The majority of this week was devoted to my digital ethnography and discussions around support within MOOCs. It was also great to see other participants ethnographies as well as their findings. I especially enjoyed PJ’s snapshot around Scandanvian Cinema and Ed’s visually pleasing ethnographic artifact.
The questions emerging from my own ethnographic got me thinking about the different types of MOOC participant as well as the roles involved within the relevant discussion areas. ‘Do MOOCS fuel collaborations?’ is an interesting strating point in discussing collaboration opportunities within free online courses. How much emphasis is based on the social aspect and how much on the content really depends on the individual participants expectations when signing up for a MOOC. The subject matter is possibly the most important aspect of why someone would sign up for a MOOC in the first place, and the social opportunties will come off the back of this initial enquiry. If the participants feel they can contribute to discussions due to prior knowledge then of course there is more likelihood for fuller discussions and offers of support throughout the MOOC.
I found a very useful article discussing some of these questions as well as providing statistics around who uses MOOCs and how do they use them.