Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanessa Blaylock 08:41 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CalArts, , Open Knowledge,   

    Stop Me B4 I MOOC Again! 

    Hi Guys, I’ve somehow enlisted myself in 2 MOOCs starting in September.

    vintage black-and-white photo of Allan Kaprow teaching

    From Stanford:
    OpenKnowledge Changing the global course of learning
    2 Sep – 12 Dec 2014

    From CalArts / Coursera:
    Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works
    29 Sep – 14 Nov 2014
    (More …)

  • Christa Forster 12:22 on 09/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Christa and Hugh on Coursera: Understanding Research Methods 


    Hello. Just met up with the Mixed Berry Shake team for our June hangout, and Hugh and I (he showed up late Ciara!) promised to post here on .Re/act what we’re up to in a the six-week summer MOOC we’re undertaking: Understanding Research Methods via Coursera.

    Here is a link to the question Hugh is developing and some discussion around it: How do Arabian women artists view the status of women within the Middle East?
    (More …)

  • Edie Sedgwick 18:56 on 18/04/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Glyn Davis,   

    Andy Warhol MOOC 

    Edie Sedgwick

    Of my brief 28 years of life only 1 of them was spent with Andy Warhol. But it was a great time. The highs were so high. Yes, the lows were very, very low. More of my stories on another occasion. But I’m excited that Glyn Davis is teaching a 5-week MOOC on Andy starting Monday. I really want to think through my own small time in Andy’s world again. And also to think about his career before and after my time. And yes, about my own troubled life during those days. Sorry if I’m being too EMO, but do consider joining us. It should be a nice time rethinking that strange man who saw the world with such a unique clarity.


  • Isabella Medici 09:07 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abundance, Body & Soul, , , Possibilities, Reinvention, Scarcity   

    Yes, brothers and husbands can sometimes be the lowest vermin. It’s old news. But people can also be so beautiful. This 21st century is about exponential possibilities. The 16th was about a scarcity of possibilities, even for a Medici Princess. Yet for all the abundance of this time, I am troubled by 2 trends: sedentary lifestyles and academic lethargy.

    Everything is better, save for our bodies and minds sliding into disuse. Too much of both work and play is now experienced from a chair parked in front of a flat-screen. The university has become too much about the pursuit of a piece of paper, not about a rich, humanist education. And so I offer Izzy’s Gym and Medici University, new hopes in a new century for our reinvention, body and soul.

  • Isabella Medici 06:24 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: era, RSS, The Florentine   

    The Florentine (another era) 

    screencap of twitter conversation between Isabella Medici and The Florentine

    Another Era.

    Oh my!

  • Isabella Medici 02:59 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Self Organized Learning, Sugata Mitra,   

  • Isabella Medici 10:32 on 16/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alternative University, University, University of the People,   

  • Isabella Medici 20:08 on 14/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Company, Education, , Group, , , Page   

    Medici University News!

    * Facebook Page
    * Facebook Group
    * LinkedIn Company (you can list us on your profile!)
    * LInkedIn Group

    Please Join / Like / Follow. Big things are in MU’s future… and we hope in YOUR future!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 09:49 on 02/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avaya Live, Palazzo Medici, ,   

    Studio West 

    OMG, that website that we thought was Studio West was only the staging area! The real Studio West is up now and everybody gets their own gallery to show work in!



    • Christa Forster 17:50 on 02/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing! How long did it take you to hang all that art?

    • Scott Lord 15:40 on 01/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The only syllogism seems to be if the classes are offerred in 135 countries, how many remaining countries are there and what prevents freedom in those countries. Is it that there are more than 135 languages in the world? Are there not enough computers and why? Are there restrictions that the U.N. should be more involved with.
      Therefore, does the U.N lack an international educational and press function or provisions. “Filmed for the U.N.” or “Filmed for the U.N. by N.B.C United States”?
      Are there schools in Space? No, not grown up ones, but everday that was spent in reducing nuclear weapons added technologies that would not have gotten past, and one day spy and or communication sattellites with return on their investment.
      Does China spend to much on its military- irrelevant question.

