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eLearning and Digital Cultures: my vicarious learning highlights #edcmooc

In order to balance things up from my last EDCMOOC post, I had intended to write something relating to post humanism, but I’m still coming to terms with the concept and with the fundamental changes that its related values of transhumanism will wreak, not just upon society and the planet, but upon the minds and bodies of human beings themselves. So, seeing as I’ve been running a week behind and the course comes to a close tomorrow, I’ve decided to forgo any attempt at putting my thoughts down about “redfining the human” and the implications for education of such a paradigm shift, instead, I’m going to take a look back over what, for me, have been the highlights.

I have to say that although I’ve engaged with pretty much all of the course material, what’s really left the greatest impression on me, apart from Bleecker’s article about blogjets, is some of the content that other learners on the MOOC have produced, and the things that I’ve learned from them. This point only really struck me when Ary Aranguiz @trendingteacher graciously replied to a tweet saying “it’s been wonderful learning with you!” Immediately I thought, you know what, she’s right; I”ve really learnt a lot from other people on the course. Although I haven’t always kept up, or indeed had any timely comments to make within our quadblogging group, I’ve actually learnt lots just by watching the learning of others.

Vicarious learning (Bandura, 1962) is also known as observational learning, social learning, or modelling and is a type of learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and replicating behaviour observed in others, so here are my vicarious learning highlights from what’s been a very thought provoking and satisfying MOOC:

 “All the world’s a MOOC, and all the men and women merely teachers and learners.” – blog post by Ary Aranguiz that prompted me to go off and investigate the topic of rhizomatic learning.

WOW! They’ve glassed us! – blog post by Angela Towndrow whose brilliant use of images really brought home to me the power that a visual story can have.

Voyages of the Starship #EDCMOOC – a “cheeky” animation by Willa Ryerson, documenting the week 1 hangout, that shows just how easy some tools are to learn, and what’s more, how important it is to have a sense of fun.

Fake Identity @HamishAMacleod – a spoof Twitter account for one of the course tutors, Hamish Macleod, created by Andy Mitchell. I thought the production of this as a digital artefact to represent learning from the course was at the same time both genius and risky. It certainly makes the point about identity and online security in the digital age. Click on the hyperlink “Fake Identity” in the tweet below to get the full effect of the spoof.

“Digital Life” – an augmented music video parody – catchy lyrics “Digital Life has Changed Who We Are” to the Buggle’s tune of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by Amy Burvall, which memorably gets the message across how life has now very much changed to become digital.

The Ecology of Yearning in a MOOC – a video by Ary Aranguiz, whose message “we all yearn for meaning, growth and connection” hit the spot for me as it seems to say a lot about why so many people showed up and played their part in what’s been a very special learning experience.

And finally, my thanks have to go to the EDCMOOC team

Dr Jen Ross     Dr Christine Sinclair     Dr Hamish Macleod     Dr Sian Bayne     Jeremy Knox

who did a great job in providing such a dynamic and thought provoking MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE. And like they say in their introduction, you can find out more about their work with the MSc in Digital Education here.

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Published ineLearning and Digital Cultures


  1. Thanks, Helen, I really like your highlights of this course. I concur. I’ve learned so many things from brilliant, wonderful,encouraging and helpful people. Maybe we’ll meet up again in another Mooc!

  2. This is a brilliant summary of our learning journey through this course. It also brought to mind the concept of “Rhizomatic learning” from etmooc.

    I am however curious to know if there were any other groups that formed during this mooc and how they came to be and grew over the period of the course.

  3. Thanks, Maddie, Willa. I wish that I could’ve maintained a more consistent presence in the FB group throughout the course but the group got hectic and so did my life, with other MOOCs and stuff in general.

    One more thing, I’d like to add another learning highlight, Chris Swift’s blogpost about moderating his first Twitter chat #edcmooc “I don’t like Twitter – I love it” I thought I’d included it in my post. It was definitely in there at one stage, but when I just looked back over the final published edition, there was no sign of it. Mystery. Anyway, I liked it because it demonstrates how you’ve got to seize the day and how you learn by doing.

  4. Helen,
    When I hit a snag in oldsmooc_w4, I followed you to this mooc. It was easy and I needed a break from feeling frustrated.
    My take on transhumanism (and post humanism) is that by networking on the internet, the internet will begin to know what we like and want. Digital assistants will soon augment or daily lives and enable us to achieve personal goals. Back in 2005 I blogged about the singularity and how the semantic web was going to enable computer “intelligence”. Today we have self driving cars and Google “glasses”. Not understanding accelerating advancement in understanding leads many to underestimate how quickly this is going to happen.

  5. Hi Art, I saw Ray Kurzweil give a keynote last year about “the singularity”. I have to confess that I had no real idea what he was talking about. All I took away from it was that it, whatever it was, was down to “exponential growth”. #edcmooc has made me realise, like you, that whatever it is, well it’s coming faster than we think.

  6. bwatwood bwatwood

    Helen, I enjoyed learning with you as well…and this post pulled yet again some great artifacts that I had not yet seen. Nice!

    • Britt, I’m glad you liked it, and what do you know, serendipity just kicked in and I was able to learn something from an old blog post of yours. I wanted to find reference to the word “insidious” in an earlier blog post of mine, so I asked Google and it duly returned the result I was looking for along with a post of yours entitled “Shift in Access Equals Shift in Power”. I’m investigating the affordances of learning management systems and your post provided me with a very nice summary of the topic. Real nice!

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