End of week 0: end of the email avalanche?

The number of emails received via the ocTEL list has dropped dramatically in a week, to just a handful a day. This might be due to a number of reasons – for example, we may have become used to other media and other locations to host our discussions (including the forum, social media, blogs, etc). Another reason could be that some people have stopped posting altogether, or they have dropped out of the course already in week zero. Some might have switched from initial bubbliness to lurking.

Given the amount of angst expressed by so many users on the list as a result of the volume of emails, it could well be that many ocTEL participants have chosen to limit their posts. Perhaps the course has made us think about fitness for purpose, or it has sparked a desire to explore other tools – and how they might apply to our own teaching and research. It is clear, however, that email remains what is often referred to as a ‘normalised technology’, probably the one that the majority of participants felt most familiar or comfortable with – although their comfort probably triggered the discomfort of many other users.

It would be good to see evidence of activity by ocTEL participants over time, as well as channels chosen for our contributions. Do we know how many active contributors we have at this point, i.e. by the end of week zero?

A. Armellini
12 April 2013

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One Response to End of week 0: end of the email avalanche?

  1. Hello Ale,

    It would be good to see evidence of activity by ocTEL participants over time, as well as channels chosen for our contributions. Do we know how many active contributors we have at this point, i.e. by the end of week zero?

    I’ve posted some ‘snapshot’ figures on the channels chosen in Week 0 towards the bottom of the latest blog post. Note, for example, that the number of people on the email list is now growing again (though, I’m sorry to say, I expect another minor wave of people leaving in disgruntlement when they return from holiday on Monday).
    I think you missed out one other possible reason why the number of emails has dropped: maybe most people who were going to do the activities had done them earlier in the week? I’ve just posted the next set of activities, so let’s see what happens with that.
    MOOCs always have a lot of people leaving in the first week of the course. Where traditional courses use course fees to filter out people with limited motivation and some sort of assessment to pre-qualify people to take part, MOOCs abandon these (no fees and no entry requirements). Therefore the first week becomes the de facto filter that sorts out who’s suited to do the course.
    All the best, David

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