#crit101 v2 – Week Five

In week five #crit101 is turning its attention to synthesis and evaluation. The week five page has been updated with the video lecture, reading material and information about this week’s assignments.

This week’s assignment is collaborative and involves video. It should be both challenging and enjoyable. I have tried to include as much information about this in the lecture and on the blog. But as always, should you have questions or need help, please turn to the community and ask.

The weekly Twitter discussion will be on Wednesday (10.04.13) between 6PM and 7PM (BST).

Synthesis and Evaluation – Assignment # 5 – #crit101

Originally published here.

It all started with the usual difficulty of getting in touch with anybody in the group I was assigned to work wih. This time, having to produce a video, we needed to meet synchronously which can be, apparently, an even tougher challenge to many. We needed to work synchronously AND rather early as making a video, not having a clue as to who wants to do what and when, can be a huge time sink.

Hello @ca73y, @treksartist, @reece_garside can we decide on a day we could meet j.mp/11TaaWO #crit101doodle.com/arz4z22hvb5qdz…

@plerudulier @treksartist @reece_garside Meet difficult due to time zone diff in Oz. Have images to get us started pinterest.com/atcathy/what-c…

— Catey Chen (@ca73y) February 21, 2013

— Pascal Le Rudulier (@plerudulier) February 19, 2013

1/2 : @ca73y @treksartist @reece_garside looks like tomorrow, Friday, from 19:00 until 21:00 (UK time) is when we’ll meet, on line. — Pascal Le Rudulier (@plerudulier) February 21, 2013

@plerudulier @treksartist @reece_garside Have added time to doodle

— Catey Chen (@ca73y) February 21, 2013

2/2 : @ca73y @treksartist @reece_garside online meetup, on Google docs and/or Google+? Suggestion: Google+ > Hangout > Video

— Pascal Le Rudulier (@plerudulier) February 21, 2013

Here’s what our duo came up with after a 1 and half hour hangout session. Credit to Catey who managed to make something out of the discussion.

Work in progress (The sentence will go when the post is ready)

#crit101 – Week Five

In week five #crit101 is turning its attention to synthesis and evaluation. The week five page has been updated with reading material and information about this week’s assignments.

The live video lecture will be at 7:30PM (GMT) on Monday (18.02.13). Check the blog or Twitter around 7:25 for the link. The slides will be made available prior to the lecture, and a recording will be made available shortly afterwards.

The weekly discussion returns to Twitter this week. It will be on Wednesday (20.02.13) between 7PM and 8PM (GMT).

This week’s assignment is collaborative and involves video. It should be both challenging and enjoyable. I’ll be discussing this in detail during the live lecture, but as always should you have questions or need help, please turn to the community and ask.

Half way through #crit101…


As we have reached the half way point of Critical Skills 101, I thought it was a pertinent opportunity to reflect on how the course is shaping up; including the successes, failures and challenges that lay ahead.


There is clearly a lot of learning taking place. This is both evident in the quality of work produced and the honesty of many participants’ blog posts. In some ways the course has become more than I expected with the three tenets: “openness – social media – student voice/choice” (Cronin, 2012) being placed firmly at the heart of it. The syndication of blog posts and the decision to move to Google+ for week four’s discussion are evidence of this. Moreover, the feedback I have received from many of you has been significantly positive. There have already been numerous tweets, emails to that effect; as well as several of you expressing to me face-to-face how much you are getting out of the course.


Based on my experience of MOOCs I did expect some participants to drop out of the course, nevertheless I consider this an issue that I need to evaluate and act on. Some of you are fully engaged, embracing each week’s reading and activities with fervour. However, some of you are not. While the nature of the course speaks to independence and autonomy, one of the principle aims of the course is to encourage and develop this. Clearly, for some of you the course is not achieving this aim. Whether that is my fault, something to do with the course content or structure, or something else entirely I am not sure at this stage? This will certainly feed into my evaluation of the course once it has been completed.


One of the principles that underpins MOOCs is connectivism. It was my hope that all participants would freely interact and support each other. However, this has not been the case. Interaction between us (I include myself as a learner in this process) so far has come at times that I (as course leader) have specified, such as week two’s collaborative assignment and the weekly Twitter discussion. I do not know if this is simply to do with the fact that most of you are 14-18 year-olds. As such you have a limited experience of learning in this way. It may also have to do with the time that the you feel you can put in to the course. Most of you have full timetables as it is and this is additional learning. And I suspect that for some it may also come down to confidence. The willingness to share openly in your learning does not come naturally for everyone.

However, as Dave Cormier explains in the video below connection and collaboration are important to being successful in a MOOC. Please take the time to watch the video and reflect on your participation so far. To what extent has your approach met with Cormier’s thesis?


So success in a MOOC is about connecting. This is both an opportunity and my challenge to all of you. As week four dawns don’t wait for me to give you permission to connect with each other. Use Twitter, use Google+, use your blogs; share your docs; or use a means of communicating/sharing that suits you but don’t feel that you are on your own. Many of you expressed, in week one, that interdependence was important to being a successful independent learner. Lets put that into practice during week four.

Image cc. ®DS.