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Heather Peters - Another Face in the Cloud - Learning Journal (OLDS-MOOC)

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Heather Peters
11 January 2013

Beginning from a puzzled place but willing to learn.

Extra content

Yes, I know a terrible pun. I think it is apt however given the whole nature of MOOC. Already I am reaching the sad conclusion that there are so many people it will be easy to get lost in the clouds. 

Heather Peters
23:10 on 11 January 2013

Dear friendly visitors.

Kia ora koutou, nau mai haere mai. Welcome to Another Face in the Cloud

This cloud is not only a place where I'm jotting down my thoughts but a place where people are welcome to engage in conversations about learning, design, and teaching; building relationships within organisations to facilitate development of learning materials; and other topics that seem relevant. Feel free to respond to a comment or add a topic of your own.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts,


Heather Peters
18:11 on 15 January 2013 (Edited 18:12 on 15 January 2013)

Embedded Content

David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

added by Heather Peters


Heather Peters
11:15pm 11 January 2013 attempt to add 'extra' content is currently being moderated. It was a general thought and may be in the wrong space but I'm learning here so hope it works.

Right, my reflections on the course so far:

  • There are so many spaces, discussion areas, links that my head is spinning.
  • There are a lot of new things for me to learn just to be able to participate. 
  • I'm enjoying 'meeting' people from so many backgrounds and feel priveledged to be able to benefit from their experiences.
  • I'm determined to be as open-minded as possible.

Heather Peters
12:08am 12 January 2013 (Edited 6:04pm 15 January 2013)

Personal learning objectives


Week 1

  • Explore OLS MOOC learning spaces.
  • Complete ‘Initiate Activities’
    • Introduce myself [COMPLETE]
    • Create Cloudscape – portfolio [COMPLETE]
    • Create Cloud – learning journal [COMPLETE]
    • View intro video [COMPLETE]
    • Share ideas in Dreambazaar [COMPLETE]
    • Join a team [COMPLETE]
    • Study Group...this page seems to be evolving into one...hmmm


I will know I have achieved them when I have finished each task.

Heather Peters
12:09am 12 January 2013

Wow! A post I made was not moderated and appeared right away. That is great! 

Now...where did my other posts go to and will they ever appear?

Heather Peters
11:02pm 12 January 2013

Wk_1 thoughts:

Part of my general philosophy of continued reflective practice that includes sifting through information and learning the tools that are out there. Always away that change for the sake of change (to use an overused phrase) needs to be avoided. Change is not a bad thing but should be based on observation, information, reasonable hypothesis and open to the possibility that something that seemed like it was valuable may turn out to be less useful than you originally thought.


Jonathan Vernon
11:11pm 13 January 2013

Well this caught my eye. I have kept a specific lesrning journal for a year and found it imvaluable. It took me at least a year to lesrn to write in a way, chunks, with full referencing and loads of tsgs for it to be of greater value. If not a lesrning journsl then an e-portfolio? And given that on,y a fraction of students will want to keep such a journsl how do you convince them otherwise?

Briar Jamieson
2:52am 14 January 2013

Heather, I appreciate your stream of consciousness in getting started in OLDSMOOC. Congrats on completing 5 of 6 tasks. I am trying to find your 'Dream:...' But haven't come across it yet, in moderation?

Heather Peters
5:18am 14 January 2013

Hi Briar and Jonathan,

Thanks for visiting my journal.

My 'Dream' is here:



Heather Peters
5:22am 14 January 2013


I'm not certain how to convince students learning journals can be helpful. I wonder if offering a variety of formats would be helpful: blog, audio, handwritten, etc. Also, some of my students are shy about sharing things in forums in general. It's hard to show them that using forums for learning is a place where you can ask questions and share ideas. Not 'right or wrong'. In my mind journal keeping isn't right or wrong either it is about thinking about your own learning journey and gathering thoughts. I haven't worked much with learning journals/eportfolios myself but can see the value. No easy answer to that one I guess.


