I wanted to give an example of how interactions in the course are having unintended effects, which is really the whole point of this kind of course. It’s not always evident to participants that their thinking and writing have a real, tangible effect on how others think about the world. The consequences of the things we say do have effects even if it’s not always clear what those effects will be. Here is something that I tweeted about earlier this week that really demonstrates this effect. The original post was (probably) not intended to create a learning opportunity for others, and yet it did, in a very real way. The comments were great to read, and the post caused another participant to go away and write something else that showed how she was influenced. This is how learning happens in the real world. We see things that grab us and we take a part of it away with us.
— Michael Rowe (@michael_rowe) July 22, 2013
I also wanted to share this because sometimes we write things and are disappointed when we come back and notice that we haven’t been “Liked” or received any comments. I wanted to make the point that even if no-one has commented on your post, you’ve influenced them even if they’ve simply read it. Try to remember that it’s not about seeing who has the most Likes or Comments. This course is about you taking control of your learning, and interacting with other participants in order to enhance that learning. The more you read the work of other participants, the more likely you are to learn from them. Reading, thinking, reading and rethinking are what this course is about. There is nothing to memorise and no test at the end. What you leave with when it’s over will be what you have decided to take with you.
Ask not which are the comments you have received, but which are the ones you have given.