Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanessa 08:41 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Stop Me B4 I MOOC Again! 

    Hi Guys, I’ve somehow enlisted myself in 2 MOOCs starting in September.

    vintage black-and-white photo of Allan Kaprow teaching

    From Stanford:
    OpenKnowledge Changing the global course of learning
    2 Sep – 12 Dec 2014

    From CalArts / Coursera:
    Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works
    29 Sep – 14 Nov 2014
    (More …)

  • Christa Forster 12:22 on 09/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Christa and Hugh on Coursera: Understanding Research Methods 


    Hello. Just met up with the Mixed Berry Shake team for our June hangout, and Hugh and I (he showed up late Ciara!) promised to post here on .Re/act what we’re up to in a the six-week summer MOOC we’re undertaking: Understanding Research Methods via Coursera.

    Here is a link to the question Hugh is developing and some discussion around it: How do Arabian women artists view the status of women within the Middle East?
    (More …)

  • Edie 18:56 on 18/04/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Andy Warhol MOOC 

    Edie Sedgwick

    Of my brief 28 years of life only 1 of them was spent with Andy Warhol. But it was a great time. The highs were so high. Yes, the lows were very, very low. More of my stories on another occasion. But I’m excited that Glyn Davis is teaching a 5-week MOOC on Andy starting Monday. I really want to think through my own small time in Andy’s world again. And also to think about his career before and after my time. And yes, about my own troubled life during those days. Sorry if I’m being too EMO, but do consider joining us. It should be a nice time rethinking that strange man who saw the world with such a unique clarity.


  • Izzy 09:07 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Yes brothers and husbands can sometimes be the… 

    Yes, brothers and husbands can sometimes be the lowest vermin. It’s old news. But people can also be so beautiful. This 21st century is about exponential possibilities. The 16th was about a scarcity of possibilities, even for a Medici Princess. Yet for all the abundance of this time, I am troubled by 2 trends: sedentary lifestyles and academic lethargy.

    Everything is better, save for our bodies and minds sliding into disuse. Too much of both work and play is now experienced from a chair parked in front of a flat-screen. The university has become too much about the pursuit of a piece of paper, not about a rich, humanist education. And so I offer Izzy’s Gym and Medici University, new hopes in a new century for our reinvention, body and soul.

  • Izzy 06:24 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Florentine (another era) 

    screencap of twitter conversation between Isabella Medici and The Florentine

    Another Era.

    Oh my!

  • Izzy 02:59 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Sugata Mitra: Self-Organized Learning 

  • Izzy 10:32 on 16/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

    University of the People 

  • Izzy 20:08 on 14/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Medici University News 

    Medici University News!

    * Facebook Page
    * Facebook Group
    * LinkedIn Company (you can list us on your profile!)
    * LInkedIn Group

    Please Join / Like / Follow. Big things are in MU’s future… and we hope in YOUR future!

  • Vanessa 09:49 on 02/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Studio West 

    OMG, that website that we thought was Studio West was only the staging area! The real Studio West is up now and everybody gets their own gallery to show work in!



    • Christa Forster 17:50 on 02/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing! How long did it take you to hang all that art?

    • Scott Lord 15:40 on 01/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The only syllogism seems to be if the classes are offerred in 135 countries, how many remaining countries are there and what prevents freedom in those countries. Is it that there are more than 135 languages in the world? Are there not enough computers and why? Are there restrictions that the U.N. should be more involved with.
      Therefore, does the U.N lack an international educational and press function or provisions. “Filmed for the U.N.” or “Filmed for the U.N. by N.B.C United States”?
      Are there schools in Space? No, not grown up ones, but everday that was spent in reducing nuclear weapons added technologies that would not have gotten past, and one day spy and or communication sattellites with return on their investment.
      Does China spend to much on its military- irrelevant question.

  • Molly Ross 08:36 on 30/01/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    TEDification versus Edification 

    TEDification versus Edification Interesting essay on the climate of presentation– By Simon Sadler

    “We are living through the era of the TED Talk, much like an earlier generation lived through the era of the World’s Fair, wondrous about our new world in the making,” writes Simon Sadler. “TEDification endows capitalism and globalization with a credible spiritual and ethical mission, just as the art of the Renaissance lent to the ruthless bankers of the Italian city states an enduring moral sheen.” Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED juggernaut — and the implicit threats to design and educatio


  • Vanessa 11:43 on 25/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Did anybody ever get an Email Certificate Or… 

    Did anybody ever get an Email? Certificate? Or any other sort of acknowledgement that you actually completed the PBR course?

  • Christa Forster 04:25 on 22/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Coursera is adding another facet to its online… 

    Coursera is adding another facet to its online learning opportunities — Specialized Learning, where they offer multi-layer curriculums rather than one-shot courses. I think it’s a good development.


