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  • Vanessa 08:24 on 01/02/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC,   

    Storytelling 4 Change

    Hey MU Writing Students! Looking for a free class to take? Check out Storytelling for Change from NovoEd:

    Acumen and The Ariel Group have created this hands-on course to help you develop your practical skills as a storyteller. Whether you work in an office making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience. Using stories makes your messages memorable, gives your audience something to relate to, and above all captures their attention, motivating and inspiring them in new ways. A story taps into more than one element of communicating. Great storytellers are great communicators and effective leaders.

    • AlexandreLois1 09:35 on 01/02/2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love storytellers. Particularly space storytellers. I have a series of non-fiction stories

  • Vanessa 08:18 on 01/02/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC, ,   

    Adventures in Writing

    Hey MU Writing Students! Looking for a free class to take? Check out Adventures in Writing from Stanford OpenEdX

  • Vanessa 03:35 on 01/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , MOOC,   

    ## MOOC Certificates Interesting twist for Site Dance… 

    MOOC Certificates

    Interesting twist for Site Dance II MOOC: Certificates ONLY for Signature Track. Regular Track: no virtual paper for you!

  • Izzy 12:28 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC   

    ## Andy Warhol’s Childhood Scrapbook You may have… 

    Andy Warhol’s Childhood Scrapbook

    You may have heard that Edie and I have started MOOC Magazine. Gary Needham from U of Nottingham Trent has written a wonderful intro article for us:

  • Vanessa 11:11 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MOOC, ,   

    ## 8 Months Just realized we started PBR… 

    8 Months!

    Just realized we started PBR 8 months ago this week! Fast creeping up on a year. Whether it’s Medici assassination attempts, or Warhol confidantes trying to trash his legacy, we continue to live in such a divisive world. It was truly a special opportunity to meet so many generous peeps in PBR and to share ideas about art & culture with you all.
    Thanks everyone!

    • Ciara 11:31 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Crikey! Eight months! It’s an almost-birthday 😉

      • Vanessa Blaylock 11:32 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes! Crikey! (did you get that word from Oscar?)

        • Ciara 11:33 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Er…maybe…(He’s got a knack of putting words in my mouth!)

          • Vanessa Blaylock 11:34 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

            IKR! (he’s no dummy!)

            • Ciara 11:38 on 12/06/2014 Permalink

              He’s with me at the moment. We’re trying to knock our heads together for something for the July PBR MM issue…

            • Vanessa Blaylock 11:41 on 12/06/2014 Permalink

              Oh cool! It could be something new… or any of the work you created back then (assuming we can still find stuff from ’13! 😛

    • Scott Lord 12:14 on 12/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      My Dear friend, Professor Talbot Rice is very impressed with your efforts. Now that you mention it, someone at a Boston University wrote a monograph that it was glaring that there were attempts upon the life of Queen Victoria Regina and that Sherlock Holmes was absolutely mum on the subject. Talbot has a buggieboo about historical artifacts- there’s a shoe on a statue he thinks is priceless as pieces of some historical art-what-objects-are-used-for before they become what we call ready-made. Like culture or society revolved around the manufacturing of slippers in Persia. No theories on whether the real Queen Victoria was left handed and her twin sister was righthanded and converted to Communism and then Hinduism, more that it was just her liver.

  • Christa Forster 12:22 on 09/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , MOOC, ,   

    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 20:06 on 23/05/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC,   

    ## MOOC MAGAZINE *** Re act*** is the… 


    .Re/act is the place to take the great connections you’ve made in a MOOC and keep the conversation & collaboration going!

    And now… MOOC Magazine! is the place to collect the great essays, videos, performance works that you’ve created in a MOOC and present them in a focused magazine!

    Contribute today!

  • Edie 18:56 on 18/04/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC   

    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.


  • Vanessa 09:07 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC,   

    Meanwhile if anyone remembers that old PBR… 

    Meanwhile if anyone remembers that old “PBR” MOOC, the peeps over on the FB group are determined to get the certificates promised in the syllabus and for some reason, the instructors seem adamant that certificates not be given:

    • Hugh 10:00 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not in that loop. I bailed out of FB and into Diaspora. Something similar but more flexible and open source. And oh yeah, user owned so Markie Zee doesn’t have his mitts on my stuff. Do the instructors give a reason for not wanting to give the certs seems curious? I can’t really see the cert being a deal breaker in a job interview though so it seems like a little bit of a waste of energy. But people will often stand on principle before they stand on their own two feet.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:05 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed Hugh. It’s not worth making a fuss. Yet weird that the MOOC that asked for more work than any I’ve taken doesn’t want to pass out certs. The instructors apparently claim they never offered one, but the FB group has pointed to the promise in the syllabus.

        I originally liked the vision of Diaspora. But love or hate FB, it’s biggest strength is that it’s the new “Phone Book” with almost everybody in it. There aren’t a lot of peeps (that I know of) to share stuff with on Diaspora.

    • Hugh 10:16 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      All true. I just feel ikkey every time I use it and I have this messiah complex. If I join they will follow. So far I only know one person there. Perhaps there is an opportunity for a collaborative project there?

