End week summary 7 – Wrapping up community culture

Final week of Community cultures, final search for a web community in a MOOC. Final decision on how to transform literature, experience, MOOC enrollment and further discussion into a visual form.

Continuous discussion on the question to what extend MOOCs success depend on a learning community, the strategies to make MOOCs possibly more interactive and to what extend strategies – which are close to in classroom education – will work in a MOOC with hundreds to thousands of participants.

MOOCs Aren’t Interactive, So There’s No Real Learning Taking Place


Finally the question on lurkers kept the whole 4 weeks of community cultures.







End Week Summary 5 – The endless search for a functional MOOC

Is there a community in a MOOC and what is it like? Is there still a community without interaction. Without any doubt there is a potential in digital education through MOOCs. For university education as described by Rebecca Paddick  on edtechnology or as a possibility for the poor, the marginalized or those living in remote areas.

“Massive Open Online Courses, otherwise known as MOOCs, could have the potential to widen global access to higher education, particularly where higher education is currently in short supply” Diana Laurillard and Eileen Kennedy, 2017) 

Other sources highlight that even though there is a potential, there are not many making use of the potential or the way how the respective MOOCs are presented do not reach the intended target group, aren’t attractive and/or interactive or don’t develop a community as we see it in other social media platforms, blogs, etc. An interesting article  by Derek Newton in Forbes online highlights the current situation of reletively low course completition rates. 

In week 6 I enrolled myself in 4 tech or ed-tech courses.

In search for the community in these MOOCs, most results of online discussions show no content.

Even though only taking part in the course actions for research, there is already the feeling of isolation and loneliness.

The important questions for distance and digital learning opportunities is to what extend online community building is relevant for successful courses. Personally I found a functioning, interactive MOOC – but not in a tech related subject. Maybe this is another relevant issue!



  • Derek Newton (2018). Not even teacher – bots will save massive open online courses. Forbes, published August 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereknewton/2018/08/22/not-even-teacher-bots-will-save-massive-open-online-courses/#7508ac2d2bb0
  • Diana Laurillard and Eileen Kennedy (2017). The potential of MOOCs  for learning at scale in the  Global South. Centre for Global Higher Education working paper series, published December 2017,  https://www.researchcghe.org/perch/resources/publications/wp31.pdf
  • Education Technology (2017). MOOCs’ massive potenial, published October 2017, https://edtechnology.co.uk/Article/moocs-massive-potential/



End Week Summary 4 – Technology, Culture, community and the search for a MOOC

It was about time start with the new area of community cultures. Technologies focussing on building online communities, connecting people, encourage interaction, share information, set up personal profiles have squeezed into the middle of our societies. The decade  “with a broader increase in the capacity for communication and interaction on the web”(Knox, 2015,page 4) entered and was considered by society positively “Rather than otherworldly or strange, here the online is warm, friendly and communal.”(ibid.

Witnessing the changes in society due to the huge amount of technology and a great openness to use this technology (hardware and software) there are some important questions relevant for effective digital education.

  • What is the (online) community and what makes you a part of it?
  • Do we need a community to learn?
  • If yes how to build a community?
  • How does the online community differ from the offline community?

These questions became relevant when searching for an appropriate MOOC.

  • While searching it was and is hard to tell in which of the great variety of courses consider real exchange and community building as relevant to their course design. Some running courses had very high enrollment numbers but when checking there was almost no interaction through formal channels set by the course designers.  May be the idea is not to set up a formal discussion boards but to let the students have side conversations and informal groups. It would be interesting to compare to course designs – on with and one without active community building elements.

Considering we need a community for learning, how to set it up?

I found this clip on how to build an online community. Though a but outdated, the aspects mentioned are still valid and crucial. Longevity, Trust, Shared Values, Community management. While doing the ethnography one major focus should be on the question to what extend we need a community to be an effective learner.



Knox, J 2015, Critical education and digital cultures. in M Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational
Philosophy and Theory. Springer, pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1

Wills, Marc (2013):The Online Community-A New Paradigm: Mark Wills at TEDxSanLuisObispo,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhOUNsATofU

End Week Summary_2 – Embrace the AI?

End of week 2_

The question on Cyber- Community and Algorithmic cultures continued to be an essential aspect. Algorithmic cultures is a striking emerging subject, while we still have not overcome the seperating cybercultures and tool providing community cultures. How do we deal with algorithm based decision making? Already we accept it in our google search or in many other apps but if the algorithm starts to decide about your future it is another aspect.

For digital education there are many fields for development and change but the most present is the discussion about using AI in the classroom.


In China the next stage of technical development and use has already begun with the use of AI for learning and teaching. While at least in Germany the discussion on the use of AI and the borders and boundaries of data collection is very controversially fought, other countries already in the phase of piloting.

Michael from the #mscedc course found a nice article which puts this discussion in a table. I would like to highlight, that there is always the fundamental question of  good and bad (for learning)  – like in the movies we watched. SO is technology, the technology we use and how we use it good or bad for learning?

The movie “The Intelligence Explosion” demonstrated the distrust in the algorithm based AI / Cyborg by those who are more into ethics. But even its developers seeking for a possibility to make “Gunther” more human. May it be to make the AI better or to increase acceptance from society.

For digital learning in the new century AI based learning software and the way how teacher, learner, developers handle it is crucial for an efficient use of technology.


Knox, J 2015, Critical education and digital cultures. in M Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational
Philosophy and Theory. Springer, pp. 1-6. https:/

Karen Hao (2019.08).https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614057/china-squirrel-has-started-a-grand-experiment-in-ai-education-it-could-reshape-how-the/

The Guardian (2017): The Intelligence Explosion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S8a70KXZlI