Week 7: commenting on ethnographies

bricolageThis week, the main activity is to get your final ethnographic ‘snapshot’ posted up online, and to spend some time looking at each other’s work and commenting on it. We’ll be posting all the complete ethnographies here:


Jin’s and Ed’s are already up and looking good – I don’t *think* there are any others at this point (10am on Monday morning) but please let us know if we’ve missed yours! Just a reminder – please tweet the link to the final ethnography to #mscedc, and if you don’t see it appear on the page above pretty promptly, just drop Jeremy or I an email.

Please keep comments on the ethnographies on the blogs rather than in Storify/YouTube/etc – that way we can keep a fairly clear comment thread on each of the artefacts.

We’re really looking forward to seeing the snapshots coming in – I know everyone’s been working really hard on this over the last few weeks, so I think we’re going to have a really nice final gallery of work.

Week 6: the Ethnography continues

robot homework

Welcome to week 6 and the second half of block 2! It’s been great to see such a diverse range of MOOCs being studied, and some super ideas taking shape with your micro-ethnographies. Thanks to those who shared their progress in the Hangout tutorials last week.

If last week was about exploring the various facets of your chosen MOOC, this week you should be concerned with gaining some focus on the particular area(s) you’d like to document for the micro-ethnography task. Remember the *micro* here: you’re not expected to examine the entire MOOC community; rather you should find one specific event or aspect of *community* that you’d like to study in detail.

Also remember that you are not alone! Use the Hub forum or Twitter (#mscedc) to share ideas and ask for feedback from the group. Blogging about your burgeoning ethnography and asking our own EDC community to comment is also a great way to build ideas and focus your study. There are no Hangouts this week (the next is week 10), so use these discussion spaces to voice any concerns you have.

As well as refining your ethnographic explorations this week, it will be good to start thinking about collecting data from your chosen areas, if you haven’t been doing this already. Next week will be our final stage of the block 2 ethnographies, and we’ll be moving towards using that data to present our findings.

By now, you should have received mid-course feedback on your lifestream blog from your tutor. As we transition into the second half of the course, this will be a crucial guide to developing your blog towards the assessment criteria. Do follow up this feedback with your tutor if you’d like more clarification or have any other queries.

Have a great week everyone!

Week 5: ethnography

Indian Dancer: From an Ethnographic MuseumThis week you should spend really getting into your chosen MOOC, and thinking about how to make sense of it ethnographically, within the constraints of our short timeframe.

It’s very exciting seeing the many different MOOCs people have chosen to investigate:

Ed – Business Transformation (EdX)
Ben – Vocal Recording Technology (EdX)
Katherine – MOOCMOOC: Critical Pedagogy
Clare – Gamification (Coursera)
PJ – Scandinavian TV and Film Culture (Coursera)
Michael – Songwriting (Coursera)
Emlyn – Powerful tools for teaching and learning: Web 2.0 tools (Coursera)
Jin – Metaliteracy (Coursera)
Nick – Programming for Everybody (Coursera)
Miles – Explore Filmmaking (Futurelearn)
Martyn – Better Leader, Richer Life (Coursera)

It’s going to be a very varied and rich group of ethnographies by the time we get to week 7!

We have a couple of hangouts this week – you only need to sign up for ONE of these – whichever best fits your schedule. If you haven’t yet done this, please sign up here on Moodle.

We will spend the hangouts talking about the unfolding ethnographies, so if you could read the Kozinets article in the core reading before coming along, that would be great.

We will also discuss any ethical concerns you have – there have been some comments in the discussion forum and on Twitter about feeling like ‘lurkers’ and ‘voyeurs’ in conducting this task, so it would be interesting to try to unpack that a bit, and think about how we balance observation with participation in this activity.

Look forward to seeing you f2f again! Just come onto G+ at the given time and we’ll invite you into the hangout.

Twitter analytics


Some of you may find this page of free services for analysing Twitter useful, for your work in MOOCs this block – some of these can be really handy for a quick and easy overview of what’s going on on a particular hashtag.

One that isn’t listed is Tweetarchivist, which is also good – you can try it out for free but need to pay to have a stable collection of data.

If you have any other suggestions for handy services for this block’s activities, please add them in a comment here, and/or tweet them!



Block 2 and week 4 of EDC


Thanks for a thoroughly stimulating exploration of cybercultures everyone! This brings block 1 and our film festival to a close, but there is still time to add your visual artefacts and comment on everyone’s fabulous work. See all the visual artefacts here. If yours isn’t on the list yet, just send Sian or Jeremy the link and we’ll add it.

This week we move into the second block of EDC, and begin to examine ‘community cultures’. We’ll be focussed on education from the start, as our main aim of the block will be to participate and document a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). As such, we’ll also be considering digital ethnographic methods, and how we might go about gathering and presenting data from this experience.

We also begin with a new set of core and secondary readings, providing you with some important perspectives on communities, online ethnographies and MOOCs.

This week is about reading and exploration; preparing yourself for undertaking your ethnography in weeks 5, 6 and 7. Your tasks this week are:

  1. read the core literature
  2. begin exploring the world of MOOCs
  3. discuss some of your burgeoning ideas in our Hub discussion space.

You can link to the Hub discussion space below, however you need to be logged into ease before-hand. You will also need to accept Jeremy’s friend request in the Hub so that he can add you to the group, if you haven’t done so already: http://hub.digital.education.ed.ac.uk/groups/education-and-digital-cultures-2015/

Have a super week everyone!