Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Bonk Show: "drinking from a firehose"

"This is like drinking from a firehouse, I am overwhelmed!"
This was one of thousands of comments that flew up the chat window as nearly 500 participants in the #bonkopen first session communicated. It was impossible to keep up with this speed-scroll and take in Dr Bonk's energetic and hyperactive presentation. But it engaged me.
The first week's theme was the TEC-VARIETY model for online learning and teaching. Summarised it is this:
  • TONE - climate, belonging
  • ENCOURAGEMENT - feedback, support
  • CURIOSITY - fun, fantasy
  • VARIETY - novelty, intrigue
  • AUTONOMY - choice, flexibility
  • RELEVANCE - meaningfulness, authentic
  • INTERACTIVE - collaborative, team, community
  • ENGAGEMENT - effort, involvement
  • TENSION - challenge, dissonance, controversy
  • YIELD PRODUCTS - goals driven, ownership
 Is this more than an aide-memoir of good approaches to learning and teaching, off- and on-line? Aren't all these labels what we would want in good lessons?
Perhaps. But the presentation helped to remind us of these and the particular importance that many of these have for on-line education. Take the 8 nouns approach (or 8 adjectives, or 8 verbs) - a good icebreaker and get-to-know session for setting the tone. Or engaging students under ENCOURAGEMENT - using screencasts, giving feedback, using polls.
And Dr Bonk certainly had this in great measure, with his 100mph presentation, toys, hats and, in particular, the polls. He ensured participation with poll questions such as "what time is it there?", "does this time work well for you each week?", "how fast is your internet access now?", "have you participated in a MOOC before?", "do you feel MOTIVATED to try any of this out?", etc.
Besides this, there was sound pedagogy before and during the presentation. The presentation was available BEFORE the session, there was a worksheet to note strategies, and a problems and solutions list for Motivation and Retention, this week's topic.
Compare and contrast the sessions on #bonkopen and #change11 this week: actually I enjoyed each one. Bonk was manic but engaged me, Veletsianos was scholarly and paced but made me think.
Still pondering on: is Bb up to the task for a MOOC? Can/will Dr Bonk keep this up (rather suspect he will - he was sufficiently self deprecating to be likeable)? Is it worth following a chat that overwhelms, where messages are lost?
Get a flavour of the Bonk Show from this introduction to the course:

No comments: