ocTEL day one reflection

ALT’s open course for Technology Enhanced Learning (#ocTEL) started yesterday 28 April 2014.

In the office three of us have signed up for the course. The thinking behind this is a) we might stick at it better together and b) we might address something of use to us.

We started with confusion. What time does this start? What are we supposed to do? Has anyone got a message yet? Then finally at 11:43 the message came through: Dear Patrick – a warm welcome from everyone at ocTEL! I am still uncertain about the green headings in the email, but it made a change!

Now we moved from anticipation to exploration. The excitement was high. A few moments later we hit the wall. Nothing seemed clear. We were being given choices! How very dare they! There are many possible channels for communication. Should we tweet? Should we blog? Should we use the forum, there was already one scarey post in activity 0.1! What are these Diigo and Mandeley and Delcious and ScoopIt groups for?

At this point I decided the best thing was to get on with some work.

Later I returned sneekily back to the ocTEL site and foumd myself less intimidated. I saw that conversation was taking place, I had a friend request and the world looked better for a moment. I watched the forum come to life for a few more hours and then made my first post to activity 0.1. I haven’t had a reply yet. Maybe I don’t deserve a reply.

Moving on, I have always been a fan of week 0. Week 0 allows the extension of a course without admitting it. Week 0 makes getting familiar with things not part of the instruction. The challenge of course is that week 0 might be seen as not compulsory leaving people not familiarised.

I think I am increrasingly not liking choice. This is a new course and apparently there are a massive number of people out there. How should we communicate. How do I know I am getting the communication or whether I need it. I understand the reasoning for choice, but I find this confusing.

Why am I blogging? I think the real reason I think is that I have developed a badge obsession. I need to use a different form of communication to my normal channels to achieve activity 0.3. For each activity we get points. And what do points make? [this is rubbish without a live audience]

I have been on a number of other MOOCs and successfully completed just one. I don’t feel bad about that each that I have started has provided useful material and helped me as far as I have wanted to go. So far this feels different, but I am concerned at this point about the small number of active participants in the forums. Maybe this will improve.

This being my first blog post with an expected audience I now have to work out an appropriate way to sign off. For those of you old enough to remember I am leaning towards a Mork and Mindy type conclusion. However I’ll just go traditional:

Bye for now





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