Thursday, April 23, 2015

Measuring success in a cMOOC

The challenge for week 2 in #rhizo15 is measuring success when everyone has their own learning subjectives. Are we measuring the success of the cMOOC itself? If it meets participants' own learning subjectives, then it was a success. Simple.

Too simple. Since we are examining rhizomatic learning and exemplifying connectivist activity, then perhaps we measure the number of connections generated by #rhizo15. We would be counting network nodes and vertices. How many, then, constitutes success? By some measure, week 1 alone could be considered a massive success for the course, or even the pre-weeks that led up to week 1.

Do we measure success based on infiltration of our rhizomes into other networks? Across different social media platforms? That can give us an idea of the size and influence of #rhizo15, but not whether it is successful or not.

Institutionally, it would be near impossible to measure the success of #rhizo15 because there is no common set of learning objectives that everyone is working towards. By individuals selecting their own learning subjectives, success is measured then by the achievement of those subjective goals. So then could we individually determine if one's own learning subjectives are met, then it is a success for that participant. Would success then be measured if 50% of the participants feel they met their own subjectives? 75%? 90%? What if only 10% feel they met their learning subjectives, and 80% felt they did not meet their personal subjectives, but had a positive experience and felt that they experienced a learning event? Does that still count, if the specific subjectives aren't met?

Learning objective reached = mastery
Learning subjective reached = ?

That touches on the very heart of the problem then, how to objectively assess a subjective model? By trying to quantify something that is different for everyone, something gets lost in the translation. There isn't a standard by which all can be measured, and the measurement then becomes subjective as well.

We can attempt to measure ourselves, and how we feel about the outcome of #rhizo15. How do we feel about our experience? Do we feel as though we have learned anything during #rhizo15? Was it ultimately fruitful, or confoundingly frustrating the whole time? Did we stick through with it until the end, or did we give up part way through?

I don't have the answer as to how we measure #rhizo15 as a whole. I don't even have a measure that will work for any other participant other than myself. Since the learning subjective is about what I want to experience or what it means to me, then I can only decide if the outcome was achieved for me.

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