Adam Warren
11:26am 14 January 2013

Hi Heather,

(yes I've had items sent for moderation too - very frustrating)

I think that the only way to convince students of the value of learning journals is through experience, so to start with you may need to use the carrot/stick of assessment  to ensure they do engage with the process, and then hope that they come to see the value themselves. I was also influenced by the book 'The Artists Way' which uses daily writing ('morning pages') as a tool to free your creativity - highly recommended:

I don't think that Cloudworks is a good tool for this since a) all messages are public, and I like to keep some of my 'thinking while writing' private until it is ready for wider viewing and b) oldest message at the top so you have to scroll down more and more the longer you use it.. really?

I quickly switched my journal to WordPress that fixes both these issues, but have added links from my original cloud - otherwise how would people find my blog? (I do add the #oldsmooc tag but...)

Heather Peters
7:27pm 14 January 2013

"Many teachers have been pushed into a role where they are not being utilized for their expertise and skills. Through highly standardized curricula and pacing guides, teachers are told exactly how to teach, rather than being empowered to differentiate instruction and create engaging learning environments to meet the needs of their students."

This quote from an article about Teachers as Learning Designers really resonates with me. The current climate in some workplaces means that teachers in higher education are 'pushed to the side' as it is assumed they only know content and not how to design for learning. Sometimes it feels a bit like a turf war

instructional designer - I want to design it - I know all the pedagogy

Teacher as learning designer - No I want to design it - I know what pedagogy works for my students

This type of positioning is never helpful in any relationship. But, how to get people to work together?

Personally, one of the best things I ever did was to sit down with 'my' instructional designer and say 'This is the way the course is currently running and needs that I see in my students. From your position, what might you suggest as a way to address issue X.' 

I was fortunate in the fact that he is particularly open to new ideas but my colleagues sometimes find it much more difficult to work with 'their' instructional designers. I imagining a turf war or have others seen it?

Heather Peters
7:31pm 14 January 2013

Hi Adam,

I also hate scrolling down a page to find new posts - arrgh!

Back to the old carrots/sticks :) I try to use as few sticks as I can but I think you may be right that some people need to be shaped using sticks. 

'Man cannot learn by carrots alone.'

This forum is quite open and I think you have a good point when you suggest that an alternate space can be helpful.


Heather Peters
7:36pm 14 January 2013

Hi Anne,

This space was originally meant to be a learning journal space where I can toss ideas around and learn from others about how they see the issues that I'm talking about - not exactly a team space. 

But, the people who have posted here are raising interesting questions and it feels a bit like a study space/blog rather than a 'learning journal'. I'm happy to use it as a study space and, like a blog, treat it like an open study group where anyone can come and post thoughts. (You're certainly welcome here.)

I'm involved in a team - well 'involved' is probably rather loose as we have yet to do much beyond creating a team cloudscape:  There are links to a couple of 'dream' clouds on the page if you're interested.


Scott Johnson
6:21am 15 January 2013

Hi Heather,

If you are OK with this being a learning journal space with lots of intruders it seems an important discussion is happening here and can continue?

As someone in the design office Innote our group there is only one person with a degree in ID and the rest of us are: myself with years of training apprentices but no formal teacher training; graphics person who is learning on the job; media person in the same position as graphics; promotional designer and wab administrator; assistant ID with years of direct elementry teaching in Canada and the Middle East; teacher training coordinator without formal teaching experience but an MA in Education. We have tried to hire "qualified" staff but candidates who do apply see living conditions this far north and this isolated not as a challenge or to build up their resume. but simply NOT the place they dreamed of when they were paying tuition.

So this raises a question of qualification for most of us in the office--who are we to be telling faculty anything? Alternately, given location and the size of the population it pays not to make enemies or play at being special and I find that since the teachers approach with sharpened sticks being nice is often hard to pull off. Also, to anyone familiar with organizational life, being us between surprise directives from above and teachers to the side of us angry at those above we sometimes lose it. 

