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To metaMOOC or not?


I think I'd have reservations if someone came to my regular college course thinking that they didn't want to attend all the lectures and do most of the assignments, but, instead, wanted to have discussions with students about how to rework the classes, study the diverse learning strategies of other students, make connections with competing theories of epistemology, etc.
But this kind of discussion often emerges in a connectivist-MOOC so the question might be just how much metaMOOCing can take place in a c-MOOC before it undermines the core purpose of the course?
This question has extra relevance in a MOOC on learning creative learning, where the central ideas are that Playing with materials as part of a Project, undertaken with Peer interaction is a way to release the Passion that learning ought to be about. It would be a metaProject to have the LCL MOOC be a project for many people, not only the LLK core group.
If you buy my earlier post that there might be a 5th P -- Parameters -- then such metaProjects might be out of bounds. Yet wouldn't it be interesting -- if not this year when the LLK are doing a first run with their new videos and format, then perhaps next year -- for a c-MOOC on Learning Creative Learning to encourage metaProjects. Thoughts?
(Relevant posts that feed into this one include: )


I like this idea for multiple personal reasons. For one, this could help sort out some discussions that some might see as offtopic or even offputting for a main LCL MOOC (or similiar MOOC). Next, it could help sort out confusion like "how to metaMOOC." Many of my earlier posts (working on editing them down, apologies) involve rambling on about meta topics that already have solutions and are part of intentional design. Having a separate metaMOOC could also help cultivate a sense of "there is a place for this kind of thing without gumming up the main site or spamming everyone's e-mail with meta notifications." The "About this Forum" area seems well-maintained and a clear solution, but maybe a metaMOOC could yield more meta participation while making the main area more readable. Just amateur conjecture, I have no idea. Another possible pro to the concept of metaMOOCing could be towards the benefit of people trying to reproduce the MOOC (one of the stated goals of LCL). It might be easier to get an install up and working or even modified in a meta community like a metaMOOC. In the terms of this week's focus, this could bring some weight off of the experts in their generous offer to help anyone reproduce LCL (experts being MediaLab and P2P) and towards a peer-value community where more perspectives and unique solutions might be found.

What do you think?


Hey pj, I'm not 100% sure of what you are proposing, but I think I like what I'm picking up here...Are you suggesting another version or level of LCL - for LCL1 or LCL2 alumni - that focuses on how to take what we learned here and incorporate it into or change how we do our work, or are you proposing something else? Can you clarify a bit further for us? I'm a bit under-coffee'd at the moment and not entirely sure of what you are proposing...thanks!

To answer your question regarding "how much metaMOOCing can take place in a c-MOOC before it undermines the core purpose of the course?" I rather think that the LLK crew would be quite pleased to see LCLers taking initiative to connect with each other outside of class, and to share experiences, ideas, etc. because my sense is that there is not necessarily one specific learning objective for us LCLers, this is an experiment for LLK, as they have been open about since the first round. So if this is a natural branching out from the original course content, I think it would probably be quite welcomed. That said, I also think that LCLers connecting to delve deeper into tinkering and exploring is at the very heart of this course so it seems aligned with where we're least in my head right now it does! wink

FYI, I do like the idea though, of smaller, LCLer-initiated hangout groups where we can discuss in more detail, our experiences, etc. and perhaps have those meetings occur outside the timeframe of the actual LCL class. So yes to joining a smaller group to chat about experiences and taking LCL and re-imaging it, so to speak, in the real world (assuming that's what you meant)...

PS: When I first read your post I thought it said "metalMOOC" and I thought "how are we going to do metal work remotely from each other?!" Again, need more coffee... I then looked at the title of your thread just now and thought, "If you're creativity is blocked, try metaMOOCcel..." I know, bad pun, apologies...


From the whether to metaMOOC to the what of metaMOOCing:
In one sense it is simple: The LCL MOOC is getting participants to learn about the LifeLong Kindergarten's ideas and practices of LCL. MetaMOOCing would be about learning how to run c-MOOCs and metaMOOCing about the LCL MOOC would be specifically about how to do that in a way that is consistent with the LCL principles (e.g., Projects, Play, Peers, Passion).

How to do this? My question about whether to do it concerned whether to do it within the range of interactions in the MOOC itself. (I've already answered the question for myself of whether to do it all: Yes--I couldn't make myself not do it.)

