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Multilitteratus Incognitus

Traversing the path of the doctoral degree

Rhizo22: The rMOOC that might be?

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Wonder what's in this...

It's been a crazy seven days. 

As part of my narrative inquiry into collaborations that occurred in rhizo14 and rhizo15 (or collaborations that sprung up from the work that started there), I am writing a fictional account of a newbie rhizo-learner (sort of how I was a newbie back in rhizo14) who gets to meet rhizo-alumni from past courses and ask them about their collaborations.  This newbie is simultaneously my avatar, but also a persona that encapsulates some common features of the people I connected with to learn more about their experiences.

I find the flexibility that narrative inquiry affords a bit freeing.  I can more easily change names, places, and situations, but I still can get to the main ideas that emerged from my conversations with rhizo14 alumni and collaborators.

 Anyway, my fictional rhizo course that takes place in 2022 (June 2022, to be exact). I could have made up all the weekly provocation titles, and the course tagline, but it's always much more fun when you crowdsource these things, especially when rhizo-alumni chime in.  

So, here's some information about:

Rhizodemic Learning: Feeding the virus #rhizo22

  • Week 1: Fill in the Blank: Is __________ making us stupid?
  • Week 2: Cyborg Rhizomes: The machine takes over the rhizome
  • Week 3: Viral thoughts in ill-structured domains
  • Week 4: Interprofessional Rhizofictional Learning
  • Week 5: Rhizodemic Learning
  • Week 6: Rhizomes in a post-covid world


I think, like past rhizo courses, that rhizo22 will also have a few weeks of "inmates taking over the asylum", so here are weeks7 through 9.  As you see, I still have some blanks.  If you want to contribute, suggest a title for a weekly "module" or provocation, and I'll add it in :-)
  • Week 7: Fill in the blank: _________ will make you more creative.
  • Week 8: ?
  • Week 9: ?
  • Week x: ????

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New Semester, New MOOCs

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Well, new semester, new experimentation with xMOOCs (I didn't see any cMOOCs on the docket this fall).  I decided to try out a few MOOCs on subjects that are interesting to me, as always, while I try to find my way toward a potential dissertation proposal.

The first two MOOCs are on coursera and they are "Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative" from Vanderbilt and "Video Games and Learning" from University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Video Games and Learning begins next month, so I have some time to take in Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative before that one starts.

Right off the bat, I see that Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative has two tracks, a "regular" and a "distinction" track. The difference in the distinction track is that you have to participate online in the LOTRO MMORPG (free) and to complete three peer reviewed exercises.  My time is limited this semester so starting a new RPG when I am already invested in Star Trek Online is a bit too much for me. I'd like to engage (and get that nice little distinction mark), but in all honesty the "distinction" for this course is just "regular" activities in other Coursera courses, so why bother? :)

This brings me to the first "issue" with certificates.  Sure, they might not be particularly worth something at the moment, but at some point those "with distinction" might matter. Also, sure, these are all offered on the coursera "LMS" but they are from different institutions.  You still see the "coursera" logo on the the certificate very prominently (not the University logo), so it would make sense that "Certificate of Accomplishment" and "Certificate of Accomplishment with Distinction"  is standardized somehow.

In any case, those are the two coursera courses on the docket.  The other two are the Mozilla Badge MOOC offered through coursesites, and the Virtual Linguistics Campus MOOC on Pragmatics.  When I was a linguistics student we did a quick overview of Pragmatics, so my knowledge is limited, thus I wanted to expand upon it a bit.  This MOOC sounds perfect! The Phonetics & Transcription MOOC that they ran last spring was pretty interesting. It felt more like a self-paced course, so I am wondering if they've tweaked their formula or if they are going for the European model of education that focuses on reading periods and lectures instead of what we see in the US.

The badges MOOC sounds pretty interesting, but this first week was a little underwhelming. It seemed that the "MOOC" consists of weekly hour-long webinars, along with suggested readings around a certain topic. Until I started poking around a bit only to find out that the groups and the activities were hidden away (not on the main menu) Hmmm... Let's see how this goes.
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