Am I a serial signer upper?

I recently enrolled in Howard Rheingold’s Social Media Classroom course entitled, Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Introduction to Cooperation Theory.  I’ve always admired Howard’s work and have referred to ‘Net Smart’, his book describing how to thrive online, in numerous Keynote presentations.

I’ve been an infrequent blogger of late, and felt that immersion in a community of learners would help me get my mojo back. Things started well. I was ahead in the readings, posted a blog and added to the forum discussions. Yep. I was back.

Then, unsurprisingly really, work and life got in the way. Below is what I posted to the classroom wiki just the other day.

 Hi Everyone,

I’m one of the people with great intentions who has found it difficult to keep up with this course. I’m trying to set time aside but life keeps interrupting. Issues I am having:

1: Time zone I’m living in is working against me. The online sessions are at 4.00am and 1.00pm.  I’m working full time so need the sleep, and the 1.00pm session has been on a Friday- middle of my working day. I’m conscientious about doing the right thing by my employer so tuning in for the 1.00pm session doesn’t work.

2: True confession. I haven’t watched the recordings. No excuse. Sorry.

3: I kept up with Week 1 readings, got some of week 2 completed, yet to start Week 3. Not boding well. But I’m going to try.

4: Feeling like I don’t have enough to contribute to the forum discussions. Sometimes feel out of my depth, especially with the scientific discussions.

5: I’m behaving like a lurker. Reading posts, but not writing replies. Not really like me. Maybe I’m feeling intimidated.

6: Thought the timing of this course would be good, but work has been frantic and my Dad is worryingly deteriorating in a nursing home with Lewy Body Dementia.

7. Beginning to wonder if I am turning into a serial ‘signer upper’ who doesn’t deliver. Have signed up to 3 MOOCs in recent times and just haven’t had the time needed to devote to them.

Things I’m grateful for.

1: I’m a teacher. Feeling out of my depth helps me to understand how students can feel in a classroom. A good reminder that can teach me something.

2: The course has introduced me to readings I haven’t encountered before. I referred to Lynn Margulis and Mitochondria in a discussion the other day. Could bring something to the conversation I hadn’t known before and helped my friend learn something new.

3: I’ve enjoyed reading forum postings and blog entries. Thank you to those who have been posting.

4: Long time admirer of Howard’s work, first time participant in a course. Great to be able to see his mind at work.

I’m not giving up! Will do my best to increase my effort.

I’m still trying to hang in there and become one of those people who is not a serial signer upper and non deliverer, but the truth of the matter is that I just can’t do it all. In recent times I’ve signed up to at least three MOOCs. I have the very best of intentions, but my commitment to my work and my family have meant that participation falls to a low rung on the ladder.

The really great thing is that the other people taking the course have let me know that they are experiencing the same issues I’m facing. Some of them have returned to Howard’s courses numerous times and have had a continual struggle with the kind of participation level to sustain the kind of community Howard wants us to build.

I don’t want to let Howard down and I do want to get my mojo back. It is kind of ironic that a course about cooperation theory is suffering from a lack of cooperation. Best that I find my way back to the wiki and get a late start on Week 3’s readings!


2 Replies to “Am I a serial signer upper?”

  1. I can relate to what you have posted. I have signed up for a few MOOCs too and didn’t get to do what I had hoped for. I think I’m going to focus on shorter things next year like one day sessions so I don’t feel so guilty for not finishing things.

  2. Me too! I’m doing the same as Pat and you. I’ve participated in an awesome group of Moodle Moocs. I get started so well, but then it’s….well you know.

    At first, I just couldn’t stand it, and that made me even less responsible. Finally, I just had to give up and forgive myself. I’ve learned so much from others in my classes, from my latest research, and from my own archives (which I haven’t looked at in some time).

    I believe that part of the problem may be that, as teachers and learners, we’ve been divergent in our thinking. So, I sometimes make an assignment more than it is. I need to remember to balance need with want. For instance if the teacher provides opportunities to learn, read, share, and write about student engagement, I don’t have to write a complete “World History of Student Engagement”. Ha! I’m sure you’re not doing anything like that, but I definitely appreciate your point. We’re not alone.

    Thanks, I always enjoy reading your blog.

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