Requiring microblog post

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Hi Alison,

  • I agree with the deletion of "You are required to" as suggested.

Regarding the microblogging posts -- the intention is to develop a resource on how to create a micro-blog account with a few instructions on how to post and how this works. We will set this up as a pre-workshop activity. I think you're right -- the majority of educators will not have a micro-blog account -- so we need to address this. Also, the idea is to harvest rss feeds of all the posts as a stream of "digital conscienceless" which will be aggregated with live updates as the course proceeds. We are designing the course for large numbers of participants for each sitting -- about 500 or more per course. So we need to be careful with email notifications if we go with an LMS discussion forum. Would prefer to avoid complaints on receiving 500 emails. Also -- I need to confer with Jim -- we may decide to just use (open source) which gives us more flexibility to embed live group streams of micro-blog posts.

Still need to think about the final implementation -- work in progress :-).


Mackiwg (talk)15:49, 30 December 2010

Kind of a shame that doesn't recognize WikiEducator as an OpenID provider... that would eliminate a login there.

JimTittsler (talk)16:59, 30 December 2010

Hi Jim,

We can always ask ;-). Are you game for preparing a draft text for a letter to to recognise us as an OpenID provider? Happy to send a request on the OER Foundation letterhead.

Thoughts? BTW -- the email notifications on LQT are super cool!

Mackiwg (talk)17:45, 30 December 2010

Before going there we'd want to sort out SSL access to WikiEducator (which would be required by many/most OpenID consumers).

But I think we are talking about implementation, when I still don't understand the goal. Couldn't you just change microblog to microblog or blog and have users give you their preferred feed URL?

  • you could still amalgamate everything with a given tag
  • you would pick up users with blogs but not microblogs
  • everyone would be free to log in where they wished

(Personally, I'd prefer a mailing list... but it is probably my age.)

JimTittsler (talk)18:21, 30 December 2010

I like mailing lists too ;-)

Perhaps there is a way of combining a number of technologies to achieve the goals. Specifically -- I'm keen to find a solution which:

  • facilitates immediate student-student interactions, i.e. sharing thoughts and ideas as they progress through the materials. Something less onerous than drafting a blog post.
  • scales well -- think of 500 plus participants per course
  • is easy to aggregate a live feed of the tags
  • does not require a significant learning curve for newbies
  • does not require significant administration as set up on our end.

I was thinking of asking participants to create an account on and giving instructions to subscribe to a group set up for this initiative. Twitter users can link their accounts to their posts. We can also harvest the feeds from individual blogs users already use.

Let's have a chat and explore options -- still thinking ....


Mackiwg (talk)21:06, 30 December 2010

When making the change to #2 mentioned above, I made a number of other changes as well, in an effort to make the tasks clear and concise. Also, broke out the last number in the same way that 1 and 2 were separated.

Also, the light bulb images in the code do not display for me and there's no little box indicating something should display in this spot. This may be part of a larger issue for me (and others?) in that images sourced from other wm projects also do not display.

Lots of interesting ideas as to how to best integrate an interactive element. I'm sure that whatever way we choose to implement this at first, we can learn from the first sessions and rework as necessary.

Hmmm, another thought on how to include meaningful interaction for 500 participants is to implement something like the clicker tool used in large lecture-based courses. The participant responds and then is given aggregate information as to responses so far.


ASnieckus (talk)08:01, 31 December 2010

Re: light bulb images My first guess is that your browser doesn't render SVG images rather than it being an issue of the source of the image.

In the MOOC I participated in it seemed that many subgroups self-organized and you didn't actually end up following hundreds of blogs... which I suppose means there is some self-selection going on and only hearing what you want to.  :-)

JimTittsler (talk)09:00, 31 December 2010

The images are displaying for me.

Are you using IE? From recollection, IE does have issues with SVG. Yes -- WP confirms that IE doesn't support SVG. mmmmm -- may need to create alternate file formats copies replace all the svg's in the course :-( -- Just checked our data and 49% of users access WE using IE.

Will add this to the to do list.

Mackiwg (talk)09:41, 31 December 2010

re: light bulb images: I am using firefox running in Ubuntu. I also have Chrome loaded, so I checked and sure enough the images display.

Could it be some sort of setting in firefox?


ASnieckus (talk)04:51, 1 January 2011

Hi Jim,

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 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 widget will fetch a group account feed.

Just thinking out loud ...


Mackiwg (talk)10:02, 31 December 2010