I have been playing with P2PU’s Course in a Box, feeling like a trained monkey, and trying to visualize what a MOOC “hostel” might look like. I have run across a common plaint among serial cMOOC folks: where do I go next? I think that the emotional and intellectual high of cMOOCs is addictive in the same way that learning can be addictive. It would feel good to play around with creating a space along the way for hobos and trekkers and amblers and hikers to stop a bit.
What I want to do is create a place where folks can take a rest, talk to fellow travelers, find out new places to explore, etc. I want a place for reflection on what has happened. I want folks to lay down hobo marks for ‘good places to spend some time’.
I want to help folks find a way to share with others and have fun before, during and after they have been to a MOOC.
I don’t necessarily think of this as a MOOC clearinghouse or search engine. God knows there are plenty of those. No, what I want is to help found a place where folks can stop and rest and reflect on their learning journeys. Below is a thinglink visualization, a rapid prototype of my first thoughts on this. I suppose I have an ” if you build it, they will come” attitude. I have no idea if folks even want or need something like this. It is enough for now that I want it and that I can name half a dozen other souls who might want to stop by on occasion.
I really am in early days. I want to use “Course in a Box” although for me it is going to be more about “Community in a Box”. I want there to be both spaces to watch movies and to share comments and to reflect on where they have been and where they are going. And lots of mild eddied backwaters in the whitewater kayaking that MOOCs often represent–games, conversations, discussions, and lots of ramps both off and on the info chicane.
Ambitious? Probably, but I don’t plan to wireframe the whole thing before I start. I think we will be using Jim Groom’s principle that the content will be the residue left behind by the the cognitive sawing and hammering done by visiting carpenters. All this talk of construction and carpenters maybe we should call it the “Jesus Principle” of digital space building. Come to think of it, I think I should view this project not as an “if you build it, they will come” honeytrap, but rather as an “if they come, they will build it” happening.
How does this fit into an existing frame like “Course in a Box” that is built atop a Github foundation? Not a clue. Leave me a comment if you have any ideas how to answer that question. I am so grateful for #ccourses for helping me get the confidence to even bring up such a digital space. And for all my friends who I have met in MOOCs over the last two years. I guess this all just an elaborate excuse to play dinosaurs in the sandbox. Good enough for me.