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:25 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Hugh, there are SOOOO many platforms out there! For any activity you like there are numerous Proprietary, and numerous Open choices. Just to take blogging as an example, you could get an account at a proprietary site like Tumblr or Medium or Blogger, or use Open software like WordPress or Open Blog or Ghost. Or many others!

        It’s an obscenity of riches! Perhaps all the choice / confusion is even a piece of why so many mostly use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and that’s it. “FTY” IS “The Internet” for many. I was shocked to hear that many people can go a whole week without ever using Google Search, since I, like so many others, use it so many times every day.

        It doesn’t have to be an oversimplified binary thing, but when I’m choosing which Feudal Lord to pledge my allegiance to, I choose Google. They’re still proprietary, and they definitely make choices I don’t like, but when it’s Google vs anybody else, Google’s perspective almost always suits me better than the other peeps.

        With FB vs G, for example, Facebook really wants to be The New AOL. They’d love it if you never left their walled garden. It’s not quite that simplistic, and they do provide lots of hooks in and out, but I still find some truth in that perspective. By contrast, Google really wants you to surf the complete Information Superhighway, they just want to be the gas station on all the on-ramps. As a blogger, the Google perspex suits me a whole lot better than the FB.

        • Christa Forster 11:22 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Great metaphor there at the end, Van. Love this discussion!

  • Vanessa 11:43 on 25/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC,   

    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
    Tags: , MOOC   

    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.


  • Christa Forster 21:45 on 16/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC,   

    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 11:27 on 11/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , MOOC,   

    I’ve just done a quick browse of Udacity… 

    I’ve just done a quick browse of Udacity, Iversity, NovoED, and Coursera, and Coursera definitely seems to be the Arts MOOC leader. Or perhaps they’re just the biggest and have the most of everything…

  • Molly Ross 22:20 on 06/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MOOC,   

    Twitterification (in the best way) for academic writing. 

    Over at the PBR MOOC, we’ve entered the final week! In a Vlog, Leslie Hill planted the seed for publishing some of the “findings” from this class. Great idea but I’d like to see it reflect this experience. Vanessa Blaylock said it best in a note to our team “The Internet is not a “thing” but a “place” and our experiences there are not “nouns” but “verbs.” LOVE THAT!

    I imagine short form essays–the twitterification (in the best way) of academic writing. Writing that is concise, concrete and contemporary to reflect the place and actions of a MOOC.

    • Vanessa 14:56 on 07/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      What a wonderful idea Molly! It would be interesting to try to literally do it in Twitter – though I think that might be pretty hard, not sure.

      But I wonder if a space like .Re/act which sort of encourages 1 or 2 paragraph interactions, would work? (for any tech dweebs, .Re/act is the “Houston” child theme of the WordPress “P2” theme)

      Or maybe do it in 4:53 videos? Or 4:33? (haha, Leslie went 20 seconds long!) Or embrace mobile? Video apps like the 15 seconds of Tout, the 30 seconds of Viddy or the 36 seconds of Keek…

      Leslie’s video:

    • Vanessa 09:19 on 08/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      kk, let’s try a couple more… (adapting from Kevin Kelly)

      Creativity is a tendency, not an entity; a process, not an artifact.

    • Michael Masucci 01:38 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply


      I’m still adopting to the ‘less is more’ style of communicating using as you put it Twitterfication.

      My resistance is that is results is going straight to the conclusion, with little room for analysis. This has been problematic throughout history. Think of the U.S.’s 2nd Amendment. It means two entirely different things to different people, Example: for the NRA-types, it says absolutely no regulation of guns. I read the exact same words and get an opposite impression ( the word ‘regulated’ is actually in it). To me it says we can have a National Guard. Very different conclusions. With a shortened approach, it seems there is much more chance of misunderstanding, not a good thing for scholarship.

      But it is more efficient, to be certain. But I’m not sure that’s what scholars should care about. But their may be no other viable choice with a MOOC.

      • Vanessa 08:39 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hey Michael, I wonder if you’re comparing “one long monologue” (an academic paper) to a Single Tweet. The thing that I think critiques of Twitter sometimes don’t think too much about is that it can be a dialog between 2 or more participants. It doesn’t have to be one vague paragraph, it can have lots of detail and specificity, but instead of being in the form of a monologue or tablets coming down from the mountain, it’s in interactive dialog form. It’s a tapestry being woven live, and each participant part of the Global Loom has an impact on the evolving tapestry. You might choose a particular color or material of fiber to contribute, but you can’t know what the tapestry will be without the actual process experience of the collaborative weaving.

        I really like the form of interactive dialog in that they’re a key aspect of the realness I feel on The Net or in Virtual Worlds. With a monologue it’s kind of me dumping content on whatever journal or audience that’s willing to take it. Although I may not have read the journal yet, what I will eventually read there is already fixed. My reading it doesn’t really impact it. But in an online dialog, in a vaguely Heisenbergish way I suppose, my reading it becomes part of the dialog and the resulting trajectory couldn’t be obtained without the set of participants that chose to engage in it. The Net is alive.

