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Sustainability Cloud

Cloud created by:

Jeff Waistell
14 January 2013

This project consists of a Massive Open Course on Sustainability. The dream is to draw in diverse stakeholders - e.g. campaigners, companies, universities, schools, etc. - from around the world, to create a huge forum for education, discussion & campaigning (using Moodle). A MOOC is perfect for global discussion of global issues, breaking down barriers between demographic groups, nations and stakeholders - and breaking down barriers between education, campaigning and environmental action. Please share your thoughts and join up.  How can we increase interest through social media?Jeff Waistell, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University

Extra content

Welcome to this sustainability MOOC. The team members consist of

Jeff Waistell - http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/5784

Ronald Macintyre - http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/1846

Roland Lubett - http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/5520

Christie McKee - http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/5769

Helen Whitehead - http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/1799

The core motivation for the project is to support a more sustainable approach to the environment, through involving diverse stakeholders, and by combining education, discussion and campaigning. The context is that there is currently no known MOOC on sustainability. The challenges we aim to address are:

-to engage different stakeholders (e.g. learners, campaigners, companies, etc.) in a dialogue on sustainability.

-to collapse the traditional boundaries between education, discussion and campaigning - so that learning about sustainability translates into action.

-to provide a learning platform that appeals to a broad range of people, including those with no or limited experience of online learning.

Jeff Waistell
12:04 on 14 January 2013 (Edited 08:51 on 17 January 2013)

Embedded Content

Contribute

Roland Lubett
7:22pm 14 January 2013


Hi Jeff

Thanks for including me in the team! :-) I shall try to pull my weight.

Just a correction - My page is http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/5520

cheers,
Roland

Jeff Waistell
9:30am 15 January 2013


Thanks Roland - I have made the correction (apologies).

If anyone else is interested in this sustainability cloud, have some ideas for it - or just looking for a team to join - please reply here and I will add you to the project. Thanks. Jeff

Helen Whitehead
9:14pm 16 January 2013


I'm interested in a Sustainability MOOC - have something very similar in mind although I'd like to concentrate on the assessment elements for myself.  How can one join in?

Helen Whitehead

Jeff Waistell
8:47am 17 January 2013


Helen, welcome to the Sustainability Cloud. I have added you to the permissions for this cloud. Yes, it would be great if you could concentrate on the assessment elements. I look forward to working with you. 

It would be great if the group could now generate issues as to how to develop this project.

It would also be great if anyone else would like to join this group.

Best regards, 

Jeff

Jeff Waistell
10:33am 17 January 2013


Brainstorm components of scenario

Actors 

- Course facilitators, as noted in above project description.

Goals

Jeff is interested in sustainability and learning design. I look forward to meeting interesting people online and make useful contacts, particularly in this area.

Settings 
I am largely going to be engaging through a laptop at home and I hope that this project can integrate with my university use of moodle and an MBA programme revalidation, with increased emphasis on sustainability.

Objects

Laptop, Moodle, OLDS MOOC, ipad, email

Actions 

I saw an advertisement of the course, signed up immediately, visited the course web page, saw a task that I liked the sound of and that got me thinking about what a MOOC would be ideal for (sustainability) and how that topic is ideal for a MOOC (they are both great for each other).

Events

I hope that this is the beginning of getting the course design starting - through team members sharing their ideas and us providing feedback to each other.

Design

I hope that the design will help diverse sustainability stakeholders find their way into this topic, manage their MOOC experience, make useful connections, learn more about sustainability, discuss the topic and translate that discussion into environmental campaigns.

Jeff Waistell
10:42am 17 January 2013


Narrative

Perfect! I have just seen a Call for Papers: "5th International Conference in association with CAPRI, the internationalisation stream of the Centre for Social and Educational Research across the Life course (SERL). Conference hosted by Centre for Curriculum Internationalisation (CCI). Theme: Global Citizenship as Personal and Pedagogical Practice. Dates: Friday 7th & Saturday 8th June 2013. Venue: Harcourt Hill Campus, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford." The abstract is due this week - so I will develop my narrative through that abstract - and post it here, within Week 2 of this course.