  • Vanessa 20:20 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Site Dance Certificate from Coursera 

    Certificate for Site Dance course from Stephan Koplowitz / CalArts / Coursera

    Aww, lookie, virtual papyrus from my teacher! 😀

    • Christa Forster 20:27 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      congrats, Van! 🙂

      • Vanessa 20:50 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        of course we do it for love & knowledge, not virtual papyrus, but if you’re into such extrinsic motivators, one nice thing about the Coursera papyrus is that they’re connected to LinkedIn, so you can add them to your LI Profile.

    • Ciara 20:31 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely! Congratulations, Vanessa!

  • Christa Forster 21:45 on 16/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Nutritious Blueberry Experience 

    Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 3.42.03 PM


    Team Blueberry hangs out and discusses our PBRA mooc experience. We agree that

    1) we’re missing a formal “farewell” video from our Professors Leslie Hill and Helen Paris,


    2) we love each other.

  • Vanessa 23:10 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    MOOC Data 

    Stats on participation in Scott Klemmer's HCI MOOC: 16,000 watched videos, 12,000 submitted quizzes, and 1,260 completed assignments

    HCI MOOC Stats / Scott Klemmer / UC San Diego / Coursera

    Molly and I were wondering how many people enrolled in our PBR MOOC and other stats we haven’t heard about. I don’t think Site Dance shared numbers either. I do know that the Future of Storytelling MOOC from Postdam / Iversity has 83,000 peeps “enrolled” yet only 120 submitted “Creative Task of the Week #4” (More …)

    • Molly Ross 00:59 on 10/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is so great to see! Obviously for his content (human computer interaction) he’s interested in how many humans are interacting. I wonder why the other courses or platforms don’t just automatically include this information? Is there a reason for it?

      • Vanessa 01:11 on 10/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        My guess is that it’s simply who bothers to share the numbers. Scott Klemmer shared his Coursera stats, but Steve Koplowitz didn’t (that I know of) share his Coursera stats. Our PBR team hasn’t shared our NovoED stats (that I know of) but Christina Maria Schollerer has shared the numbers I posted above for her Iversity “Future of Storytelling” MOOC.

        Overall though, I’m with you. Why don’t the platforms themselves just share data all over the place, just as you see “72 Facebook likes” on a blog post. Or as the forums DO show the Post / Comment / Read counts.

        Open Data. Open Web. Open Knowledge. It’s all about Open!

  • Vanessa 16:10 on 25/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Coursera from CrunchBase Mountain View based online education… 

    Coursera – from CrunchBase

    Mountain View-based online education startup Coursera has added another $20 million to its previously $43 million Series B round, adding three unnamed university partners as well as additional funding from GSV Capital and Learn Capital. Coursera aims to provide an Ivy League-caliber education online for free and currently serves 5.5 million students enrolled in classes from 100 institutions. Founded in 2012, Coursera has raised $85 million in funding to date.

    • themollyross 16:33 on 25/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Online Courses Attract Degree Holders, Survey Finds
      Published: November 20, 2013

      About 80 percent of people who enrolled in a massive open online course, or MOOC, from the University of Pennsylvania had already earned a bachelor’s degree, according to a survey of 34,000 students who had at least started one of the 24 courses the university offered on the Coursera platform. Although Coursera’s founders have presented their MOOCs as a way to democratize higher education by making it available online, free, to anyone in the world, the Penn survey found that in the United States and developing countries alike, most Coursera students were well educated, employed, young and male. Penn’s courses account for 20 percent of Coursera’s enrollment.

  • Vanessa 05:20 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

    NovoED wants us to write a SIX paragraph… 

    NovoED wants us to write a SIX paragraph review of our classmates ONE paragraph submission on Hickson & Goulish? Gawd!

    • Ciara 07:03 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Cometh…THE GRID!!! Argh!!! I think it was supposed to make the process easier for us but I fear it is rather counterproductive…

      • Molly Ross 15:55 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciated The Grid’s attempt to add structure to an otherwise vague guide line for reviews on NovoEd. Constructive feedback is one of the challenges in both online and offline critiques. More work needs to be done in MOOCs and hybrid learning to explore better options for feedback for artwork. Good, Fair, Excellent are not constructive feedback.

  • Vanessa 18:51 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    I’m taking Practice Based Research from NovoED and also Site Dance from Coursera.
    ADVANTAGE NOVOED: So much easier to find and communicate with interesting classmates.
    ADVANTAGE COURSERA: So much easier to give quick & meaningful peer review feedback.


    • Molly Ross 20:12 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Yes! I am taking both of these courses as well! Both are fantastic for content. I’ve found Cousera to be a bit sprawling in the forums. There are many more threads posted than over at NovoEd and I’ve had trouble weeding through them to give feeback. This is partly the instructors design (they encouraged individual threads with the first assignment LandMark) partly the platform design and partly my fault for not always being the most tech savvy.