And back to the question of who "owns" the classroom it still falls to the teacher and we respect that. Really:-) So how can we be better at the fumbling we call "design" because it implies what we are trying to do? Any comments?


Heather Peters
6:51am 15 January 2013 (Edited 6:53am 15 January 2013)

Hi Scott,

I'm happy for this to be a learning/study space. I get bored talking to myself anyways. :)

'Who are we to be telling faculty anything?' 

I'm not certain where you are coming from but I think what you may be saying is that, for some corporation-related reason maybe, teachers have their backs up a bit and then this causes people to question their role as ID. I understand the pointy stick thing - I think that is sometimes the easiest thing to grab when someone feels threatened.

Making broad generalisations: From a teachers view point (I'm not an ID by any means) the first feeling is sometimes that we are being told we don't now how to teach - probably coming from the position of believing teaching and learning design are intertwined. It can be quite hard to have someone come in and pass a critical eye over your course. I'm actually used to this because our courses are all externally moderated by experts in our fields every three years...but it is often an 'oh no - I hope I'm doing things right moment'. 

I have run into ID who basically say, pretty much to the teachers face, that teachers don't know anything about how to design courses they are just delivering information. *ouch* ; I've also heard teachers says that IDs don't know anything because they aren't teachers. *ouch again*

Not a good place to begin a working relationship. (Oh, in my organisation the designers 'own' the courses not the teachers...a development that occured quite recently so I'm thinking that's not terribily helpful.)

'Fumbling at what we call design'

I'm asking this question because of my honest lack of knowledge...what do IDs mean when they say 'design'? How do they 'see' the information the teacher brings? Is that information 'designed'? What do you, as an ID, want to bring to the process?


Oh, I forgot to say. As far as formal education/qualification sometimes I think having a quilt of knowledge and experience can be more helpful than just coming from one place. Being a teacher or having teaching experience must be helpful for anyone involved in developing courses. As a teacher I have started learnng about design (including doing this MOOC) because I think there is so much out there that I don't know. Sometimes also I get the feeling the ID staff and the academic staff are trying to say the same things but neither knows the other's language. I'm hoping to learn to speak design a bit better myself! 

Heather Peters
6:46pm 15 January 2013 (Edited 6:48pm 15 January 2013)

Designing for creative confidence

I'm not certain why the TedTalk 'embed content' link would not work for me - the link to the page will have to work for now, I guess. If anyone who drops by knows more about embedding content please let me know.

This talk really resonates with me. In my classes students often lack confidence. Even the ones people would traditionally label 'good' - the 'A students'. This, I suppose, raises two questions:

  1. How do we design for confidence?
  2. What is a 'good student'?

On reflection I realise that one way I have (instinctively??) designed online courses is to address confidence by providing tutorials on what are often considered basic skills. How to double-space in Word for example. I'm fighting a battle at the moment to continue to embed that type of learning into my class. The more common attitude being 'They are in tertiary study - they should be able to do that' - what I refer to the 'Too bad. So sad' approach to eductioan.

To me it is not that the 'should have' skills, but they need particular skills; part of my role as a teacher is to help them gain those skills.  I want all my students to be able to engage and learn - how frustrating it must be to have that drive to learn but be held back because of a skill gap.

Why do I have the confidence to try something and do it incorrectly in a public space but my students don't have the confidence to try? I am wondering if it may be related to confidence - self-efficacy as described in David Kelley's TedTalk. (You know, the one I tried to embed).

The next issue of what make a 'good student'. I, personally, resist labelling an 'A student' as being the model of a good student. Is a good student one who is confident? What about those who lack self-efficacy but show great potential to gather and think about information? 

How do we design for learning confidence?


Cris Crissman
7:55am 16 January 2013

I almost chose "Fearless" as a username, Heather.

