Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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Four Weeks at the SOOC

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Earlier this morning I wrote my final Daily Wrap for the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport small open online course (SOOC).

What a wonderful month it has been at the SOOC.

During November in Australia, Mark and Danny have been with me on the day shift in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, Darrell and Adam have been the custodians of the SOOC.

As I was compiling the Wrap I received a link to a new version of Burn Note. This application takes communication to a different level. What’s a Burn Note?

A Burn Note is an online message which can be viewed only one time by the recipient. Each Burn Note is displayed using our patent pending Spotlight system for resisting copies. A timer starts when the recipient opens the note and automatically destroys the Burn Note once the recipient is finished reading it. Once a Burn Note has been deleted it cannot be viewed again.

In contrast, the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course will remain online and available. Adam Brimo writes:

The course will remain at the same url. What we can do to make it more open is remove it from the our homepage and remove or change the landing page to reflect that the course is open but no longer facilitated.

My hope is that more visitors will find the content relevant and interesting as it remains open. I am thinking it has the potential to become a dynamic wiki so that it updates links and references. We planned the course to be an introduction but we hoped there would be something for everyone.

To my knowledge this was the first SOOC of its kind. We aimed to present a fallible mode of sharing and to learn from the experience. I particularly liked the idea that it was an open course that encouraged non-linear journeys. I did enjoy the excitement of having Augmented Reality available from the first day if you chose to go there … as many did.

Whilst writing the Wrap, I received some timely links about massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Alan Levine (via a Stephen Downes alert) points out that in a recent Coursera Social Networks Analysis class:

61,285 students registered, 25,151 watched at least one video, 15,391 tried at least one in-video quiz, 6,919 submitted at least one assignment, 2,417 took the final exam. 1303 earned the regular certificate. Of the 145 students submitting a final project, 107 earned the programming (i.e. ‘with distinction’) version of the certificate.

He adds:

You see, the course moves at the speed it wants to, not mine. This mode does not use any of the affordances of online learning to be able to flex time and space for me to do work- it just marches on everyone rowing the boat together (or falling over).

Ryan Stacey discusses 15 ways MOOCs will change education. Item 7 on pedagogy is:

While MOOCs typically comprise video clips and perhaps a quiz, they will inevitably include more instructional devices to assist distance learning (and remain competitive). Over time, content providers will supplement their core offerings with live webinars, interactive exercises, discussion forums, wikis, social networks etc. Some may even organise real-life meetups at selected sites around the world.

As of today we had 517 enrollments on the course. It has been the most delightful month of meetings and glimpses.

We had a total of 23,490 page visits from 91 countries.

32% of the visits were from Australia, 27% from the UK, 8% from the USA, 7% from India, 5% from Ireland, 2% from France, New Zealand and Greece.The Seeing and Observing and Augmented Reality pages proved particularly popular.

The wonderful thing about an open world is that we do not have to say we will be back … we will always be here.

Photo Credit

Souq Waqif (Laika, CC BY-ND 2.0)


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SOOC 001

I have been thinking about a SOOC, Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport, that will start on 5 November.

It is being hosted by Adam Brimo on the Open Learning platform.

I have a number of colleagues who are volunteering their time to the SOOC and who will be sharing open access resources.

There are lots of conversations about and developments in online courses at the moment and I am grateful that Stephen Downes gives me an OLDaily lead on these.

Part of my musing of late has been about the kind of environment we might create in the SOOC. I have been delighted to discover that others are thinking about these issues too.

I liked Helen Keegan’s approach to a new academic year. In her Not a Mooc post, she observes:

I want to carry on developing our current model-which-has-no-name. I’m not sure what it is – it’s not a MOOC, but it’s certainly pretty open, multi-disciplinary, multi-level and networked, and builds on existing communities of practice and the mentoring that has emerged over the past six years (staff and ex-students -> current students). Most importantly, it’s creative, occasionally anarchic and relatively ad hoc …

 Helen mentioned ds106 in her post. I really enjoy Alan Levine’s posts about ds106. A few days ago he wrote Just ds106.  He noted:

Digital Storytelling (also affectionately known as ds106) is an open, online course that happens at various times throughout the year at the University of Mary Washington… but you can join in whenever you like and leave whenever you need. This course is free to anyone who wants to take it, and the only requirements are a real computer, a hardy internet connection, preferably a domain of your own and some commodity web hosting, and all the creativity you can muster.

ds106 offers advice about becoming an open course participant

First of all, in ds106, there are multiple levels of participation- but most importantly, it is designed so you can pick and choose the when and where. We have a subtle rule of NO APOLOGIES for not being able to participate when other parts of life intrude. There is no concept in ds106 of “dropping out” c.f. Groom, Jim (2010-present), “ds106 is #4life”.

There is an Openness in Education MOOC running at the moment too. The How This Course Works page helped me with my thinking.

Openness in Education is an unusual course. It does not consist of a body of content you are supposed to remember. Rather, the learning in the course results from the activities you undertake, and will be different for each person. In addition, this course is not conducted in a single place or environment. It is distributed across the web. We will provide some facilities. But we expect your activities to take place all over the internet on blogs, tumblr, Diigo, social network sites, Twitter, and other spaces. We will ask you to visit other people’s web pages, and even to create some of your own. This type of course is called a ‘connectivist’ course and is based on four major types of activity:

  • Aggregate
  • Remix
  • Repurpose
  • Feed forward

I was relieved to read Alec Couros’s discussion of the #unmooc. He concludes his post with these observations:

We are losing the ownership of our own conversations and learning spaces. Though admittedly a grand ambition, I hope that the process of developing an #unmooc, while providing a rich place for learning, can help us become more thoughtful and considerate of our learning spaces and the control of our discourse.

