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Workshop activity 1: Mapping the context

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Rebecca Galley
20 June 2012

There has already been some discussion about what models and tools we might use to help us review and articulate the design problem space in advance starting of any MOOC design work proper. So far the models on the table are:

Simon Cross's Lattice Model and Yishay Mor's Scenario/ Force map tool

To summarise our discussions so far, I think that we feel that Simon's lattice model is too complicated to use in an activity, so we think we will probably use Yishay's activity and then review activity outputs using the Lattice Model (correct me if I'm wrong anyone!) so that we can begin to locate priorities and concerns.

Do you know of any other learning design tools we might use to define the problem space at this early stage? Please join in :-)

Extra content

Thank you to those that gave me feedback for this activity - in particular for additionally pointing me to the Ecology of Resources framework (EoR). We have decided upon a 2 hour activity comprised of 3x 0.5hr tasks using firstly the EoR framework (facilitated by Katerina Avramides), secondly Yishay's Force Maps and finally Simon's Lattice Model. This combination of tools will allow us to create a really rich picture of the design space - very exciting.

Rebecca Galley
12:46 on 10 July 2012

Live blog from the workshop: Katarina from IoE introducing the Ecology of Resources framework. I'll add her slides to this Cloud once I've got them from her (and we'll add a video of her presentation tomorrow).

EoR activity: Part 1: 

  1. Think of your own experiences of MOOCs
  2. Write short scenarios (stories)
  • over a period of time
  • think about online tools used
  • the people/ things/ activities that might relate to the course indirectly
If you are participating remotely add your stories (just 3 or 4 sentances) below.


Rebecca Galley
09:30 on 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:07 on 25 July 2012)

EoR activity Pt 2:

  1. Read through each other's scenarios and identify all teh possible resources
  2. Categorise them into EoR categories
  • Knowledge and skills
  • People and tools
  • Environment

        3.  Identify the filters that constrain access to these resources


Rebecca Galley
10:07 on 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:14 on 25 July 2012)

EoR activity Pt 3

  1. Brainstorm possible ways in which technology can be used/ new technology designed to enable access to resources

Rebecca Galley
10:13 on 25 July 2012

Live blog from the workshop: Yishay has just introduced the concept of Forcemaps and his activity.

For the actvity 'steps' (instructions) see his slides below. He suggests a 'low-tech' paper and pen approach but pehaps you could summarise your activity at the end or take photos of your outputs, upload to Flickr and embed below.

Rebecca Galley
10:19 on 25 July 2012

Live blog from the workshop: Simon Cross has recorded a presentation for us on his Lattice Model. And It's like he's really here :-) (I'll upload the full presentation tomorrow)

Lattice model activity:

  1. Review each item in the lattice model and reflect on:
  •  whether each aspect has been address, 
  • which haven't, 
  • and which will be particularly important for the design of this MOOC.
Add your reflections below

Rebecca Galley
10:57 on 25 July 2012 (Edited 11:05 on 25 July 2012)

Live blog from the design workshop: Feedback from groups is that the lattice model is too complex to use in the workshop, and that it covers a lot that has already been covered in the two previous activities.

Yishay suggests that it could be used as a checklist that the design space has been sufficiently reviewed.

Steve Warburton suggested that the model has some implicit assumptions about who the audience/ 'student' is that doesn't work so well for the MOOC which is less tightly structured and less predictable. He emphasised strongly that 'loosely structured' does not mean 'not well designed' but that the lattice catagories might push the designer to be too ridgid in the design created.

Grainne has suggested another  representation of the problem space that does something similar that is less complex that she will add below.

Diana said she liked the model as a checklist because it is so wide ranging but would like a more clearly articulated process of how to use it. She thinks it could work as a MOOC tool but needs a clear activity designed to support it.

Some really interesting debate,particularly between Steve W, Dave White and Diana about how far a MOOC is a 'journey' - with a start and an end - and how far it is a hobbist 'club or society' (see video below - 'Why is a MOOC?'). So, some questions emerging for this debate:

  • Should the % of participants who complete all weeks be a success factor? If not, what are the criteria for success?
  • How far do we (as designers) have a responsibility for designing a journey/ narrative through?
  • How far should participants have an expectation that if they complete the whole MOOC they will achieve a pre-defined set of outcomes?
  • How responsive can we be in negotiating the curriculum?