I've always had an unexplainable (and probably unrealistic) degree of creative confidence and technological confidence which is weird since I've no aptitude for technology in the least.

Your poetic "Face in the Cloud" attracted me and David Kelley's video convinced me that I've found a home or at least a safe haven in OLDS MOOC.

I'm involved, make that, obsessed now with a new course I've designed on creative inquiry through digital storytelling so your question "how do we design for learning confidence?" is huge for me.  I hope you don't mind if I hang out here a bit now and then as I explore OLDS and how I might contribute.

Take care,


Heather Peters
8:17am 16 January 2013 (Edited 8:18am 16 January 2013)

Welcome Cris,

My son is always making fun of my puns...I think they are fun :)

I'm interested in learning more about your use of digital storytelling. I don't know a lot about how that is done at all.

Where's your cloud?



Heather Peters
6:29pm 17 January 2013

A copy of my reflections about Week 1.


Where to begin? I started the MOOC feeling a bit overwhelmed but excited to learn more about learnging design. I kept my goals for the week quite simple and just noted the specific activities we were to complete for the week. I have completed the ones I listed, so I feel good about that accomplishment.

From a technical side, I said I wanted to learn about some tools that I didn't know about before and that certainly happened. I'm a bit frustrated with how many spaces the course is held in and the need to figure out just what is meant to be said where. I'm pleased with myself for persisting and I think I have enough of a basic grasp to continue.

On the content side - I'm finding the way 'designers' look at the world intriguing in terms of the vast number of processes that are involved in course design. I remain a bit puzzled as I work through some of the models and ideas as it is rather difficult to see where they differ from the work I do as a teacher. Not that there aren't differences in the mix but that teaching itself is a process of design - a point made in one of the early videos as well.

The interaction with other people is teaching me a lot - I see common issues across the world and intitutional settings. People are open and willing to talk about thier own experiences and share their knowledge. We've even had a go at defining knowledge!

My learning journal is also an open study group space so feel free to pop by and join in the discussion.

I'm looking forward to next week and having a go at inquiring some more.


Heather Peters
8:38pm 18 January 2013 (Edited 8:38pm 18 January 2013)


Week 2.

Well, i'm a day behind already because of working so much overtime, but I'm going to give this a go to see how far I can get. I've decided that since project teams seem a bit tricky to get together (maybe time difference?) and I'm not 100% certain I can complete all 9 weeks that it is probably best to work on my project alone. I'm still happy to discuss/chat/debate with people. 

Ok, this looks like a busy week.

Objectives etc 

Link: Week 2 Outline - looks pretty good so no need to redo work :)

  • 1. Plan week [DONE]
  • 2. Contextualise project - think, plan, brainstorm
  • 3. Consider context - mindmap
  • 4. Apply context 
  • 5. Review and share
  • 6. Discuss and reflect
  • 7. Curate and evaluate 

Heather Peters
8:50pm 18 January 2013 (Edited 8:51pm 18 January 2013)

Oh dear...I just read the first bit about 'personas'...

I teach at a teritary level insituation using a 'Moodle classroom' supplemented by key print resources. No face-to-face contact. The classes range from 40-200 students. I am really not a particular fan of use of a single persona for teaching the adult learners who enrol at in my classes. So, I hope that is not the way this course is headed.  The variety of experience, knowledge and life experience they bring to the course is so varied that using personas can be off-putting. Possibily because it is hard for people to relate to a persona so far from their own reality.

I use a variety of case studies where they are asked to analyse the situation and apply their knowledge instead. I will try to remain objective as I work through this weeks learning materials but it will be difficult given my experiences in my virtual classroom.

Scott Johnson
11:19pm 18 January 2013

Hi Heather,

Enjoy your posts. Think I'm dropping the p2p idea as I'm fed up with crap at work. Political manouvering is happening big time around our office and I need to detach from it. I'm interested in how people learn and not how they form conflict teams so my first step it to start studying Curiosity and communities of practice around that concept. More later if you are interested.


