After going through some other ethnographies I noticed that there was a pattern of there being a lack of community. It seems that a lot of these MOOCs struggle with this. I have been reflecting on what makes our class a community. It’s our comments of Twitter, our posts to each other’s blogs and our occasional “meetups.” Is that enough for an online community?
David mentioned that xMOOC do not even seem to be trying to create a community within their courses. This is disappointing to see in a field of education where the community has been a core piece for so many years. I think that this lack of a community is a weakness for MOOCs, not seeing the importance of having their learners connected.
Meanwhile, Susanne talked about how authentic people can be if they are required to comment on other people’s works. I think that when people are required to look at the works of others it makes them see the course work through the eyes of another student. And this has the potential to change their thinking. Even if it is somewhat unwilling.
Iryna’s ethnography focused more on the class itself. I liked this because I felt that I was more connected to the experience. I also appreciated that it was in the form of a timeline, comparing one week to the next.
What makes an online community relevant? What makes it last? How do we make students not feel lost in a mass of students?