Jeff Waistell
10:56am 17 January 2013


Scrutinize sustainability scenario

I’m claiming:
- the intro for the course will interest people with an interest in sustainability. It will do this by inviting global participation (providing an exciting network of contacts) and attract people from different backgrounds (e.g. environmental campaigners will be able to work with company employees to develop sustainability). Additionally, it will engage people by inviting them to share their sustainability resources with others.
- the intro for week 2 will communicate a task that may motivate people who are interested in sustainability to make time to engage - at least to try to complete the task. The task will be to create a personal profile with tags - and then to use tags to search for people who may be useful for a campaign on sustainability.
- the task of developing an initial scenario will be sufficiently interesting and perceived as useful enough for people to spend 40 or more minutes producing a scenario. Once networks of contacts have been developed within the MOOC, those networks will be nurtured by asking members to describe their own contexts - e.g. who they are, where they are situated, why they are interested in sustainability, and what particular issues they wish to learn more about and/or act upon.
- finding out that others have commented on your design will be engaging enough to draw back in people who have disengaged: I will ask MOOC members to use social learning media to keep updating others, to keep them engaged.
- a shared MindMap of aspects of context that are important for learning design will increase awareness of and ability to consider context for learning design: I will ask participants to use a MindMap to develop a rich picture that delineates the context of each member of each sub-network.
I’m not sure whether the claims I am making hold up. I don’t have enough data. They vaguely resonate with my own experiences. This is why I am sharing them. What do as a reader of this think? As a stakeholder of sustainability yourself, what would work for you? Commenting is open on this document...  :-)

Helen Whitehead
9:30am 18 January 2013


I like your ideas Jeff.

I think the campaigning element is great!  Using a MOOC to start to develop networks is a natural extension - I wonder if the MOOC would ever end!  And where does a MOOC stop and informal learning in a community of practice (campaigning) begin?  I'm thinking about a more personal angle and awarenessraising - suspect my target audince would be the kinds of people who would then move on to the campaigning MOOC!

I'm then interested in Open Badges that translate across contexts - so for example from MOOC to MOOC... and to include credit bearing elements for members within the institution. There's a huge dichotomy here between open and credit-bearing so that should be interesting to explore and perhaps come up with a methodology that would work in other MOOCs as well.

"finding out that others have commented on your design will be engaging enough to draw back in people who have disengaged"

It certainly helps (and it's very dispiriting if people don't comment).

"I will ask MOOC members to use social learning media to keep updating others, to keep them engaged."

The importance of facilitators can't be underestimated here.  But it would be great to find ways [processes, skills, actions] to draw in more active people (say, in this MOOC, those who've successfuly set up groups) to be leaders in the MOOC - and here perhaps the badges could be relevant - more badges for those who engage in this way.  It might be difficult to provide credit as an incentive, but what about other rewards - even Amazon vouchers, that kind of thing?

Helen

 

Jeff Waistell
5:26pm 19 January 2013


Thanks Helen.
Where does a MOOC stop? Perhaps it need not. As with learning, a MOOC could be continuous. I guess the terminology misleads us. A MOOC, being a course, would end. What about MOOL though - massive, ongoing open learning?
Open and transferable Badges is a great idea - as is the idea of Badges - or other rewards - not just for learning but for leading and campaigning.
Best regards,
Jeff

Roland Lubett
7:59pm 19 January 2013


Hi Jeff

Thanks for the scenario - this is a real basis for working on the design of the learning experience. I think you have clearly and succinctly expressed it. Thanks too for your narratives on the learning journal cloud.

I agree with Helen on the value of campaigning. In this context - the context of sustainability activism - the action, the result, can be in the campaigning process. The MOOC is a forum or a vehicle for networking and exchanging ideas about campaigning.

