When the world is full of things that don’t make sense, make a GIF. When you get tired of all the repeated echoes off the chamber walls put down that copy of The Chronicle, and make a GIF. When twitter is full of bird crap, make a GIF.

Well… it’s a strategy that works for me, whatever “work” means (here as I sit at O’Hare trying to pass a night of missed plane connections, I think I should make a GIF).

I was thinking some back on yesterdays GIF filled riff on the film class I signed up for form Coursera. The design is one that takes almost no advantage of the very thing that is supposed to be the power of MOOCs, the bringing together of people for a learning experience. The model (so far) is one that puts the network capability of the internet aside in lieu of just using it to transmit content.

There’s nothing horrific about that, but there is also nothing interesting, nothing new. People in the course will foster their own connections, independent of it (like the kind person that uploaded the rare video to YouTube), but networking in forums is strictly a sideshow of Coursera courses. It’s where people are sent because the teacher cannot of course give you any attention.

And this would still be okay, if the course were designed to leverage that experience.

It is not.

In a similar vein, reading Giulia’s post about EDCMOOC and in our conversations, could not make for a course more radically different in design from my film one. It is leveraging what the internet is good at, having people create and contribute in a networked fashion, it is deploying reams of open content materials, and has from what I can see, forgoes the lecture model centrality of my course. They have a Feedwordpress syndication model going. .

And out conversation was– why did the University of Edinburgh even need Coursera?

And so I have this tic in my brain when people seem to talk of a MOOC as having some characteristic traits simply by its being called a MOOC. Its MOOCness comes with the name. But here are two MOOCs, even in the same platform, that could not be farther apart in design or experience.

And to me the difference is- how much they emulate in design the very fabric and cloth of the internet itself– I really cannot see how anything can “scale” to the numbers the cow heads are nodding to without doing so in something that acts like the internet itself.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Ryan Opaz


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by CmdrCord

But I don’t know, and frankly, I’m happy to muddle in my own little corner while all of the big thinkers and DAVOS sippers figure things out.

All I want to do is GIF.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *