My #ETMOOC Experiences

As my PhD dissertation nears completion – hopefully soon, …hey there man, there is still some work to do there! …Oh-oh, talking to myself again 🙂 OK, whoops (tehe)…and I begin my post-university life as a Knowledge Base Analyst (Knowledge Coordinator/Manager) for eHealth Saskatchewan, I see exciting times ahead.  As I travel on my continued path of life-long learning, having been thrust into the world of business (again), torn from the comfiness of the academic world that I have grown quite fond of (oh my, the drama!), I find myself turning back again (Bilbo style) as I began investigating, as John Dewey describes, new experiences to aid in my betterment in conducting my job related activities. As the Knowledge Coordinator for eHealth I am tasked with the building of a collaborative organizational learning and knowledge network and cluster – A community of practice if you will. My experiences at work thus far have been excellent. Most everyone I have chatted with, teams and individuals, have been very open and eager to begin this journey with me. This openness and positivity has made me even more eager to build on my own knowledge, learning about different possibilities and courses of action.

Enter #ETMOOC, an online and highly collaborative, and at times participatory, activity being offered by Alec Couros, a University of Regina professor in Educational Technology, along with many other contributing individuals. #ETMOOC is a MOOC, a Massive Open Online Course – the “ET” standing for Educational Technology. For an excellent description of what this is, here’s a video by Dave Cormier:

With the building of a community of practice around knowledge management I have, thus far, found my #ETMOOC experience to be invaluable. One of the most significant outputs on my collaborative and participatory experiences has been learning, from Dave Cormier, about Rhizomatic learning. I find this concept truly fascinating and will likely apply it to the work I am doing at eHealth.  From the concept of Rhizomatic learning I also learned about a framework for knowledge management called Cyenfin. Cynefin, developed by Dave Snowden, is a Welsh term for “habitat” or “place of multiple belongings.”  The framework describes specific categories of knowledge, i.e. simple, complicated, chaotic, and complex (i.e. knowledge management itself), the different activities (safe-fails, attractors, etc.) that one could conduct, among other things. I too find this work extremely fascinating.

Here is Dave talking about it here:

In taking part in collaborative #ETMOOC Blackboard Collaborate sessions I have learned about several other interesting things. The most recent session I watched was on the power of narratives – a presentation run by Alan Levine. As Alan posted on his Twitter, the video I have posted below highlights the potential power and usefulness of narratives. I find this work quite interesting. I too am using narratives, a technique referred to as narrative inquiry, in my PhD dissertation (to find out what people truly care about when forming decisions relating to food selections). I have also been actively using narratives in my job activities at eHealth. Here, I am interviewing both teams and individuals, asking them to relate the experiences, habits, and interactions that comprise their daily work lives. My experience in conducting this activity has been quite successful in better understanding the inner workings of my organization. With this I am also actively thinking about how to apply the notion of business narratives to further aid in organizational learning and knowledge. I still have many questions but it was #ETMOOC that opened the door and it may very well be #ETMOOC that helps me define further safe-fail investigations (the notion of safe-fail is part of the Cyenfin framework – see the video above).

From #ETMOOC I also learned from Dean Shareski about sharing and responsibility (rather than enforcing the notion of accountability). I have learned about connected learning from Alec Couros. Of interest here was the distinction between: little boxes (silo’ed groups/teams), glocalization (the ideal perhaps? – where specialized groups, or clusters form in compliment to the general network of an organization), and networked individualism (everyone doing their own thing, regardless of network and space, leaning on their developed network to aid in daily activities). I believe my organization, and likely many others, are somewhere between little boxes and glocalization. The exciting aspect is how to define a model of interaction that is best suited for an organization.  Although, based on their article, it is my understanding that the authors cite networked individualism as the way of the future, I am not so convinced it can be as successful as something like glocalization (especially for my organization).  Again, I have many questions, #ETMOOC opening the door and #ETMOOC helping me to continue my investigations.

My #ETMOOC experiences have been quite illuminating thus far. They are just beginning and they are ongoing. I would like to thank Alec Couros, the many contributors mentioned in my post here (and those not mentioned – this blog post is too long already!), and those who also participate in blogging, posting on Twitter, and interacting in Blackboard Collaborate sessions. This has been, and is surely still to be, a highly educational and wonderful learning experience. One that has benefited both my school activities as well as my work activities. I’m leaving you with the following video that was also highlighted by one of #ETMOOC’s many participants -tMac






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