I'm still getting my head around many thingsbut persistence will pay off. :

a) the concepts. For instance, how can learning itself be 'designed'? I can see what the course leaders and designers are getting at - the concept of designing a learning situation, or learning experience (which is the way I put it above) but at the end of the day, the learning itself will be different for each person.

b) the media. I am soooo new to the use of social media and learning forums like this! but I am interested in the mental and social motivation that is generated by the media, to keep engaged in the learning and discussion process. Again I agree with Helen on her response to your remarks.

The issue of context will be particularly 'hot' in the sustainability case, if we can get people in Southern countries to participate.

Best,

Roland

Jeff Waistell
8:24am 21 January 2013


Thanks Roland - that helps me to understand campaigning as the context (I guess the environmental problems that participants encounter, before the MOOC, is also an important context). 

I agree that learning appears to be more of a tailored individual experience in a MOOC - because the technology, participants and process co-evolve. It is more of an evolving learning path than a course.

Like you, I am not really a user of social media - but I can see the potential for drawing people into a MOOC - and for keeping them engaged - another dimension of sustainability - sustaining interest.

If you would like to start a real live sustainability MOOC - have a think about who you could get involved and what learning resources could be used in the MOOC.

Best regards, Jeff

Jeff Waistell
9:10am 21 January 2013


Persona Card - Learning Design for Sustainability

 

Name: Disinherited Derek
Gender: Male
Age: minus 500 years (not yet born)

Lives in what is left of the planet... with few species... Likes stories of planet past...

Education and experience

We do not have courses. My education is within a lifelong MOOOLE (Massive Open Online Ongoing Learning Environment). I have always worked within the domain of sustainability – but then nearly every job and career is sustainability-related in the year 2542.

Role and responsibilities

I am a sustainability inspector – checking that every organisation and every job is focused on sustainability.

Technical skills

Technical skills are now hidden inside technologies: we just focus on tasks – e.g. information gathering, communication, etc.

Subject domain skills and knowledge

My brain is wirelessly networked to the WWW, so I can interact with all and any knowledge.

Motivation and desires

Planet prognosis = 15 years. My motivation is to offer palliative care to the planet, extending its life as long as possible.

Goals and expectations

My goal is simple: education for sustainability.

Obstacles to their success

Ideologies that either deny or accept climate change.

Unique assets

Networked with all knowledge and all people makes it easier to influence others.

 

Jeff Waistell
9:33am 21 January 2013


Factors

Factor Notes

Material

Characteristics of the physical space and the tools and objects which the actors have access to.
   The UK is shrunk with high sea levels; wild weather prevails; pollution of air, land and sea is at a dangerous level.
   We stay indoors nearly all of our lives, as protective equipment is needed to go outdoors.
   We live and work inside buildings but can interact online.

Social

Organisational structure, grouping of and relations between various actors, conventions and norms...
   It is odd to reflect on this. Unlike in times past, we do not have classic organisational forms. Instead, we interact within loose, permeable and ever-changing networks.
   Social interaction is mostly virtual. Business, education, government, even warfare, has all moved into a cyber-sphere.
   Norms are demarcated primarily by sustainability - those who do and those who do not see it as an important possibility.
  All learning takes place within a continuous and immersive online environment. There are no schools or universities.

Intentional

Beliefs, desires, motivations, expectations, and mental or emotional barriers of individual actors.
   Many new ideologies have sprung up - either for or against sustainable living.
   Mental and emotional burn-out is common amongst environmental campaigners.
  I want to know how to design learning to educate others for sustainable living.



Concerns

<Persona name: Disinherited Derek>: <role: eco-learning designer> 

Concerns Notes
 Only 15 years left of planet life  What can be achieved? Who can help me? What resources can I use?
 Many do not care about the planet  Those who care least show no interest in learning about sustainability. Learning depends on caring. How to get out of that impasse?



Jeff Waistell
9:46am 21 January 2013


<Persona name: Denying Dennis>: <role: journalist>

Concerns Notes
 Denying Dennis does what it says on the tin.  He finds every opportunity to accept or deny what has happened to the planet.
 Education has changed - no schools or universities - only MOOOLs

Positive: learning is continuous, networked and interactive, making change possible.