    • Vanessa 21:30 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes Molly, I’m grateful for both, yet not entirely happy with either. It is interesting how “tech details” can so dramatically effect the experience you have in these different spaces. And for sure what we’re experiencing on both sites is an interaction between the platform and the instructor’s design.

      On Peer Review for example, on NovoED it takes me forever to do them, it’s painful and I hate it, and in the end I don’t really feel that I said anything useful. On Coursera I wind up doing extra ones because it’s so fast, easy, and fun to do, but I also feel like I’ve actually given the artist some sort of useful feedback.

  • Molly Ross 15:54 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Studio West- a “bespoke online artist studio” 


    The Stanford/NovoEd course Practice Based Research in the Arts entered week five and launched a new function —Studio West described in the syllabus as our bespoke online artist studio space.”  I’ve spent the weekend moving into my online studio space and I am trying to understand this new platform/format/function/site. What exactly is Studio West?  (More …)

    • Vanessa 16:48 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes Molly! I think you raise many insightful and important questions about the studio we’ve all been wondering about and waiting for, for the past month. I agree with all your points. The only real answer I can give is that Studio West seems very beta.

      I can’t imagine this is the final version since the functionality is so limited. If it is still in development, it may not have the better functionalities you describe before the end of the course. But if it does achieve that, it could still be a nice tool going forward.

      Limited as SW is, it’s still nice to see images of our classmates work. That such a crippled Studio West can still be better than NovoED is perhaps an observation that MOOC platforms too are very beta. I imagine platforms like NovoED were launched on tech topics like the famous Stanford Robotics course, and they haven’t really built out to embrace visual culture yet.

      For me, meeting new colleagues is even more valuable than lecture content, so I’m eager to see platforms like NovoED, Coursera and iversity have better visual offerings, indexes of students, links to student’s own websites, the option for turned in projects to “reveal creator’s identity” and the option to “reveal peer reviewer’s identity.” The option for privacy here is fine, but I’m not doing all this work to be invisible, I want to meet the classmates whose work I find compelling.

    • Molly Ross 19:08 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Studio West has gone to Reverse Chron order! Now let’s really move in and take this site for a spin. I agree that the compelling part of this course, Studio West and this site is the ability to connect with colleagues and engage in critical dialogue.

      • Vanessa 19:43 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        huh… I’m confused… it seems like Reverse-Chron when I’m not logged in, but then when I log in it seems to go back to Chron only…

  • Vanessa 19:18 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    PEER REVIEW I’m not positive on these details… 

    I’m not positive on these details, but it seems like on NovoED you know who you are reviewing, and on Coursera you do not. One can imagine the privacy value of having Project Designer and Project Reviewer both be anonymous — HOWEVER — since I see meeting new colleagues as the single biggest benefit from MOOCs, it’d be nice if both the Designer & Reviewer had a “Make my identity known” or “Make my identity public” checkbox. (I wouldn’t even mind if the default was that the box was checked)

    It’s so frustrating to see someone’s great project and have no idea who they are. These MOOCs are all too big to permit “hanging out with the faculty” but when the structure actively prevents “hanging out with classmate / colleagues” that sucks.

    • Vanessa 19:32 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      While waiting for that checkbox — peeps who post work could also blog the work, or even an extended version with more pix, etc, and then add their URL to their turnin post. Thus providing both identity and content for anyone who’s interested.

      Perhaps reviewers could also add a link to their site.

    • Ciara 08:16 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Gosh, V. This reply does not directly address the points you raise above but it’s in the same ball park: I’ve been wondering if the interactions would be richer if we were compelled to really work together on a project rather than working in groups where, frequently, the only uniting feature is the text box that binds the individual entries… What if, rather than bringing an individual “creative project” to the table we were encouraged to build a creative project with our exciting, creative peers?

    • Michael J. Masucci 19:59 on 12/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Van. The more we are able to build potential collaborative relationships through these MOOC experiences, the more valuable they will be.
      Some individuals will prefer, no doubt, anonymity during critique. But many others, such as yourself, will desire the opposite. IT should be a personal choice, determined by each individual, and no the institution offering the MOOC.

  • Vanessa 18:00 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    FIRST PERSON Ever since our PBR Wk 1… 

    Ever since our PBR Wk 1 project to describe our work in 1st & 3rd person I’ve been thinking about it and reading artist bios. Xta started a great thread in the PBR forum and I agree, 3rd person conveys so much weight, power, and authority.

    But I’ve come to believe that 1st person, active voice, is the way to speak. When I read, Her work explores… yes, it sounds pro & legit, but it never engages me the way I am passionate about… does!

