part of the MSc in Digital Education (formerly the MSc in E-learning), a part-time, completely online Masters programme offered by the University of Edinburgh. (Applications for September 2013 are now being accepted, so if this is your kind of stuff, do check us out!)

Semester starts today!

flying kites

Welcome all to the official start of semester! It’s great to have you on the course.

Many of the tumblogs are already underway, so you should spend time this week getting yours started, if you haven’t already, and also looking at and commenting on other’s blogs. This course works best when people take time to comment on each other’s work – there’s no core discussion board, so we’re depending on that, and on twitter to build and keep the course community.

The first of our film festival chats is tonight - link to our film room on Synchtube here. Don’t worry if you haven’t done all the readings and so on by then – the main aim is to meet each other for a bit of semi-formal watching, discussing, virtual popcorn-eating and socialising around our movies. We are looking forward to it! Please just note that Synchtube can sometimes be a bit browser variable, so if your usual browser doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of it, please try a different one (Chrome on PC and Safari, Firefox and Chrome on Mac are OK – Internet Explorer can be a bit flakey but give it a go if that’s your browser of choice).

People are already tweeting using the #ededc hashtag, and the course lino is already looking good, so please continue to contribute to these.

See you tonight!


Orientation Week begins!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the course! You should now be able to access your account on this site – details are in your student email accounts. This week is our orientation week, and a chance to do some preparation in advance of the formal start of semester, next Monday, 14 January. Apart from familiarising yourself with the course and this site, there are a few activities for you to engage in on the ‘before semester starts‘ page.

You can visit the ‘who’s my tutor‘ page to see who will be your personal tutor this semester. If you have any questions or problems, please contact your personal tutor in the first instance.

We are really looking forward to working with you – have a great semester!


Welcome to ‘E-learning and digital cultures’

Welcome to all University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning students who are studying this course over semester 2, January – April 2013. This fragment of the web is where much of the activity for our work over the coming weeks will be located – including the course content and your individual tumblog spaces. All of what we do this semester – apart from the discussion board and the copyright protected readings – is public and open to the web.

The course looks at online learning within the context of the emergence of a specifically digital culture, drawing on theory from media studies, cultural studies and the study of cyberculture, as well as the educational research influenced by these areas of thought. We tweet a film festival on the theme of cyberculture, teach a MOOC, conduct micro-virtual ethnographies and explore the visual representation of academic discourse, all in the interests of a deeper understanding of how internet cultures and learning cultures are intersecting and changing each other.

The course starts on Monday 14 January 2013, and runs for 12 weeks.

Your tutors are Sian Bayne and Jen Ross. You know how to contact us – but also watch this space here for course announcements and other things you should know about. Best of luck with your studies this semester!