Yesterday George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Rita Kop and Dave Cormier kicked off their open course on Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge – PLENK2010. The current list of registered (potential) participants is a bit over 1100 (and probably rising) which certainly justifies the application of the label of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). George Siemens recently published his reflections on open courses of this kind.
PLENK2010 seems to be a timely extension of our recent collaboration on the upcoming e-book – G. Siemens, S. Downes & F. Kop (Eds.), Personal learning environments and personal learning networks (working title): Athabasca University Press – and a follow up of some of the issues raised around the PLE conference 2010 in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago.
Though I have never tried to run courses on the scale of a MOOC there are some striking parallels between what George & Co. are promoting in respect to free-choice of loosely-coupled tools as an important part of (re-)mediation of (learning) activity, and my own educational intervention work of recent years. Since I am slowly working my way back into facilitating “courses” (if that is the right term…) in higher education, I am curious to see what works (and what doesn’t) in the context of #PLENK2010.
If nothing else… it is going to be interesting if my (more theoretical) reflections on the concept of personal learning environments will resonate at all with course participants. It looks like we will find out sometimes in late November when I am (tentatively) scheduled for a live session in the week focusing on “Critical perspectives on PLE/PLN” (so far only a place holder).