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ARTiFactor's Dream's project; a reflection of my OLDSMOOC experience

Designing a learning environment for practicing digital literacies

Cloud created by:

Art Oglesby
3 March 2013

Art volunteers for FreeGeekTwinCities and initially envisioned creating

"a map of learning activities for raising participant's digital literacy competencies. Learners could jump in at any time, anywhere on the map, and find guidance to master that particular skill set. The map would be dynamic, continually being improved and expanded, much like in wikipedia." (My Dream)

Art has a BS in Physics Education and created his own curriculum for 10 years but has not been in a class room for thirty years. Art is a life-long-learner and is aware of many recent internet communication technologies.

For years Art has wanted to help people use the internet to realize their potential. He read that 2012 was the "year of the MOOC" and decides to enroll in his first mooc, OLDSMOOC "Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum".

For three weeks Art functioned much as he had during his 10 years in college. He tried to do what he thought the instructors wanted. If he was uncertain of expectations he watched and imitated his peers (vicarious learning).

Art was thrilled to learn new tools like MindMeister, NetVibes, BibSonomy, LucidChart,and Twitter. Trying to manage the tsunamy of new resources was overwhelming. He decided not to even start using Diigo because it only allowed 1000 bookmarks before hiiting a paywall . He did start to see why social bookmarking was valuable, though.

Week 4 theme was connecting or partnering up. It did not happen. Art suddenly realized he had not made an entry in his daily jounal after Day 20. Feeling lost and hoplessly behind Art decided to sign up for 2 more MOOCs. He did a week's worth of assignments in foeMOOC but 2 minutes after submitting his homework the foeMOOC was suspended. He jumped over to edcMOOC and did 5 weeks of work, submitted his unfinished oldsMOOC project for his digital artefact requirement and will probably get a certificateof participation.

Now it is Week 8 and Art wants to show his peers he is not a quitter. His Dream Project is not finished but he now realizes how similar it is to the learning design of oldsMOOC. 

In order to best enable participants to learn, Art agrees with the learning design theory that  learning is enabled best when it involves an authentic project that the learner is passionate about, and that involves group work with discussion, reflection, cooperation, and peer assessment. Art's experience in oldsMOOC, leads him to believe that community building, and if necessary, facilitating "partnering up" be a requirement before practicing social networking. He hopes to structure the learning environment so that every participant's contributions are acknowledged. 

Art's project intends to provide and model using tools for knowledge aquisition, collaboration, reflection, construction, presentation, etc., facilitating networks between fellow students, and also faciltating networking with others contributing to their field of inquiry.

"Self-organised learning networks provide a base for the establishment of a form of education that goes beyond course and curriculum centric models, and envisions a learner-centred and learner controlled model of lifelong learning." (Koper 2004)

Art is joining up with teams working on similar projects; Peeragogy Handbook Project, P2PU,, and MozillaFestival

Some challenges yet to be worked out are:

  • getting site visitors to commit (click on the join button)
  • match up newcomers by interests (maybe a form that populates a spreadsheet)
  • scaling if numbers exceed capacity of server or number of facilitators
  • a way for voting up or down available OER

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Sheila MacNeill
9:35pm 3 March 2013

Hi Art - you're no quitter. Thanks for sharing Sheila

Peter Miller
11:07am 4 March 2013

I think the "vicarious learning" aspect is a good tip. For the first week, I modelled myself on Josh and it worked out OK and I didn't feel so lost. Having people designed to act as pilots/beacons (even if they turn out to be tutors!) is no bad thing though making them discoverable other than via their actions might be problematic.

Penny Bentley
12:12pm 8 March 2013

Art, clearly you have a passion for learning. All the best for the projects you have taken on and many thanks for volunteering to trial my MOOC Skills project, now on hold until I get my act together :)

Art Oglesby
4:19pm 9 March 2013


Thanks, and let me know how I can help. You could do as I am doing and label your project a "self organizing learning environment" then sit back and watch the participants do all the work, lol. 

Seriously, I have a lot of work to do yet. I added a blog post today that adds some of the pieces I need to develop.

Best practices for lifelong learning

  • Choose a project that you are passionate about
  • Find and join up with a community of like minded individuals
  • Keep a record of what you are doing and your desired outcomes
  • Reflect upon and assess your progress
  • create a digital identity and portfolio/resume
  • ask for help when you need a life line

Marie Arndt
10:49am 10 March 2013


You seem a true ambassador of the art of teaching and learning! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your light self-scrutinising, yet, substantial account.

All the best for your future projects,


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