Learning When No One Is at the Center of the Room: Connected Courses MOOC (#ccourses)

Frequent flyers, at one time or another, have the disorienting experience of having to consciously look for reminders of where we are; our minds simply can’t keep up with the frequent leaps between cities, states, and, occasionally, countries. Frequent learners engaged in co-learning (what Edward Brantmeier describes as the act of changing roles so teachers and learners become “joint sojourners on the quest for knowledge, understanding, and…wisdom”) within the world of connected learning may be facing a parallel challenge in at least a couple of ways; when interacting with connected-learning colleagues, we need to remind ourselves which of our wonderfully overlapping communities of learning we are currently engaging (Is this #etmooc—the Educational Technology & Media massive open online course? #xplrpln—the Exploring Personal Learning Networks MOOC? #oclmooc—the Open and Connected Learning MOOC? #ccourses—the Connected Courses MOOC? Or all of the above?), and we have to remember that the line between teacher/trainer and learner is increasingly dissipating in the best of teaching-training-learning opportunities.

ccourses_logo“The Case of #etmooc”—a learning opportunity that is less than two hours away as I write these words—shows us just how all-encompassing, rewarding, and intricately interwoven co-learning can be when it is effectively supported. The one-hour webinar, which initiates a two-week-long exploration of co-learning within the Connected Learning MOOC (#ccourses) and will be archived online for viewing, promises to be an example of how co-learning works to the benefit of everyone involved. Start with the idea that #ccourses facilitators are using the session to examine how co-learning in #etmooc contributed to the creation of a community of learning that still continues more than 18 months after that connectivist MOOC formally concluded. Continue with the fact that the learning facilitators have transformed several of us who are current #ccourses learners into co-learners by inviting us to join them in the formal discussion and recording of the session this evening. Then consider the idea that one of those #ccourses facilitators, Alec Couros, was among those who introduced so many of us to connected learning and connectivist MOOCs while deepening our appreciation of co-learning through all he and his “co-conspirators” did to bring #etmooc to fruition.

etmoocAnd that’s not all. Among the co-learners are colleagues from #etmooc, #xplrpln, and #oclmooc. But not just any colleagues. We’ll be with Jeff Merrell, an #etmooc learner who crossed the co-learning line last year by playing a key role in designing and facilitating #xplrpln. And we’ll be there with several of the #etmooc learners who, having sustained the #etmooc community since the course ended, reunited earlier this year to design and deliver #oclmooc. If it’s beginning to sound as if “The Case of #etmooc” is another homecoming party for many of us, a celebration of how co-learning in online environments fosters training-teaching-learning opportunities unlike any we could have imagined a decade or two ago, and an invitation to the ball, then #etmooc, #xplrpln, #oclmooc, and #ccourses are doing exactly what great learning opportunities should do: providing learning spaces where no one stands alone at the front or in the center of the room, where new long-lasting cohorts of learners/co-learners gather and coalesce, and where everyone with the least amount of interest is welcome. And the best is yet to come since so many of us continually engage in the overlapping roles of teacher-trainer-learner: we will, no doubt, continue to adapt our ongoing co-learning experiences in ways that invite our own learners to, sooner than later, become co-learners in our jointly-shared endeavors.

N.B.: This is the twelfth in a series of posts documenting connected learning through #ccourses and #oclmooc.  

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5 Responses to Learning When No One Is at the Center of the Room: Connected Courses MOOC (#ccourses)

  1. […] Always About the People- Rhonda Jessen Learning When No One Is at the Center of the Room: Connected Courses MOOC (#ccourses)- Paul […]

  2. […] with great people who share most eloquently what I would like to say. Thanks Paul for such a great post on our connected experience . Rhonda , yes it is all about the people and you all have enriched my life as well as helped me […]

  3. Maha Bali says:

    Another great post, Paul. I have been flirting with the idea of how for many of us there is one MOOC that becomes our springboard and home MOOC (for me it was #rhizo14) and how groups of us move around and up (e.g. many rhizo14ers are now co-facs in #ccourses) and i am trying to think what might these “home ” MOOCS have that is special. Will watching the video help me know that?

  4. Maha: Deeply appreciative for the kind words. You’re absolutely right about many of us having a “home MOOC,” and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens as these groups (“MOOChorts”?http://www.nmc.org/news/open-innovations-etmooc-connected-learning-and-moochorts-lifelong-learners) continue interacting in various settings as is currently happening in the Connected Courses MOOC. And yes, Alec Couros and others do a great job of identifying at least part of what makes these home MOOCs special: http://connectedcourses.net/event/unit-5-class-1-the-case-of-etmooc/?instance_id=171. Looking forward to seeing what you and all our other co-learners do to continue fostering the growth of this fascinating part of our learning landscape.

  5. […] for the Hangout and reflection on the results can be read in blog posts by Paul Signorelli: Learning when no one is at the center of the room and Co-learning and keeping the lights on. Rhonda Jessen also set the stage in her excellent post: […]

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