When I was asked to put together a 23 Things programme for The University of Edinburgh I couldn’t have been more pleased. You see I’m a joiner, a participant, a signer-up of ‘things’, and particularly online learning.
I’ve participated in multiple ’12 Apps of Christmas’, loved the ALT’s Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL), and have been signing-up to, lurking, and participating in Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for years. There’s something fairly important I think about that previous sentence, and that’s the distinction between signing-up, lurking, and participating.
Signing-up: Quite often I’ll sign-up to a course or programme but then completely forget about it until after the programme has finished. This is generally not at all a problem so long as the information continues to be available so I can work my way through it in my own time even after the programme itself has finished.
Lurking: Sometimes I’ll specifically sign-up in order to lurk, that is to read and observe and have access to the content of a programme or course while knowing that I won’t have the time to be an active participant. This is I think a perfectly valid way of engaging with content in an online course. I learn quite a lot and am exposed to a range of ideas and information by lurking.
Participating: This is definitely the best way to absorb and put in to practice information and learning from an online course, and when I do have the time it is absolutely my preference. I found that having small chunks of information paired with reasonably quick tasks was one of the more manageable formats to ensure continued participation. A sense of community building and being able to see how others are engaging in the content is also great, which is why we’ve incorporated the blog aggregate (Community Blog), for the 23 Things programme.
So hello to all of you, whether you’ve signed-up and will come back later, are a happy lurker, or an active participant!
The information for 23 Things has been presented in as brief and ‘to the point’ manner as possible, with tasks that should be moderately quick and easy to achieve, and additional resources for further investigation. My hope is that I’ve been able to cater for the signer-ups, the lurkers, and the participants, and that there’s something here for anyone looking to improve their digital knowledge in a bite-sized form.