All posts by sbayne

Lifestream and assignment submission: all the info in one place

Your lifestream should be completed by midnight, Sunday 5th April 2015. This involves tidying and editing the lifestream and writing the final 500-word summary of the entire blog.
See lifestream submission information here
Submit the lifestream in Moodle here

Final assignment
Your final assignment is due by midnight Sunday 19th April 2015. You can nominate up to three additional assessment criteria.
See the assignment submission information here
Submit the assignment in Moodle here


Week 11: moving towards the assignment


We are now starting the final period of assignment preparation, so there are no structured tasks for the next two weeks. This is time to get ideas together and to get feedback and input from the group in doing so, if it’s useful to you. Blogging about your ideas for the digital essay is a good way to prompt feedback from your peers. Your course tutor – Jeremy or I – are also here to help and to give guidance where useful, so please continue to use us as sounding boards too.

The final assignment is due at midnight 19 April 2015, and needs to be submitted via Moodle. Please see the Final Assignment page for more detail and the link to the Moodle submission space (this latter will be up shortly). Once all the assignments are in and marked, we’ll collect them all together in an ‘All the assignments in one place’ page. If you’d prefer yours not to be included, no problem – just let us know.

Over this next couple of weeks you also need to review your lifestream blog to make sure you’re happy with it, write your 500 word summary, and submit it (again via Moodle) no later than midnight Sunday 5 April 2015. There’s more guidance on the Lifestream Blog Submission page. Again – any queries please contact your course tutor.

Best of luck with pulling things together over these two weeks. I know a lot of good ideas are coming through already in relation to the final assignment – please do keep sharing them, with each other and with your tutor. We are really looking forward to seeing what you create.

All the spam….

It’s been nice seeing everyone bond a bit over the spam on the lifestreams, but it’s also a bit of a pain. It seems like we have a only a couple of options for dealing with it, if we want our course site to remain open to commentary from people beyond the course. Either we leave things as they are, and each deal with our own spam individually, or we put a captcha on the comments function. Neither is a perfect solution, by any means, but it would be good to get a view on what people would prefer.

Would you mind completing the poll to let us know your views, and we will go with the majority decision?

How would you like the EDC course to deal with spam?
Introduce a ‘captcha’ for all blog comments
Leave it as it is – individuals deal with their own spam

Poll Maker

Week 9: learning analytics and calculating academics

It’s been fascinating to see some of the results of the ‘algorithmic play’ exercise last week. One of the themes that has come through quite strongly is that of the ‘filter bubble’ or ‘youloop’ in which algorithms seem to operate to consolidate and reinforce existing viewing preferences in a way which limits not only the scope of our activity but the construction of our identity. Martyn did a great job of analysing this in relation to Netflix, Clare’s tiki-toki timeline gave a terrific sense of her wider social media ecology, Jin applied these ideas to TED, while Nick’s play in Audible incisively raised some of these ideas in relation to the formation of selfhood. If you’re interested in following through on this you might find the notion of ‘selective exposure’ (the idea that we purposely select media and messages which ‘fit’ our existing beliefs) to be of interest.

There seems to have been an interesting balance in the accounts between critique of algorithmic influence and an acknowledgement that algorithms are useful to us, as long as we know (or think we know) how to ‘work’ them. For example, PJ’s account acknowledges that he might take some useful guidance on managing his Twitter activity from QuillConnect, while Mihael very interestingly outlines his strategies for managing the way the YouTube recommender algorithms work for him.

Great work – and if you haven’t yet taken a look at any of the above, it’d be worth spending some time reading and commenting on them.

This week we will move on to applying some of these ideas to education more specifically, by looking at the algorithmic organization of the university, via Ben Williamson’s talk, and the rise of learning analytics, via the reading from George Siemens (links to both of these are on our Week 9 page).

The format of our discussion will be via a ‘tweetorial’ over Thursday and Friday, in which we will focus on some intensive tweeting around the ideas raised during this week and the last. We will keep track of the tweets using Tweetarchivist, and use this as a starter point for our hangout discussions next week. So please look out for some starter questions from Jeremy and I on Thursday morning, and pitch in freely! Below you can see the word cloud generated by our discussions over this week, and follow this link for the full range of analytics generated by Tweetarchivist.


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 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!



Week 3 dawns: our last of block 1

Week 3 in sugarWe’re coming towards the end of our first block of study now, before we move onto the MOOC ethnography work next week. A few things to take note of at this point:

Hangout signups Please sign up for a tutorial hangout in each of weeks 3, 5 and 10 using the Moodle polls here:

week 3
week 5
week 10

Just to make it clear: you need to sign up for 3 tutorials in total – one for each block of study. We are offering morning and evening ones in each week to try to fit as many timezones as possible.

Digital artefact At the end of this week (by Sunday) you should have created an online representation of one or more of the themes covered during this block,  using visual methods only. This might be in the form of a composite image, a YouTube video, a Flickr photostream or some other medium of your own invention. This artefact should be reviewable by peers and must feed into your lifestream-blog. Take a look at the information here to get a sense of what needs to be done, and to link to some previous examples.

This week’s tutorial In the hangout tutorials this week we’ll discuss the ideas we’ve been working with in the film festival, and focus on applying them specifically to our field of digital education. Please make sure you email Jeremy and Sian a link to your G+ profile page, so that we can get you linked into the hangout session that you’ve chosen (; Hangouts this week are offered at either Thursday 29th January: 8pm or Friday 30 Jan: 10am – sign up using the Moodle poll above.