End Week Summary 8 – Algorithm play

Finally approaching the future of education. AI based robots or algorithm based AI systems have introduced and changed many of our private spaces. Knowingly or unknowingly algorithms react to our every virtual step, click, stay, buy, watch or else and create a persona of us and our potential preference, to advertise objects we may like or even better may want o buy.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, You Tube  but also other plattforms like coursera or edex do collect data about our behaviour on their pages. Selling their idea of massive data collection with a algorithm which provide us with thinks we may like, something more personal/ individually. And yes for those of us who might have compared google results with a more discrete (non collecting) search engine like Startpage

Yes, it can be very comfortable to have google knowing where you are, where you usually go, what you usually search for and it can be much more frustrating to do the same with a (mostly) non learning search engine but still this comed with a price. Google collects and sells your information, netflix prevents you from other maybe good movies due to your personal preferences, Amazon offers you always similar items or even the MOOCs you’ve been offered are also coming from the same hosts.

In my algorithm play I demonstrate the power of the netflix algorithm, which is actively guiding, influenceing or even forcing me to watch certain movies.

So what does this do with algorithms, AI and education? Will there be robot teachers replacing human teachers in a sort of (for teachers) dystopian vision of the future? Most argue that this will not be the case but educationalists need to admit that they have to open themself for their new “robo” colleagues, who could (and will) deliver or take over certain activities while others will remain with the human teachers.

Freedom from routine, time-consuming tasks will allow teachers to devote more of their energies to the creative and very human acts that provide the ingenuity and empathy needed to take learning to the next level. (Luckin et al. 2016, p.31).

But the education sector needs to understand, criticize and work with these algorithm driven AI systems much more systematically as they do currently.



Siân Bayne, Peter Evans, Rory Ewins, Jeremy Knox, James Lamb, Hamish Macleod, Clara O’Shea, Jen Ross, Phil Sheail, Christine Sinclair (2019): The Manifesto for teaching online (DRAFT)

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 6 – How to establish effective MOOCs?

While finishing the search on possible MOOCs, it became obvious that in many MOOCs – intended or non intended is no proper interaction amongst participants and therefore a lack of community building/ a missing online learners community.

But is it important to build an online community amongst learners? Following discussion on twitter with @Eva07686348, @erin11k and @DavidYeats3 it is certainly ok to accept different learning styles and types.

But still we are in the century of intensive digital communication and interaction. As a trainers or course designer my general interest is to create as much interaction as possible by all means necessary.


A livid learners community is helpful for learning and active interaction with course content, even though I have to accept that there are different types of learners.


 Instructors should strive to use strategies that provide the best match between curriculum content and outcomes as well as students’ past experiences, learning styles, and learning preferences. (Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus (2007, page 21)

The web is full on strategies on how to improve your instructional design, improve interaction, turn lurkers into contributers.

Based on the assumption that for most participant even a generally low interaction with others is helpful, course designers should have the interest to know who is observing, learning and participating in “silence” and who is just enrolled without interest in achieving course objectives.

How could I find out? As course designer and can follow to some extend the behaviour of enrolled students but still how to distinguish? Yes, I could check the number of enrolled students, check who takes part in discussions and finally monitor, those who do the set assignments (if there are).

So even if I can’t distinguish them at least I should be able to motivate as many participants as possible and ‘lure’ them into participation in by design of the course as it was very well described by Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus

The strategy on how to bring as much participants to discuss and engage is very much connected to the general question on how to build relationships and communities without having the face to face interaction.

I came across some articles on how to transfer human face to face interactions into digital communication and engagement.

I will further explore these scenarios in my micro – ethnography.



Jason Alley and Karen Greenhaus (2007): Turning Lurkers into Learners, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education),

https://vimeo.com/13192810TeYosh (2016): Turking learners into . 




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

Visual Artefact – Education and technology in 2028

My visual artefact is a slideshow through various dystopian or utopian (your choice) future scenarios. The title is “Education in 2028- A dystopian or utopian vision”. I have mainly used a Brainstorming App “mindmeister” and “pixlr” Foto editing tool. All Fotos were taken from flickr, pixabay, pxfuel labeled for reuse and modification. 


Link to the Artefact

Please click on the little play button to


start the slideshow

Feel free to comment on this selection of statements!