Requiring microblog post
I've been monitoring the discussions and reflections of the MOOC experiences, see for example George's post.
I think you're right -- I don't see large groups following hundreds of blogs. However, learners may visit a synchronous time stream of micro-blogs posts -- if something grabs them, they may click deeper and explore more posts.
This course is also more focused and much shorter (eg 1 hour per day over 5 working days.) -- so I am concerned about workload issues expecting learners to write reflective blog posts. Perhaps we can harvest a blog feed tag. In this scenario -- blog posts reflecting on the course would be optional. Somehow -- I think posting 140 characters, sharing thoughts and ideas is doable.
Been thinking -- would it be worth our effort to run a WE / OERF instance of StatusNet for courses like this? Not sure how easy it would be to hack a SSO for a local instance of Statusnet for WE account holders?
I imagine setting up a course homepage in the wiki (something similar to the course homepages. One of the boxes on the course homepage could fetch the !Group feed using the identi.ca widget. This way learners only need to go to one place to view the current stream. However, I'm not sure if the user parameter of the indenti.ca widget will fetch a group account feed.
Just thinking out loud ...