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 Though a but outdated, the aspects mentioned are still valid and crucial.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