What's the value of metaMOOCing? Possible answers: a) to move MOOCs more to the right-hand side of the table of learning approaches posted a while back; b) shape improvements that might be adopted/adapted by LCL MOOC makers and by anyone translating it to some other setting; c)...


Wow, you really went far with your thinking after our hangout talk about metaMOOC.

I think it could a interesting experiment to run a metaMOOC inside a another mooc, to see what would happend. Like your are talking about doing a MOOC about running the mooc.
What would happend if the students was to run the same MOOC in a smaller scale, not being allowing to reuse their basic idea in the big MOOC?


Thanks for the stimulating conversation that led to the metaMOOC post.


What's the value of metaMOOCing? continued: c) to draw the LCL MOOC teachers/designers into a learning position, interacting with Peers around their Project of developing the LCL MOOC -- peers who may be more willing to Play with the possibilities; thereby d) have the LCL MOOC teachers illustrate learning to the regular LCL students, even if those students are not metaMOOCing but focusing on the assigned themes and tasks.


This sums up my experience with attending college-as-usual, and school-in-general. Wanting to do all those wonderful things, but feeling reservations, because doing any of that is so out of line with the cultural normals of education-as-usual.

"Who do you think you are?"

The result, for me, has been to walk away from those traditional approaches more than once, while still lacking a good way to connect with other learners, learn some of the competencies of being a teacher/learning guide/coach/etc., practice working with people who are eager to learn and discuss learning on a meta level.

The whole world of connectivist learning I found my way to in 2012 changed all that in substantial ways. How that happened is a long story, but edu-MOOCs were a big part of it. From the beginning, these MOOCs have been for me, first and foremost, a way to connect with people. But, somewhat like with traditional courses, I've found myself wondering how much it's acceptable to push, prod, critique, propose, and discuss in a meta sense how these cMOOCs might work better.

One thing that seems nearly universal, based on what MOOC courserunners have said, is that these instructors learn a lot from running them.

That leads to a different sort of a feeling than instructors running traditional courses, using familiar formats, to a "captive" audience of students dependent on them for institutionally-delivered grades. smile

Personally, I've taken a meta perspective on these MOOCs from the beginning, and I've written about experiencing this connected learning as a whole as an overall "meta-MOOC." Still, though, I think the overall process of "meta-MOOCing" could be done much better.

So, I'm eager and excited to see the openness to feedback, adjustments, and reuse of content in LCL2... and the meta nature of the course in general. But still, I find myself wondering how best to proceed.

That's even more the case, given that I'm having interactions in other places, and trying to juggle other aspects of life with my core passion, which is all aspects of metalearning, transforming education, and doing (and promoting) those "taboo" things of questioning how learning works while people are trying to do their jobs of teaching. smile

cc: @mpoole32 @artyowza


Meta Moocs and the potential they offer when compared to factory learning is just one more example of how factory learning does not imitate the real world or prepare us for the modern world we live in. @xcriteria, this concept is hard linked to your question in this G+ post.

@artyowza with her experience as the owner of a small company that specializes in art camps for elementary age kids can probably relate to what Ira Glass talked about in that linked YT video. When one accepts the marketplace as their preferred form of assessment, this person also accepts the marketplace timetable. Failure to accept this timetable means you wind up looking for another form of assessment none of which are as brutally accurate.

Accepting the marketplace view on issues causes you to fail and fail fast because survival is dependent on this. If you wind up with a fixed mindset in certain areas of life, it is almost impossible to find your way to the pattern represented in the modern, top down version of Bloom's Taxonomy. Practicing this modern version of Bloom is the definition or pattern of Shipping.

For Moocs to be different than other methods of learning, meta-Moocing or constant reflection is imperative. Absent this constant reflection by both Mooc organizer and Mooc participants that is made possible through the use of technology, you wind up with the old version of Bloom that worked from the bottom up and almost never allows the learner to rise above the bottom two steps of knowledge and comprehension.

In the real world successful people quickly learn that self-accessing is a more efficient way to search for weaknesses than to have these weaknesses pointed out by paying customers. Customers have a unique way of saying fix your problems or we may not pay you now or in the future.

This question of meta moocing is dependent on both participants and organizers being passionate about the mooc topic. Absent this passion on both sides, you wind up either with conflict or no real learning\progress.