The model certainly worked well to mediate design discussion around what makes a MOOC different to most courses and what that means for the curriculum design.

And now lunch...:-)

Rebecca Galley
11:23 on 25 July 2012 (Edited 09:33 on 26 July 2012)

Embedded Content

added by Yishay Mor

Katarina's Ecology of Resources presentation

Katarina's Ecology of Resources presentation

added by Rebecca Galley

Ale and Grainne

Ale and Grainne

added by Gráinne Conole

EoR Design Scenario, described

EoR Design Scenario, described

added by Brock Craft

Ale and Grainne talking about the relationship between MOOC persona, targets and how/where

Ale and Grainne talking about the relationship between MOOC persona, targets and how/where

added by Gráinne Conole

Peter Bryant describes a scenario/force map

Peter Bryant describes a scenario/force map

added by Brock Craft

Components of a Learning Activity

Components of a Learning Activity

added by Gráinne Conole

Workshop discussion: Why is a MOOC?

Workshop discussion: Why is a MOOC?

added by Rebecca Galley

Summary of one team's force map activity

Summary of one team's force map activity

added by Rebecca Galley

Force Map photo

Force Map photo

added by Rebecca Galley


Joshua Underwood
9:10pm 28 June 2012 (Edited 9:11pm 28 June 2012)

see below

Joshua Underwood
9:10pm 28 June 2012

I'm using Chrome on a Mac, I can't see Yishay's embeded figure above at all and I can't read the smaller text on Simon's lattice model. Can anything be done about that?

Rebecca Galley
8:05am 29 June 2012

Hi Josh - I'll forward the problem to the developer team. In the meantime I've put hyperlinks to both models in the intro text at teh top of the page. I'd be really interested to hear what you think of them. Rebecca

Yishay Mor
12:14am 2 July 2012

Hi Rebecca,

I've embedded the scenario template, but its very narrow. I wonder if there's a way to control its layout?



Gráinne Conole
9:42am 25 July 2012

I have participated in two of George Siemen's MOOCs. The first time I didn't even realise it - he just asked me to do a webinar and the next day there were lots of google alerts from people's blogs referring to my talk and the associated papers George had pointed them to! The second time was in Feb again I did a presentation but as it was week 27 of the MOOC participation was low. I did respond to the few comments people posted on cloudworks and via their blogs. 

Yishay Mor
9:42am 25 July 2012

Task 1 (EoR part 1)

I was supposed to failitate a week in the MobiMOOC. In the end, unexpected circumstances meant that I couldn't dedicate the time for that. Luckilly, the organisers had allocated two facilitators per week, so the programme didn't fall apart.

The MOOC used two main channels: a google mailing list and a wiki (on wikispaces). Although I wasn't able to participate actively, I could follow the discussions on the mailing list and gain a sense of the activity.

Diana Laurilllard
9:45am 25 July 2012

A narrative ffrom the participants' point of view

Why I should be interested in this course? – what I might get out of it, how it relates to me and my work

Then I start using it, listening, watching, reading and trying to make sense of what it is aiming to do and how well this fits my own situation, asking myself what I might contribute

Beginning to see how some part of the course does relate to my issues – how can I be sure they are addressed – is there an opportunity for me to negotiate a way of working on the issues of most importance to me?

As I start taking part I realise there are some others on this community who share my views, ideas and concerns, so I'd like to work in a smaller group with them - how do I do that?

We find a way to do that, but seem to be going off track a bit - are we applying the course ideas appropriately? How do we check this out with the rest of the community and with the tutors? I'm still not quite getting what I need to solve my most immediate problems.

Brock Craft
9:46am 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:02am 25 July 2012)

Task 1 (EoR Scenario)

Martin (45), is an Senior Lecturer in a traditional university. Has a perspective ont he overview programme design and knows what is involved with running a programme. He is not familair with online learning but intrigued by the idea of a MOOC. Also Aware that he is going to have to be ready to adapt. Has received a directive that everyone programme will have a blended aspect in the nex t5 years. He has found out about this learnig design MOOC and signed up to see what it's all about. Has used online tools for interaction but not fo learning. He has used a VLE but only templates that others have prepared.

