Saturday, October 20, 2012

#CrashCreativity Thoughts Post 1

This MOOC, Crash Course on Creativity, is taught by Prof Tina Seeling ( of Stanford University and runs on Venture Labs' e-platform. There is a lot of interest in this course with over 35,000 enrollees from all over the world. The platform is pretty minimalistic in a good way, with a menu bar that lets students navigate to Home, Lectures, Assignments and Community.

I've watched a short course video intro so far and a week 1 TED talk by Prof Seelig on the Innovation Engine. Both were not captioned, nor do they have transcriptions (Just observing, I'm not the Accessibility police person!) These are my preliminary thoughts, so far, of the MOOC experience:

1. Energy and Diversity

The nature of the course has attracted many people who are allegedly creative, inventive and entrepreneurial. Designers, artists, entrepreneurs, the wannabes... There is this high energy and intensity about the course and the participants that is palpable. My team of 5 has all these, and probably more. Four have responded to conversations and emails. I hardly know them, but yet, I know them, in a sense. I'm at a loss for words now. It'll come to me. Through preliminary descriptions, I feel that there is something that runs through us all. Before the course officially started, many of these self-directed learners were already active in the course. The course has spawned Groups in the major social media outlets - a FaceBook group, a hashtag on Twitter, a Google+ group, a LinkedIn group. Greetings were issued from various corners of the world. It is truly a group of global learners. Here is where community starts for a MOOC. Students use third-party collaboration tools to connect. Someone has offered to map locations of all learners in the course. Course statistics show 10K people have been active today.I venture to say that a MOOC is all about connecting with someone who has some shared interest with you.

2. Repetition

With large numbers also come repetitive questions about the same concerns.Where are my team-mates? Why don't we do this? ... try that?

3. Teaming with Strangers

The first assignment had people thrown together randomly to complete an assignment on finding commonalities among all members. Well, nice thought, but many groups are voicing their concerns that their teammates are non-existent and unresponsive. Of course, the lurkers and those who just want to audit the course are silent. As a result, a FAQ announcement has been drafted to answer salient issues. The next assignment will be an individual assignment. Prof Seelig is learning that until she hears back from individuals, they should not be placed in teams. Well done!

4. Assessments

Asking creative people who are independent thinkers to find commonalities is an apt challenge, except that some people are just not ready at the first lesson to share their lives. Still, there are 2 more days to go.

Let's see how the community emerges as I participate in the course.

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