Post to Iryna’s Ethnography

Hi Iryna,
I liked your timeline, it was a great way to show your experience and see how it grew over the course you took. I hadn’t taken many notes pertaining to the experience as it continued on and I regret that now.  It is interesting to see the course change over time and see the community grow. But even with the growth of the community, the number of comments decreased each week. Thanks for sharing your work!

Post to Susanne’s Ethnography

Hi Susanne,

Nice work!

“Can a discussion be authentic if it is part of the assessment?” That’s an interesting question. It is similar to asking “can the feedback given on each other’s ethnography be authentic if it is part of the assessment?” I think it can. I think that when we are more inclined to look at one another’s work and/or comments than it stimulates feedback and further thought. It’s unfortunate to admit but if we were not required to look at each other’s work than we would probably never see what everyone else is thinking. This would result in a limited view of the course material.

I think that “what discussions would look like if they weren’t assessed?” is a fair question and one I can answer. I think that it would look like the MOOC I took, no one commented on anything and it felt like talking to a void. It is possible that there would be a discussion that was relevant and thought-provoking but I’m not sure what the chances are of that happening.

All and all I really liked your presentation. And I’ve been thinking about the feedback I’m giving you much more carefully ever since I saw your question about authenticity. So do you think my feedback is authentic?



Blog Post 7

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?

Post to David’s Ethnography

Hi David

That is a great question, are we looking for “community and/or a sense of community?” And what is the difference between the two? We talk about the importance of social learning, on the idea of learning together. How can MOOCs achieve this and is this even their goal?

“Basically, when we think of what is possible for virtual communities, it’s clear that the corporate xMOOCs aren’t even trying to replicate that. If anything they’re a shabby imitation, drawing on the potentiality of the idea of virtual community rather than actually generating it.” And that is our answer. It sounds like MOOCs are not interested in building communities because they don’t see the purpose.

Maybe I missed it but who were you talking with in your audio of Autonomy? Was it someone from your MOOC? Just curious.


Micro Ethnography

For my MOOC I took The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture. I focused on the community and communication aspects, comparing the MOOC to fandom communities that center around superheroes.

There are two links below if the first one doesn’t work try the other. I apologize for their being two but I wasn’t sure if the first one would work for everyone.



@mwolfindale @DavidYeats3 I’m studying the community within the MOOC, or lack thereof. Mostly what I notice is that no one replies to other comments. So I had wondered if it would be messing with the data if I purposefully went out of my way to create community… #mscedc


Would it be considered messing with my own data if I went into my MOOC to purposefully go against the norm of everyone else’s behavior? I didn’t but it was just a thought I had. What if I intentionally “stirred the pot”? #mscedc