Scanning through the comments over the last week because I was away gave me a renewed perspective about expectations. Reading some of the frustration from fellow participants about the technology failures for the first few live sessions reminded me of when I was in one particular graduate class, "Group Dynamics." I was a wreck the first few weeks because it seemed we were just sitting around deciding who was going to bring dinner the next week and what it would be. "How is this graduate level work?" I questioned in my mind (And, why the heck am I paying so much to sit around a room a strangers and eat, I can eat at home just fine!) As the class progressed the actual "learning" became apparent when the instructor presented more material about roles in groups. It was the process of group dynamics and how our group worked through those dynamics, and VOILA, I was learning something, it just wasn't in the traditional method that I was used to.
Why am I so willing to accept the lack of "technical perfection" from our hosts/facilitators?
1) I'm not paying for this
2) I'm not going to be "graded"
3) My expectations are significantly lower than some of the other people in the MOCC.
Why? I work in an educational technology area, and I've seen some pretty dismal performance from others putting on this kind of show--and I'm talking about technology professionals presenting to a group of 30-40 people instead of peers around the world. Yes, it's frustrating when the technology doesn't work. It's more frustrating when the technology isn't used correctly by technology professionals--and they seem oblivious to the audience/learner's reaction. I was glad to see that the MOCC facilitators addressed the issues providing some background about why they made the choices they did.
I'm so glad I watched Nancy White's recorded presentation--it energized me when I was about to fall into the depths of despair and possibly just say, "forget it, no reason to keep up with this experimental "MOCC thingy." I finally have a name for what I want to be when I grow up: Social Artist. Maybe, I've been one, and just didn't know it. (Now, I have to find a way to get paid for it.)
I also overcame my shyness in the group. I actually put my photo on this blog, commented on a couple of other blog posts and participated in the live Friday online meeting. (PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK) I still need to organize the "artifacts" or breadcrumbs of where I've been poking around and reading. I'm sure there's a tool for that, I just haven't found it yet.
I will expand on why I think I may have been a social artist in later blog posts.