Facilitating large diverse groups
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Celebrity Touch


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Celebrity Touch


Massive cohort size requires discussions to be largely peer-led, but learners are not always in a position to differentiate posts from their peers that helpfully extend or clarify the discussion.


In MOOCs thousands participate and it is difficult to be noticed among the crowd. Similarly there are large number of discussion posts by participants in the wide-ranging discussion forums. Some posts can provide insight and challenging ideas but because they do not support the popular discourse they may not garner attention. Other posts can appear to be of less consequence to other participants, garnering more/less attention. On the other hand posts will gather where the ‘celebrity’ posts - in this instance celebrity being the lead academic/tutors/facilitators.  


Highlight posts that are helpful in supporting deeper understanding or broadening discussion by responding to them.  Note that the presence of the lead academic needs to be judiciously deployed in light of the effect it has.


Examples: In “Begin programming”  (“Endorsing helpful MOOC participants” narrative)  and in “H817Open” (“Academic magnet” narrative) the effect on crowd attention to posts receiving facilitator or lead academic attention was observed.
Related pattern: “Chatflow (v2)” http://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2134/
“Drumbeat” http://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2166/
“Special Interest Discussions”



Posts with responses from course tutors can attract attention from learners in a way that posts from peers do not. However, the discussion can easily be misdirected if the tutor responds to posts that present misconceptions or those that take inflammatory positions simply to seek attention.  Sometimes discussions around a tutor post have contributions that may not adhere to appropriate academic conventions, but nevertheless become prominent within the course. Tutor responses may draw attention and overshadow other good posts from participants without such a responser than creating a new one.

Author(s): Paige Cuffe, Eileen Kennedy, Yishay Mor, tharindu, Steven Warburton
Published at: 01 Sep 2015 18:12 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2398/