EoR Catgories:

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Used computers for much of his career
  • Practicalities of academic work
  • Understands learning design, curricula, learning outcomes
  • Variable understanting learning, teaching, and assessment strategies
  • Unserstand academic administration, policies and procedures
  • Understanding of quality, quality assurance, and enhancement
  • An outdated knowledge of what it means to be a student (student's experience, but might not admit/accept this)


  • Office at Uni with a reasonable WiFi network, but firewalls might limit his access to some resources
  • Home office with broadband connection
  • Home environment that is will not interfere with MOOC work
  • Institutional recognition of the importance of ongoing CPD

Tools and People

  • Laptop computer with camera and Skype
  • Mobile smartphone, Tablet Device
  • Library and Digital Library access
  • IT depeartment that is effective and suportive
  • Colleagues to ask questions of
  • A Learning Devolpment Unit that supports staff development, training, etc.


  • Time and workload
  • Connectivity
  • Motivation
  • Sketpticism/thinking that it will not be beneficial
  • Lack of support from the institution, in spite of a mandate
  • Lack of management's understanding of what a MOOC is
  • (Potential positive filters): enthusiasm for trying it out (intrinsic motivation), push by department to try it out (extrinsic motivation)

Alejandro Armellini
9:46am 25 July 2012

Never took part in a Mooc but have read quite a bit about them. The common theme seems to be anarchy, or perhaps excessive freedom, lack of structure, leading to very high drop-out rates, reduced engagement, etc. a lot has to do with managing expectations.

Gráinne Conole
9:47am 25 July 2012

Scenario: Structure the MOOC around topics which are each presented in a bound timeline - say one topic per week. Introduce each topic and clarify what resources and tools are associated with it. Perhaps start with a synchronous presentation or an asynchronous one. Point participants to relevant resources - for example papers or chapters. Give some clear activities for example participation in a discussion forum or asking them to reflect on their personal blog. Have a central place to aggregate all the outputs associated with it - perhaps in the Cloudworks Cloudscape for the MOOC. Either set up some facilitation from the team or divide participants into peer groups for peer support.

David White
9:48am 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:09am 25 July 2012)

Scenario: Stumbling across or being drawn-in to a MOOC which is of interest (DS106).

Attracted by the crowd/activity - peer support/inspiration. Other people (community?) are the main 'resource' - Peers direct each other to relevant resources.

"Drive-by" assignments - dipping in and out. Lack of overall structure seen as positive - no need to do eveything.

Creating 'beyond-text' resources as part of assignments encourgaed collaboration. A range of skills and therefore people needed to complete tasks.

"Outcomes" not too important.

Club or society model? - Interest driven... More like a hobby.

Direct = learning outcomes - Indirect = being part of a 'club'/community

Drawn in by the indirect and the creativity.

Access to other people is a form of filter as is the course design. From a learner POV: confidence, and available time.

Needs space for 'chaos' and serendipity.


Gráinne Conole
9:50am 25 July 2012 (Edited 9:52am 25 July 2012)

Tools and people: Cloudscape for the course, personal blog and Twitter, other participants, MOOC design team

Knowledge and skills: Some experience of teaching, reasonably proficient at using social and participatory media, in terms of the MOOC knowledge and skills is what the MOOC is about i.e. an overview of learning design research

Environment: online, informal, time bound to the duration of the course - i.e. 8 - 10 weeks in Autumn 2012

Diana Laurilllard
9:55am 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:02am 25 July 2012)

Environment - my current work insofar as it relates to learning design, career prospects, pressures on teaching, opportunities for new ways of teaching, resources limitations, new types of students,

Tools and People - opportunities for new ways of teaching, rather old technologies, some colleagues who are dismissive of technology, conventional technologies are dominant and well provided for, some good innovative colleagues who are technicallly able but overworked

Knowledge and skills- resources and intentions of the course; the representation of knowledge in the field; the opportunities provided by the course to practice new skills