Negative: there is no institutional preservation of the sciences and their validity is fast being eroded by anti-sustainability ideologies.

 

<Persona name: Active Alice>: <role: eco-educator>

Concerns Notes
 Burn out  How can I support her?
 Assailed by counter-arguments in MOOOL  How can the MOOOL be used to turn this into an opportunity?

Ronald Macintyre
1:04pm 21 January 2013


Thanks Jeff, I have posed some questions based on your earlier narrative

 

" the intro for the course will interest people with an interest in sustainability."

"It will do this by inviting global participation (providing an exciting network of contacts)"

pull people - how?

"and attract people from different backgrounds (e.g. environmental campaigners will be able to work with company employees to develop sustainability)."

push factors - how?

"Additionally, it will engage people by inviting them to share their sustainability resources with others."

Needs to be on platform that faciltates or links tools that facilitate that kind of sharing.


"- the intro for week 2 will communicate a task that may motivate people who are interested in sustainability to make time to engage - at least to try to complete the task."

We need to identify a suitable activity.

"The task will be to create a personal profile with tags - and then to use tags to search for people who may be useful for a campaign on sustainability."

What are peoples motivations for building their profile and connecting with others?


"- the task of developing an initial scenario will be sufficiently interesting and perceived as useful enough for people to spend 40 or more minutes producing a scenario"

Is this a group scenario, how will people identify a scenario, ought this to be a structured journey might the site be seeded with "wicked problems"

"Once networks of contacts have been developed within the MOOC, those networks will be nurtured by asking members to describe their own contexts - e.g. who they are, where they are situated, why they are interested in sustainability, and what particular issues they wish to learn more about and/or act upon."

It appears to me that common interest is what normally attracts people to connect, this might be subject, ideas geographic. One of the issues identified about social media is that like minded people group together and reinforce each others beliefs, is that useful when considering sustainability?


"- finding out that others have commented on your design will be engaging enough to draw back in people who have disengaged: I will ask MOOC members to use social learning media to keep updating others, to keep them engaged."


"- a shared MindMap of aspects of context that are important for learning design will increase awareness of and ability to consider context for learning design: I will ask participants to use a MindMap to develop a rich picture that delineates the context of each member of each sub-network."

Not everyone thinks in mindmaps

"
I’m not sure whether the claims I am making hold up. I don’t have enough data. They vaguely resonate with my own experiences. This is why I am sharing them. What do as a reader of this think? As a stakeholder of sustainability yourself, what would work for you? Commenting is open on this document...  :-)"

Jeff Waistell
8:59am 22 January 2013


Ronald, thank you for your helpful questions. Here are some quick answers:

-begin with a university course, then invite students to add their contacts.
-use social media to build interest.
-contact Greenpeace and other campaigning groups to invite their interest.
-use a wiki for resource-building.
-ask participants to identify a manageable sustainability change issue that they would like to work on - and come up with an action plan - invite feedback from other particpants.
-the motivation is to build contacts, learn, campaign...maybe even obtain badges.
-I think 'wicked' problems would come later - the easily achievable should come at the beginning to obtain quick wins and thus build motivation.
-I think shared beliefs is important in order to buoy people up and avoid burn out. However, it would be great if participants could attach their clouds to different cloudscapes in order to interact with different others. I would be particularly interested in getting campaigners and companies working together.
Please can you - and everyone - share your ideas. Many thanks. Jeff

Jeff Waistell
6:55pm 22 January 2013


Summary

The educational challenge is to gain and sustain interest in sustainability learning, discussion and campaigning. The context in which it is situated is that the environment is in a serious and deteriorating state. The proposed solution is to accelerate momentum of interest and action on sustainability issues.

Context

The conditions are that Oxford Brookes University is developing its technological platforms and is deeply committed to sustainability as a university theme; the opportunity is to grow from there, to develop a MOOC on sustainability, which invites broader involvement and draws on wider resources. The constraints in which the design experiment is situated are: limited time plus the need to gather a critical mass of interested people.

