Thoughts, writing & snippets

Marguerite Koole, PhD

Summertime MOOC and (non-alcoholic) mojitos on the backyard deck

mkoole, · Categories: Events, Research · Tags: ,

Now, this is the life. I’ve decided to try the MOOC experience. I am literally sitting in the shade of my umbrella on my deck sipping mint-lime juice (Damascus-style) all the while listening to Dave Cormier’s and Jason Rhode’s intro videos to eduMOOC 2011. I can hear the birds crunching on the birdseed in the feeder not 20 feet away whilst my own reflection is glaring back at me in my shiny monitor. (Shiny monitor = a bit of an oversight in my last computer purchasing experience.)

I am most impressed with the videos so far. The audio is very clear, and the videos are nicely scripted. It is fun to watch the animated drawings. Engaging. I need engaging. To tell you the truth they are just what I needed to get oriented—as well as a stimulus to my starting to write blog messages about the experience.

Now, what might interfere with my blogging about eduMOOC?

  1. My normal inclination to stop part-way through a MOOC. I half-heartedly tried it before, and came up with numerous reasons why I didn’t pursue it more steadily. (These reasons will be listed here—in this very same list—a bit self-referential, no?)

  2. I am a bit busy. My research ethics is pretty much approved at all research locations. I must start soliciting participants for my initial pilot study. And, I must re-examine my survey and interview questions. This is a big deal and takes priority over the MOOC.

  3. I have at least 10 brand new books piled on my desk. I am dying to crack the spines and render them un-returnable.

  4. I have countless journal articles piled up *everywhere*.

  5. I have to manage contractors at the house.

  6. I want to enjoy the non-academic aspects of my life—my not-yet-neglected husband being one of them.

  7. I am going to have quite a lot of marking for the course I am teaching this summer, MDDE 615. Final assignments will be coming towards the end of July.

  8. I’m sure there are more reasons. With more time, I could write a litany of reasons why I could drop out of the MOOC.

So, the videos suggest that I focus. What is it I want to accomplish? I want to experience the MOOC. Hmmm. Yes, sounds a wee bit general. Well, at the very least I want to be present for the presentations. I plan to take notes during the presentations and blog about them.

Notoriously, I get bored during online presentations. When that happens, I start checking email, doing other work, and by the end of the presentation, I have no idea what was said. Sometimes I don’t even realize that the presentation is over. (Yes, people, if your name does not disappear from the interface when the synchronous session is over, they’re on to you!) But, taking notes forces me to focus. Blogging, forces me to think about the notes. Comments posted to my blog help me consider different perspectives.

Before blogging more, I’m going to surf the eduMOOC site a little more to see if there are other things that I will want to accomplish through participation.

Must go crush more mint for my lime juice.

Free online courses with world-renown researchers

mkoole, · Categories: Events, PhD Studies · Tags: , , , ,

Free /open opportunities that might be of interest to PhD students:

1. In fall, TEKRI is sponsoring a open online learning event (starting September and running until May 2012) with some of the most notable and accomplished international learning technology researchers and theorists–including several from AU! More info is here:, speaker list is here:

2. University of Illinois is offering an open course on “online learning today…and tomorrow” that starts next week: (scroll to the bottom of the page to see speakers – including Curt Bonk, Karen Swan, Phil Ice, Cable Green, etc.)

(Received from George Siemens, Athabasca University)

Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference

mkoole, · Categories: Events

The International Institute for Qualitative Methodology is pleased to announce that this year the 17th Qualitative Health Research (QHR) Conference will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from October 25-27, 2011.

There will be a pre-conference workshop on October 24th, 2011.  Please reserve these dates in your calendar.






QHR is the premier international and interdisciplinary conference for the dissemination and discussion of developments in qualitative health research. All conference papers will be peer reviewed, and we welcome presentations from scholars in a range of disciplines exploring health-related issues and experiences.


Abstracts are invited from scholars engaged qualitative health research in such disciplines as public health, nursing, medicine, social work, psychology, sociology, information science, education, human ecology, anthropology, dentistry, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and many more!

Click here to submit an abstract<!=public=12985845498149=14=56115563&Conference=75159> or visit the QHR webpage for more information at:

This year the AQM conference will not be held in conjunction with QHR.  AQM will be postponed to 2012 in an effort to revitalize and introduce some exciting new initiatives.  In the interim, individuals that were planning on submitting to AQM are encouraged to submit abstracts on Qualitative Methods to QHR.  A series of multi-disciplinary sessions on methods will be offered at QHR and will be highlighted as advanced sessions.



Online presentation: The Web of Identity: Identity Formation in Online Learning

mkoole, · Categories: Events · Tags:

When: March 2nd, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM Mountain Time (Canada)
Where: Online via Elluminate
More information:

As learners interact in online networks of learning, how do they come to know one another? Building on the work of Goffman (1959) and Foucault (1988), the Web of Identity (WoI) model shows how online learners may use dramaturgical strategies to create and negotiate their personal identities in a continuous flux of presentation and interpretation. Philosophically, the model is highly social constructionist and places a great emphasis on relational dialogue. For practitioners, the implications include finding ways to aid learners to improve their use and translation of WoI strategies. Such skill, theoretically, should help them to enact their unique personalities, lessen their sense of fragmentation, increase their sense of belonging, and gauge authenticity of others. The researchers, Marguerite Koole and Dr. Gale Parchoma, will then discuss some preliminary research projects on identity in networked learning and future research in the field.

Local times for this presentation may be found by clicking on the World Clock link below.

The link to this presentation will be posted closer to the session start date.