TEL Explorer

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Activity 0.3 Exploring and experiments

Experiment with and reflect on different ways of communicating with fellow ocTEL participants. These include Twitter, your blog if you have one, the ocTEL JISCMail list [], the ocTEL forums, the ocTEL groups, the chat window in the webinar.

Try and use at least one channel of online communication that you haven’t used before (or don’t use regularly), and try and find out why other people like it.

  • What forms of reflection, challenge and learning do each of these do best?
  • How do the channels support relationship forming and community building? Is that important for learning?
  • Which do you prefer and why?

I have communicated using the forum, twitter and this blog.


Twitter allows only short communication, but it can be used to share URLs. I found it interesting that I discovered people I know who are taking part in the MOOC through Twitter. This was either by a response to my post or me seeing posts from them. I suppose I am quite used to using twitter and I feel I get quite a bit from it. This familiarity possibly explains why it was useful to me. In addition to people I know other participants posted and that helped me form a loose relationship with them. I can strengthen these links with some knowledge about them if I want to. I am aware of a sense of audience in twitter and that affects the type of message I post. This is especially relevant to me when using a hashtag.


I have already posted regarding the forums in an earlier blog. Usally I like forums. Forums provide space to expand ideas, the threaded nature of forums allows for organisation of discussions. I found the ocTEL forums terrible. People made posts that had no responses. I felt at times that the 0.1 activity was very little like people having a conversation and more of a broadcast. This may be because the forums were deliberately not managed or because of the type of people on the MOOC. I observed that some relationships did appear to form where a conversation did take place. I have joined the MOOC with a number of colleagues in the same room. This has helped me to verbalise some of my thoughts when the forum felt less open to me.


Blogghing is something I haven’t properly engaged with before. I have maintained project blogs and started a personal blog many times, but I have tried to stick at this one. It still feels odd as I generally keep reflections in my PebblePad account for my own use, this is public! One thing I found was that the blog has allowed me to let off steam about things. this was a bit of a revelation really and I may stick at it. For me the blog is a personal conversation. It is informed by what I read and my reflection on that, but I’m not expecting any responses.

Which do I prefer?

That isn’t an easy question. Each for its own purpose. I’m yet to explore the forums for week 1. Perhaps things will be quieter and more organised. I am sure something will make me reach for twitter to post and I continue to watch the hashtag. As mentioned the blog is new to me and I think I like the cathartic value I find in here.








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