I am delighted that there is lots of discussion about open learning. At the end of a day of musing I am thinking that our SOOC will give us the opportunity to compile some resources to share openly in a non-linear way. I am happy that the S in SOOC enables small numbers of participants. It is a very modest manifestation of connectivist thinking.

I see this as the start of a fascinating journey that might lead to unplugged conversations as well as plugged ones.

Photo Credits

Crowd at the train for the Royal Adelaide Show

Open Window


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#SCP12: Oracy and Creativity

I look forward to Fridays.

it is the day I meet students in the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra.

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This week our tutorials explored ideas linked to oracy and creativity. My presentation in the lecture was on Produsing Resources.

The day coincided with the submission of online presentations as part of the unit’s assessment.

I think we had lots to talk about and the Slideshow gives a feel for some of the tutorial activities in the beautiful InSPIRE Building 25 on the University of Canberra campus.

As we were working through some ideas, far away (but conversely very near) Stephen Downes was making a point in his talk (Slide 20) in Tallinn, Estonia, about aggregating, remixing, repurposing, and feeding forward.

Almost synchronously Alan Levine was posting about web thinking. Alan shared his thoughts about how web users become web thinkers and web makers after listening to Jon Udell.

To cap a rich day of connections my son Sam shared with me a link to Andrew Grauer’s post on Course Hero developments. Andrew and his colleagues have developed free online courses. He points out:

To create these courses, we scoured the web for the best freely available educational content in all formats, whether videos, papers, articles, or webpages. We then broke the content down into digestible clips and reassembled the pieces into navigable learning paths. We layered in interactive quizzes and added badges, points and levels at different progress checkpoints.  This decentralization and gamification allowed us to create a scalable learning solution that is both high quality and engaging.

Quite a Friday!


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Hometown Memories 1: Buckley in the 1950s

Dean Shareski was my most recent prompt to think about hometown memories. In his post he points out that:

Inspired by Doug Peterson, who was inspired by ZeFrank that then inspired Stephen Downes and others I’ve created a little video of my life growing up in Morden, Manitoba.  Thanks to the every growing database of Google Streetview, it’s now reaching even small towns like the one I grew up in. … the use of Google Maps/Streetview as storytelling tools is largely underused as Alan Levine has said a number of times. Watching Jim Groom’s video, was like literally like going for a walk with him.

Dean’s story about Morden incorporates:

about 3 Jing movies stitched together and then uploaded to blip and youtube. One take. No rehearsal or editing, other than adding a title and one image I had handy. It lacks polish but most of our stories aren’t rehearsed, they’re spontaneous accounts of memory. I’m not advocating for us not to edit and craft our stories but we need to have room for many kinds of stories, some polished and edited to death and some a little rough around the edges. Bottom line is we need more stories about significant experiences. Google maps and street view is powerful tool for that. I for one would be happy to take a walk with people sharing significant stories about places that have meaning.

I have lived in Australia for eight years but recently I had an opportunity to return to the town where I grew up with a new perspective thanks to Dean, Doug, ZeFrank, Stephen, Alan, Jim and Paul Hagon. Paul’s work had a deep impression on me as it was the first time I had understood the power of The Commons. When Doug’s post appeared I felt there was a real opportunity to develop this form of sharing learning biographies. Dean underscored for me the possibilities of creating “stories about significant experiences” and “about places that have meaning”.

I was born in Buckley in North Wales in 1952. Google Maps of present day Buckley show an urban sprawl. In the 1950s Buckley was a classical string settlement built upon the four roads leading to Buckley Cross. I lived in the middle of the town but was surrounded by green fields. There is a Buckley Society that shares the history of Buckley.

I lived in Park Road in a terrace of houses. In those days it was an unmade lane. The present day map shows my home as the last house next to a by pass.

My memories of the 1950s are focused on play. The lane was a remarkable place to play informal games of football and cricket. There were lots of children in Park Road. We played day and night. Two streetlights gave us floodlights and trained our eyesight so that catching became instinctive as did throwing at a target.

My school was six hundred yards away and before I got there in 1956 I was sneaking onto the playing field to use real goalposts for our football games. I played in a cup final there in my imagination and had an opportunity for a real final in 1961 when at the age of 9 I played in the Hardwick Shield final.

When not in the lane or at the school playing fields. We played on Buckley Common with coats as goal posts or at the Buckley Wanderers’ pitch in big goals with nets. All these were within a radius of 800 yards from my home.

Today the Buckley Common has been cleared and levelled.

and the field of dreams has long since become a car park for the local clinic and library.

My passion for sport was grounded in these very local play spaces. We had minimal equipment and remarkably long days of play. We adopted many roles in our play and games. All our activities were rich in vicarious play. With limited access to black and white television our imaginations ran wild.

I left primary school in 1963 and made the remarkable journey to the Mold Alun grammar School three miles away. At that time it was a very long way away by school bus. It was a transformation of my life chances too.  I had even more opportunities to participate in sport!