  • Vanessa 05:01 on 09/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Why is it that artists 1 Don’t put… 

    Why is it that artists:
    1. Don’t put links in their MOOC profiles?
    2. Prefer email over comm on open Web?
    3. Want to “protect” their IP rather than share?

    I thought artists were, you know, progressive?

    • Ciara 12:56 on 09/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Vanessa,

      As a performance artist in a MOOC 🙂 I think your questions are hugely important! I’ve been wondering myself why questions about the nature of being performers in a virtual classroom have not surfaced in the PBR forums and, pointedly, I’ve wondered why I haven’t had the courage to raise them there myself….

      1. Don’t put links on their MOOC profiles?
        I think one reason might be a cultural/generational/gender thing: I’m a 38 year-old Irish woman. Irish people of a certain age, in general, would rather eat their own shoes than publicize their stats and achievements to a group of strangers. I struggled to choke out my two sentence’s worth when pressed! But the key point here is that I believe that my generation has issues with how information is perceived online because our real-world analogue is so strong.
      2. Prefer email over comm on open web?
        Again, I’m going to suggest that within the 35+ age group the Real-to-Virtual World mapping is very strong. We import behaviours and codes of social interaction from the real into the virtual, forge associations and connections that resemble those with which we are familiar in the Real World. For today’s children, this mapping will be much weaker. They will have grown-up comfortably in both worlds and will struggle less with disparities between the two. It is within this context that, for me, email tends to hold primary appeal over more open modes of communication. For me, the privacy it affords makes it feel most appropriate for personal disclosures. As an artist, I wrestle with insecurities about my work, about my life, so couching expression in the comparatively safe space of email feels best:-) I think this can sometimes come across as a caginess, an unwillingness to share. However, it is not a case of not wanting to share – rather it is partly a case of selecting the environment for what one wants to say (and I have a sense that not everything fits a more public platform) and partly being ignorant of the multiple alternatives to email out there.

      But it is more than this. We’ve been having really great, vibrant, searching conversations with by email 🙂 and you are right: there is content there that we should “out” 😉 but the confidence you inspire in the course of those email exchanges are what will catalyze my content “outing”. So, for me, those emails are very valuable conversations.

      1. Want to “protect” their IP rather than share?
        Er…I have to confess that I don’t fully understand this question. Do folk actively try to hide their IP? Golly, I don’t think I’d know how to, even if I wanted to…
    • Owen Parry 13:32 on 09/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting questions concerning the public/private… if in reference to our communication, i think the reason email (or 1 platform) works better is because since our online meeting we have moved across 3 “platforms”… this can get confusing, not to mentions time consuming, important conversations can get lost across the different threads. While these confusions can be politically interesting in a work of art… the communication in order to make a work. requires some clarity and coherence (i think… but up for discussing that :)) I am happy to continue our discussions on this public thread, and if you can offer a tutorial in relation to point 1 and point 3 it’d be most welcome! 🙂

      • Ciara 16:53 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting comment, Owen. I hadn’t thought about the benefits of email from a simple filing/archiving perspective.

    • Vanessa 17:15 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Ciara ‘n Owen! That comment BTW, may have sounded like, but in fact was not, directed at either of you. It was just a general rant (I rant a lot)(if you ever see me in my “DQ” leotard, it’s the “Dairy Queen” logo, but I wear it because I might have been called a “Drama Queen” once or twice)

      Anyway, it was just a general rant that I feel like we have such powerful & productive communication tools today, and when you hang out with New Media types, they are often all over them, but it’s so disappointing to find how many “Artist-Scholars” in our Practice Based Research in the Arts course barely use them.

      #1 about links in MOOC Profiles was just a frustration / rant that I’ve come to believe that meeting colleagues, building artist networks, and collaborating is far more valuable in this or perhaps any MOOC than the “lectures” themselves. Therefore I’ve put in a lot of time trolling thru classmate profiles and I wish they had links to awesome websites, or at least a flippin facebook page, but most classmates don’t list any kind of link at all and it just frustrates me to see ARTISTS, you know, COMMUNICATORS, not use the power of our age.

      A person in the developing world who makes less than a dollar a day and has a smartphone has MORE ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE than the president of the united states did 20 years ago. As artists I wish we were seizing this power more.

      As long as I’m ranting, it drives me crazy that 90% of forum comments are either technical comments / complaints, or arcane “do you think that lecture 4 point 3 could actually be considered another way of framing lecture 3 point 4?” That stuff should be 10%. The 90% should be “Here’s what I created last week, here’s what I’m working on this week, here’s the website for my upcoming work — can I get your feedback?”

      #3 about IP – hahaha, I didn’t mean Internet Protocol Address, I meant Intellectual Property. As in “let’s waste forum time grilling Ryan about the TOS / TOU of Studio West instead of just freaking posting something worth thinking about.”

      haha — anybody want a “DQ” leotard of their very own? /EndOfRant.

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