Self- Assessment and Self-Remediation – 1st Post

In this first week of this #rhizo14 experience, I’ve had a few modest goals. I thought it was interesting how many people defined their role in the MOOC as “cheating” because they were lurking and would be picking and choosing how they participate. I think with a connectivist online experience, that’s really the only way to operate, unless one happens to have the luxury of a lot of spare time. I do not. I entered the experience knowing that I would have significant time constraints. Nonetheless, one of my goals was to blog regularly, aiming for a couple of times a week.

That commitment has made connecting with other participants in the MOOC much richer. I like the concision of twitter, but it’s hard to connect over deep ideas in that space. In the first week, I’ve appreciated the comments on my blog, the people who’ve given a quick nod by favoriting my posts, and the connections on twitter building on the ideas.

Maha Bali(@Bali_maha), Simon Ensor (@sensor63), Jaap Bosman (@jaapsoft), Terry Elliott (@telliowkuwp), Aaron Johannes (@imagineacircle), Jenny Mackness (@jennymackness) and Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax) are some of the people I connected with last week, and I hope to continue the conversations throughout this learning experience. In my past MOOC experiences, I have not felt particularly connected to people, even with a lot of dialogue. I have considered the facebook and google plus group.

One of my ongoing goals is to continue to refine my social media and productivity workflows. I use the following tools to manage information flows:

  • Hootsuite for twitter. I set up a view of #rhizo14 to easily scan on my commute.
  • I favorite tweets that I want to come back to. Favorited tweets automatically create a draft wordpress post via IFTTT rule
  • WordPress app on phone installed to quickly approve comments

What other strategies for pulling together and managing all the information in this MOOC are others using?

And a question I’d like to explore in the coming week:

  • What role should the affective and conative domains have in teaching and assessment? OR
  • Can empathy and curiosity be taught?

12 thoughts on “Self- Assessment and Self-Remediation – 1st Post

  1. francesbell

    Thanks for the tool tips – I already use a #rhizo14 but am strugg;ing to get this to work on my tablet. I agree about favoriting tweets but thanks for extra tip on IFTTT -> blog.
    I must also get the WP app working properly on phone.
    In answer to your last question, I don’t think empathy and curiosity can be taught. My goal as a teacher was to strenuously avoid killing curiosity and empathy and to strive to help them flourish. Only my students could comment on my success (I know I had some failures).

    1. htillber

      Hi francesbell– I had a similar thought that empathy and curiosity can’t be taught– they are innate qualities that we should strive to foster in the classroom.
      Although I also suspect that that is not entirely true– but that the critical time when kids need to have both empathy and curiosity fostered is before they hit school-age.

      1. francesbell

        Well – I have been a mum of young kids too and think my goal as a mum was similar (informed my teaching) – failures also occurred in that role;)

      2. balimaha

        Is it developmental when kids start having the capacity for empathy? When tey recognize others may feel differently from themselves, but are still able to imagine how the other person must be feeling? And thne it is our turn to foster and encourage it
        While it is complex to assess it, i also think sometimes empathy does not result in the desired behaviors. For example, if someone is so empathetic they are paralyzed by it (e.g. Fainting at sight of blood – tho this be might be a physiological vasovegal thing) orrrr feeling too sorry for an orphan or sick child that they are unable to visit and help them.
        Am still exploring whether the term empathy is meant to imply some amount of detachment despite sharing the feelings of another.
        Btw, there is a really cute cartoon about empathy near bottom here by Dave Walker (http://balimaha.wordpress.com/tag/empathy/)

        1. htillber

          I do think at particular developmental stages, our emotional reactions in support of empathy reinforce that wiring in kids. I also suspect that the combination of nurture with each individual kid’s nature will have varying results. I’ll try to find specific references for this.

      3. francesbell

        I have been to so many blogs I can’t remember where I discussed this but I fear that ‘school’ the whole shebang from education policy, management, architecture rather than the teacher has schooled youngsters out of empathy and curiosity. So maybe we have to help with unlearning as well as fostering.

  2. balimaha

    Hiya! I loved this meta-post and how you’re making your learning process transparent (and listing the ppl you have connected with made me realize i have not sort of put all at in one place, even though i think i “know” most of my new “online friends”). I use WordPress app as well for approving comments, and i use TweetDeck to have columns for my fave hashtags incl #rhizo14 of course. I loooove how some ppl’s blogs and comments on their blogs lead me onto new things to read and people to discover. Dave’s latest blog post had lots of ways ppl have aggregated their work: http://davecormier.com/edblog/2014/01/20/rhizo14-cheaters-guide-to-week-1/ (my fave was the comment scraper)

    1. htillber

      Hi Maha– I used to use tweetdeck, and I can’t remember why I switched, but I think it was because it is an application on the computer as opposed to web-based and because I got daily reminders to update air. I agree that the comment scraper was cool.
      The thing I’m thinking about now, though, is an easy way to pull blogs of people that I start to interact with into feedly. I wish there were a super-easy way to do this……

      1. balimaha

        At least the wordpress app shows you all the posts you’ve commented on as well as all comments on yours all in one place… I like that :)
        Have not used feedly… One more new thing to try out
        Tweetdeck, btw, is now web-based… I wish i had time to compare all the diff applications that do similar things and figure out which works best for my purposes. Am trying to do that for content curation and social bookmarking, but am ending up using several in parallel (Mendeley for academic, and scoopit and diigo for websites) and none satisfy me well enough! I hope someone out here will have ideas… Online reviews not always great…

  3. balimaha

    Oh, and about teaching empathy, that”s one of my current research interests! What brought it up for you recently? Am still in the beginning of exploring it on my blog, but wrote about its neglected importance as part of critical citizenship

    1. htillber

      Hi Maha– That’s a good question. I started thinking about this lightly years ago when using the Understanding by Design framework, since empathy is one of the six facets of understanding. It caused me to wonder, is there any value on even assessing whether students are demonstrating empathy because all we can assess is their outward behavior or what they say they feel, but I would think that for a student it would be fairly easy to figure out what an instructor is looking for and “fake” it. Also, I was reading research about whether or not empathy should be a criteria for entering some fields and it was referencing personality tests as a possible prerequisite for entering into those fields, which rekindled some thought on this.

      1. balimaha

        Wow, you’re raising some really deep questions I hadn’t yet considered, thanks!
        I generally believe most affective learning goals cannot be assessed in traditional ways. When i think about empathy, i guess in certain professions you want to promote empathy as it makes you better at what you do (e.g. Nursing, psychotherapy) and so what you really want to measure is whether promoting empathy makes the person better at what they do… But i do believe empathy is valuable as an end in itself.
        In one paper i read, the author promoted empathy by having students write letters and poetry from the point of view of another person (e.g. Their classmate or patient). That sort of can’t be faked but can be done cognitively even if the person is not emotionally affected.

        I will look up the “understanding by design” framework – had not heard of it before, thanks! It seems intuitive to me that empathy be a cornerstone of understanding, and some research on feminist approaches to critical thinking do that (critical thinking was the area of my PhD research) but never came across that framework. Will look it up now, thanks,

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