Monday, February 23, 2009


I would like to see more un-courses. I like to learn in a group. It doesn't have to be taught or even highly organized. Someone has to get it started, and maybe do a re-cap. The topic has to be interesting or specific enough to attract a critical mass. But other than that, that is plenty to provide a satisfying and rewarding learning experience. That's an "un-course".

FOC08 Facilitating Online Communities and CCK08 Connectivism and Connected Knowledge courses were great. They both had hard-working leaders who added a lot of value - course outline, readings, discussion set-up, as well as some other key components, like promotion and directing traffic and modeling communication at the kick-off.

If CCK08 and FOC08 are any example, having very large numbers of interested participants and a few vocal ones help enormously. It seems that there are many more lurkes than regular contributors, and the numbers decline over time.

A mechanism for regular updates helps - subscriptions, automatic aggregation of posts, discussion digests emails provide reminders to participants. That way participants can see what's going on and determine if they want to jump in or save the information for a schedule time later.

The Moodle course managements systems is flexible and accommodating. This WikiEducator Moodle installation is a great example. Once the course was added, I was free to set-up and use that "course" for this un-course. So far I am delighted with the results. Of course, it would be nice to have more participants. But considering the promotion was limited to the WikiEducator group email list with approximately 600 subscribers, this is a great response.

I'd like to see more un-courses under the WikiEducator banner. I hope that the WE administration will continue to support, and even expand and encourage these learning opportunities. By providing a home and a platform, WikiEducator can promote the teaching and learning side as well as the content creation side of open learning.

Do you have any un-course ideas? What learning support to you and your learners need that can be provided by Moodle? Are there any other facilitation tools that would be useful for un-courses in the future? Can WikiEducator play a bigger, more active role in promoting un-courses?

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