Some NHS e-Learning about an NHS MOOC – My Microethnographic Artefact for Block 2

If only we had anything this cool…

Here is a link to my Artefact. Since the MOOC I looked at was for a MOOC developed by the NHS, primarily for NHS staff and since I work as an e-Learning Developer for an NHS Trust, I decided to make my artefact in the style of one of the thousands of e-Learning courses that the organisation produces every year. Please don’t let this put you off, in this case the form of the artefact is in many ways part of the message I’m trying to convey 🙂

Artefact Link

5 Replies to “Some NHS e-Learning about an NHS MOOC – My Microethnographic Artefact for Block 2”

  1. I love the way you have laid out your findings in the style of an NHS e-learning course, Matt! It’s very fitting and sets the scene, as you look at the NHS MOOC while sitting within the NHS (with your knowledge of the particular power structures and particularities there).

    You’ve communicated the data really well, and there are some familiar patterns here seen in the other micro-ethnographies, such as the initial spike in activity on the discussion forums yet lack of replies to the ‘solitary statements’ (with the exception of the occasional “agree”/”like”). It’s fascinating how you have honed in on this aspect, how the number of likes is close to the number of posts, and particularly the reflections on the possible reasons behind this (and that this kind of engagement might suit “lurkers”).

    Your reflection that ‘a lot of activity seemed to be concentrated between relatively few people’ chimes with my own experiences – both in xMOOCs, but also during my own study where I made connections with just a handful of people (despite the huge complex scale) – it comes back to the idea of “cliques” which you mentioned recently. I also really like how you’ve laid out the categories, drawing on the readings and frameworks we’ve looked at.

    Also, it’s interesting how you’ve drawn on your own experience to argue that perhaps some don’t necessarily _want_ to be part of a community (and this isn’t necessarily bad!). It brings me back to this tweet from Stephen Downes that ‘lurking is a legitimate and valued form of participation’:

    Great work!

    1. Thanks Michael 🙂

      It took ages to put the Artefact together as I used Lectora Inspire, and that meant having to do bits and pieces during my lunch break at work (that software costs far too much for me to get a personal copy!).

  2. The style of this NHS e-learning course sure is striking! I think maybe it was my bandwidth as well but it had a very early web feel with the page loading gradually, the image slowly being revealed.

    It also gave a powerful impression of the “solitary process” you describe in NHS e-learning. It is more than solitary, it is actually isolated, walled in almost within the block frames. Even the text is a series of images, completely inaccessible in more than one way.

    Your assessment of the 3 groups of users and speculation on their motivations is really astute. I liked that you highlighted the significance and power of ‘likes’ as a way of signalling the activity of lurkers.

    I doubt if the stark conclusion you draw at the end of your artefact is true. However, I do think it is a feeling we all have at times working in the ‘e-learning’ field. Often doubt whether I’m just serving the agenda of technology companies rather than supporting education.

    1. Thanks David 🙂 It probably runs slowly because the server it’s stored on is on our physical site and all of our internet connections go out through one cable – things are fast for us from our servers but slow for anything external and vice versa.

      In terms of why we produce training, I often get the feeling it gets done just to tick a box. There are a whole raft of subjects that staff are legally obliged to cover regularly (yearly, 2 yearly or 3 yearly depending on the subject) and a load more that our Board have decided staff need to do. A lot of the time it seems that either legal compliance or being able to prove that staff have had training in something if they try to sue us or pass the buck if they are sued, are more important than actually teaching the staff anything.

      In practice the courses usually consist of about 20 min reading slides of bullet points with a few interactions thrown in and then a quick multiple choice quiz. Really doesn’t cut it in my opinion, but when staff can’t be freed up for anything longer and the lawyers are breathing down our necks what else can we do?

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