Social

The protagonists are the team members listed above, although the relationships between them are just beginning to develop in this MOOC on learning design. “Persona cards” have been developed to explore differing stakeholder issues. (Team: please add your persona cards).

Material

The spatial characteristics of the settings: the team is geographically dispersed and the vision is to progressively draw in global interest and involvement. The tools and resources available to protagonists are MOODLE and MOOC, together with shared sustainability resources.

Intentional

The protagonists’ beliefs, desires and intentions that shape the problem space are the central values of sustainability, environmental care and living in harmony and cooperation with other species.

Challenge

The change the designers intend to engender is an increasingly strong and shared interest in sustainability. The educational goals and objectives are not simply to teach but to involve diverse stakeholders in discussion, co-creation of learning resources, and to translate that interest and learning into environmental campaigning. Thus the desired change is in learners' knowledge, engagement and behaviours. As a derivative, the challenge is to pool new sustainabiltiy resources (tools, content, and activities) which can potentially afford a desired change in knowledge and behaviour.

Theoretical / Pedagogical Framework

I am developing a paper for a forthcoming CCI (‘Centre for Curriculum Internationalisation’) conference. This paper is establishing the theoretical framework of MOOC learning to define the process by which the designer approaches the challenge and the methods by which we evaluate the outcomes. The criteria for desirability of outcomes is ethically motivated (drawing on sustainability education literature)), the process of deriving a solution to the challenge and the methods of evaluation are rooted in the developing literature on MOOCs..

Proposed Solution

The proposed solution is a MOOC – or MOOOL – a massive open online and ongoing field of learning – that will provide a forum for discussion, an arena for learning and the sharing of resources, and a springboard for sustainability campaigning.
Open questions
The questions, caveats and concerns which aree still unresolved:
-how to draw in global interest from diverse stakeholders?
-how to sustain their interest?
-how to preserve the intellectual property of resources used in the MOOC?

Data and References

(Paper currently being developed).

Jeff Waistell
7:33pm 22 January 2013


Phase 1 of the EoR Design Framework

Specifying the Focus of Attention:

The resources to be focused on are those already available to the MOOC team – their own sustainability resources plus those within their own institutions – for accessibility, to nurture team development, to build on existing resources, and to overcome I.P. issues.

  • involving and engaging participants: how?
  • the particular focus is sustainability education, discussion and campaigning. 

1.3 Categorising Resource Elements:

The three resource "types": (1) Knowledge and Skills in online learning and sustainability (2) People and Tools – the team, their network and their institutions (3) Environment: the institutions of the team, the learning design MOOC, the physical environment will all influence this project.

 1.4 Identifying Filters 

  • I.P. will influence the availability of potential resources
  • influences: sustainability is constantly in the news – a positive reinforcer for continued debate, learning and action.
  • Time is a key constraining filter

 1.5 Identifying Learner Resources 

  • the key strategy is to continue to identify resources that may influence the learner's interactions with the physical world – and with other stakeholders in learning, discussion and campaigning.

Jeff Waistell
8:45am 15 February 2013


For the 'seek and deploy' activity, I went to SCORE (Support Centre for Open Resources in Education) at http://www.open.ac.uk/score/finding

Inside there, I found Scitable - a free science library and personal learning tool by Nature Publishing Group, a publisher of science - http://www.nature.com/scitable

Then I clicked on the Ecology section of the Knowledge Project, a new initiative by Nature Education. The Knowledge Project works with the scientific community to build an open access library of peer reviewed educational articles. Each article is written by experts in their field and peer reviewed by other experts. The Ecology Knowledge Project currently contains close to a hundred articles across ten topics, from the basics of evolution to landscape and global ecology.

Inside there, I clicked on 'Teach Ecology' - http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/teach-ecology-13816889 - a great resource for my Sustainability project design, as it covers the most important concepts to communicate in ecology courses and the best ways to connect ecology to the lives of students. There is the Teach Ecology Topic Room, a collection of peer-reviewed educational articles.

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