Heather Peters
3:23am 19 January 2013

Hi Scott,

It's great bouncing ideas off you as well. Particularly interesting to meet someone who is a designer who is as interested in bridging the teacher-designer communication 'gap'. I'm beginning to think this is because there is not always bi-directional acknowledgement of the expertise each position brings - designers also know about teaching; teachers also know about design. In my mind we should try and bring the best of each and draw on the strengths of each.

I'm bowing out of P2P as well, partially due to work issues. It is (weirdly) comforting to know this type of thing occurs in other places not just New Zealand :)  I'm definitely interested in hearing more about curiosity/communties. 

I'm still going to pop in and out of the MOOC but more to read the resources and learn more about the topics being covered than to develop a project. Time for that later I think.


Keep in touch and stop by to 'chat'.


Scott Johnson
5:56am 19 January 2013

Hi Heather,

A lot of the tension between designers and teachers is built into the system. Our design department was introduced at the same time a previously unannounced change in the way the college was sructured was introduced. The introduction was heavy handed that included our department being initially led by someone with no respect for teachers and the open firing of the college's most articulate and skilled instructor. I came in part way through this and had no idea what was going on at first. (Having mostly worked for myself or for small companies I had no experience in organizational politics and still consider it a complete waste of time).

The reason I'm here in this course is simply because there is no room for dialog where I work. At one time not too long ago it seemed worthwhile to participate in change at work but I've come to see that as time wasted to no effect. Our college is disfunctional, poorly lead, backwards and has minimal potential. No one really wants to change. But mostly, not having respect for heirarchies, phony status structures, or meaningless rewards leaves me an outsider locally.

Most people I know on the net share a bit of a disconnect from their home institution and I wonder if main power of the net is to allow a neutral ground for change to reherse itself? If I talk change at work it's either taken as siding with the current clumsy change bullying or dismissed as divisive and not "supportive" of people content to remain unreflective and fixed in place.

Anyway there's too many interesting things happening on the internet. I'll add some references to curiosity here this weekend as I dig into the subject. It is odd that curiosity has been ignored by the world of learning theory and I think it's because learning theory is not really about learning with the focus of control and development on the receiver but with control in the teachers' hands. Teaching being the cause and learning the effect.

More later,

Heather Peters
8:50pm 19 January 2013 (Edited 8:54pm 19 January 2013)

Hi Scott,

Not an uncommon situation.



Lane Grann-Stahl
3:05am 24 January 2013

I am loving this thread ...or whatever this is...vut am frustrated that I cant respond to an individual post...just post at the bottom/end . Pooh! Wish this environment was more user friendly! But enough! I am liking what Im reading...learning. LAne in Charlott NC

Heather Peters
3:32am 25 January 2013

Hi Lane,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm not a fan of the new post hidden at the end of the page layout either. my students have started moving into facebook because that is a familiar space to them and they like how all the replies/etc are laid out.

I'm glad people are engaging with the topic of communication between designers and teachers. This seems to be a big elephant in the room and it can sometimes leave people on both sides feeling bruised and battered. I'd like to figure out a way to do a project that clearly defines roles and then shows people overlap, where certain sets of expertise can be drawn in. Not sure how to do that or how to present in a way that doesn't get people's backs up.

Cheers Heather

Heather Peters
3:35am 25 January 2013

Week 2 reflections

Well, I sort of went off track this week and didn't get a lot done. I had 60 assignments to mark and with the level of feedback we provide it takes rather a long time. I'm hoping to get back into the course and catch up over the weekend.

A real positive for me has been seeing people really open up about the fact that roles are blurred and that blurring can cause tension. I find myself asking 'where next?' At my workplace they have decided that the designers 'own' the courses and the teachers 'deliver' them. This is not creating a conducive atmosphere. 

Anyway, I guess I'll have some more topic-related things to say once I do a bit more reading.


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