        Maybe this is why I go on such tirades when peeps post PDFs. PDFs are dead. I like content on the open, interactive web.

      • Molly Ross 18:25 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Great points! And I am by no means advocating any major shifts just opening up the conversation for myself and asking how can publication communicate effectively the experience of Practice Based Research in digital realms (like our PBR mooc)? Is there a way the short form essay can be a “portal” to deeper analysis of a topic? What webs can be explored (tangents-my favorite concept this week) and how is the possible for the reader? I’m also questioning as you are “what scholar’s should care about?”

        • Michael Masucci 19:54 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

          Yes, Molly & Vanessa, interactive dialogue is of course useful, perhaps even vital. But there are areas of investigations that are complex, and easy to mis-interpret without exhaustive verbiage, often coming from one voice.

          I suspect that we all three like both approaches, and see value, in differing contexts for both.

          Think of how some of the critics of Obamacare used the number of pages of the law ( over 1,000) as a criticism of it. When its length really showed a realistic approach, it showed that the multiple authors had operationally defined and then stipulated every possible contingency they could imagine ( and even so left out a few variants). The critics complained that they actually had to do some work, and read the entire thing (actually, usually its their assistants that end up reading it). But isn’t that their jobs? I think the same for scholars, not just ‘opinionators’ (who of course have their significant place and value).

          I don’t argue that short-form is one form of communication, but I just hope that the option of deep, structured analysis, does not become rare. Not a down ‘from the mountain” approach as you mentioned Van ( in fact those tablets constituted short-form edicts) but a full explanation of ideas or opinions, with the space to make the case in specific, detailed ways.

          But I’m taking too long to make my point, so should stop 😉

  • Molly Ross 14:43 on 03/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MOOC,   

    Critiki! rubrics and the ways of the MOOC. 

    This week in the PBR MOOC we’ve been tasked to create a rubric to evaluate our work. Framing your evaluation was a trick and a skill that I worked hard at in Grad School. I found that if you did not set up the right parameters your crit would veer off into strange unhelpful territories. In a MOOC we are faced with extreme parameters in which our work is viewed– The anonymous reviewer looking at our work digitally for a brief amount of time. How can we use these parameters to benefit our critiques? What does this experience offer us that other forms of critique do not? It’s always a question of how do we connect with our listeners/audiences/readers in the most clear and concrete way possible–maybe even more so within the format of the MOOC evaluation.

    • Vanessa 17:25 on 03/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Smart questions Molly! Maybe it’s year-end fatigue or something but we (I) havn’t totally run with the Bespoke Rubrics too much yet, but you’re absolutely right! This is a really important and valuable opportunity!

    • xtaforster 20:43 on 03/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s totally November-into-December fatigue for me. Just getting started on this now. Thanks, Van and Molly for helping orient me toward the task!

  • Vanessa 18:03 on 02/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , MOOC, , ,   

    Hangout w/ Xta! 


    In the weekly Blueberry Google Hangout this week I met up with Christa Forster. We had a great chat about our Practice Based Research MOOC, making the most of the resources, continuing the conversation after it wraps up, etc. And we also talked about her participation in The Planets virtual dance for camera project I launched for both the PBR & Site Dance MOOCs. She’s creating a poem / monologue that she’ll record and put up on CCMixter / SoundCloud and see who uses it in a music track, and then we’ll take that work and use it as the score for her Mars “dance.”

  • Vanessa 01:57 on 01/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: MOOC, ,   

    Surprisingly I found the Site Dance Final Projects… 

    Surprisingly, I found the Site Dance Final Projects a bit less exciting to read (peer review) than the Project 2 “Designing & Structuring Your Work” projects. I found the P2’s especially compelling! Maybe just the luck of the draw, IDK.

  • Vanessa 15:57 on 29/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , MOOC, ,   

    I’ve never heard how many students enrolled in… 

    I’ve never heard how many students enrolled in Practice Based Research in the Arts or Creating Site Specific Dance & Performance Works, but The Future of Storytelling from Potsdam / Iversity is now up to 80,000. I’m sure PBR & Site Dance are vastly smaller, still in all cases it’s thousands at least.
    (More …)

    • Vanessa 14:36 on 30/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Also, only NovoED even has the feature of messaging classmates. On both Coursera & Iversity your only hope of communicating with colleagues outside of the closed, soon to be shut down, forums, is if you can find them out on the web. Some students put URLs in their profiles, but shockingly many do not.

      Again, in a “massive” course, of course you can’t expect 1-to-1 contact with faculty or TA’s, so it is very much peers & colleagues that we need to form relationships with. Otherwise a MOOC is just a lecture class, and that’s a lot less.

      1. We need student-2-student messaging
      2. We need profiles that prompt (optionally) for your website
      3. We need groups & group messaging
      4. We need Peer Review with the option to not be anonymous
      5. We need Peer Review structured like Coursera so it’s easy, fast, fun, and useful. Not like the peer reviewing a whole transcript of discussion on NovoED that requires aspirin just to get through doing a lousy job that will help no one anyway.
  • Vanessa 16:10 on 25/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC   

    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
    Tags: MOOC   

    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 19:18 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC, ,   

    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.

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