Learner characteristics - lots of experience of teaching, but no training in how to teach; lots of subject knowledge in a fast changing area that I keep up with online; trying to keep up with new technology skills, but aware of falling behind

Yishay Mor
10:00am 25 July 2012

Task 2 (EoR part 2)

Knowledge and skills:

  • Other facilitators and participants personal experiences
  • Resources they find on the web (open resources, press articles, blog posts, scholary papers)

People and tools:

  • The MOOC leader
  • Other facilitators
  • other participants
  • people not in the MOOC but in participants / facilitators daily circles.
  • Mailing lists, wikis, blogs, forums, facebook, shared documents


  • Institutional environment
  • MOOC community ("CoP", with core and periphiral participants)

Alejandro Armellini
10:00am 25 July 2012

Relevance, sense-making and managing a potentially huge amount of information seem central to reducing attrition in a Mooc like this. Is this "knowledge and skills", "environment" or "filters"? Or all 3? Too much emphasis on "MO" in MOOC, (too massive and too open) could perhaps lead to the wrong outcomes - poor retention, dissatisfaction, etc. Perhaps the "filters" need to apply to the design of the MOOC, from today.

Giota Alevizou
10:29am 25 July 2012 (Edited 10:46am 25 July 2012)

Relevance, fun interface and a structure that allows mentoring and peer interaction both synchronously and in ones own time are key to attrition... Knowledge and skills are also paramount; it appears that people that have substantial digital and networked literacies emerge as leaders and can act as mentors in MOOCs. So I guess the 'environment' and 'community' are key to learning design.

I wonder if someone has done a systematic study on what MOOCs are successful and why (errr aside from the huge propositions of legacy instituions like Coursera/Udacity)...A fun, alternative course (e.g. the intimately known ds106) with clear, yet fluidly adaptable syllabus (to allow student agency), fostering the development of strong digital personas? A short-hands on coursse that promises some dimension (managable) of professional development, and some sort of accredidation (see  

Ben Samuels
12:09pm 25 July 2012

I've participated in several moocs that each had very different approaches.  I was fairly active in Change11.  I enjoyed the model of a new presenter and topic each week.  The part that was most effective for me was the weekly+ synchronus sessions.  I find there is something very powerful about meeting in real time with others online around a shared interest.  It adds a nice social aspect which is also fun.  I found the lack of a dedicated space for asynchronus participation a challenge.  It seems nice to be completely decentralized but this creates an undue barrier to participation in my opinion.  Ideally for me, people should be encouraged to use their own blogs or whatever for participation but there should also be a central space for interaction that ties it all together.

I participated somewhat in David Wiley's Intro to Open Education. I liked the material and the structure and particularly am intrigued by the gamification element and the use of badges to reward achievement but found the lack of any sychnchronus sessions unfortunate for the reasons stated above. 

I participated fully in First Steps in Learning & Teaching (FSLT) even having a personal tutor assigned to me and completing assessed work to earn a certificate.  Although not very massive, I think FSLT would be the closest mooc I've experienced to what you are planning for this OLDSMOOC.  It was very well planned out, and did a nice job combinging synchronus and asychronus activies.  

I also participated for a time in the big MIT AI mooc and also in Kurt Bonks mooc that he in conjunction with Blackboard as well as snooped around several others.  Here are a couple of things I'd suggest might contribute to making the OLDSMOOC a success:

-in the beginning acknowledge and give permission and blessing to lurkers and partial participation

-It sounds like you'll be getting fairly large numbers (even though there might be low levels participation and high levels of "drop outs") so consider how you might build in personal support networks.  Perhaps think about recruiting volunteers and supporting the development of relatively small groups for some tasks

-think early about what kind of resources/aretefacts could be created during the course by and through the participants.  This includes the recorded sessions, discussions, bibliograhies, wikis, etc.. but also the social structures that emerge.   

-maybe build in ways for people to connect on existing projects and develop new projects

Peter Bryant
3:07pm 25 July 2012

any interesting perspective from a librarian/scholar in line with our tables more philiosophical discussion.  I have also scopped it


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