  • Molly Ross 08:36 on 30/01/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    TEDification versus Edification 

    TEDification versus Edification Interesting essay on the climate of presentation– By Simon Sadler

    “We are living through the era of the TED Talk, much like an earlier generation lived through the era of the World’s Fair, wondrous about our new world in the making,” writes Simon Sadler. “TEDification endows capitalism and globalization with a credible spiritual and ethical mission, just as the art of the Renaissance lent to the ruthless bankers of the Italian city states an enduring moral sheen.” Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED juggernaut — and the implicit threats to design and educatio


  • Vanessa Blaylock 11:43 on 25/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Did anybody ever get an Email? Certificate? Or any other sort of acknowledgement that you actually completed the PBR course?

  • Christa Forster 04:25 on 22/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Specialized Learning   

    Coursera is adding another facet to its online learning opportunities — Specialized Learning, where they offer multi-layer curriculums rather than one-shot courses. I think it’s a good development.


  • Vanessa Blaylock 20:20 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Stephan Koplowitz   

    Site Dance Certificate from Coursera 

    Certificate for Site Dance course from Stephan Koplowitz / CalArts / Coursera

    Aww, lookie, virtual papyrus from my teacher! 😀

    • Christa Forster 20:27 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      congrats, Van! 🙂

      • Vanessa 20:50 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        of course we do it for love & knowledge, not virtual papyrus, but if you’re into such extrinsic motivators, one nice thing about the Coursera papyrus is that they’re connected to LinkedIn, so you can add them to your LI Profile.

    • Ciara 20:31 on 17/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely! Congratulations, Vanessa!

  • Christa Forster 21:45 on 16/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Nutritious Blueberry Experience 

    Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 3.42.03 PM


    Team Blueberry hangs out and discusses our PBRA mooc experience. We agree that

    1) we’re missing a formal “farewell” video from our Professors Leslie Hill and Helen Paris,


    2) we love each other.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 23:10 on 09/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Engagement, Enrollment, , Participation   

    MOOC Data 

    Stats on participation in Scott Klemmer's HCI MOOC: 16,000 watched videos, 12,000 submitted quizzes, and 1,260 completed assignments

    HCI MOOC Stats / Scott Klemmer / UC San Diego / Coursera

    Molly and I were wondering how many people enrolled in our PBR MOOC and other stats we haven’t heard about. I don’t think Site Dance shared numbers either. I do know that the Future of Storytelling MOOC from Postdam / Iversity has 83,000 peeps “enrolled” yet only 120 submitted “Creative Task of the Week #4” (More …)

    • Molly Ross 00:59 on 10/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is so great to see! Obviously for his content (human computer interaction) he’s interested in how many humans are interacting. I wonder why the other courses or platforms don’t just automatically include this information? Is there a reason for it?

      • Vanessa 01:11 on 10/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        My guess is that it’s simply who bothers to share the numbers. Scott Klemmer shared his Coursera stats, but Steve Koplowitz didn’t (that I know of) share his Coursera stats. Our PBR team hasn’t shared our NovoED stats (that I know of) but Christina Maria Schollerer has shared the numbers I posted above for her Iversity “Future of Storytelling” MOOC.

        Overall though, I’m with you. Why don’t the platforms themselves just share data all over the place, just as you see “72 Facebook likes” on a blog post. Or as the forums DO show the Post / Comment / Read counts.

        Open Data. Open Web. Open Knowledge. It’s all about Open!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 16:10 on 25/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Coursera – from CrunchBase

    Mountain View-based online education startup Coursera has added another $20 million to its previously $43 million Series B round, adding three unnamed university partners as well as additional funding from GSV Capital and Learn Capital. Coursera aims to provide an Ivy League-caliber education online for free and currently serves 5.5 million students enrolled in classes from 100 institutions. Founded in 2012, Coursera has raised $85 million in funding to date.

    • themollyross 16:33 on 25/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Online Courses Attract Degree Holders, Survey Finds
      Published: November 20, 2013

      About 80 percent of people who enrolled in a massive open online course, or MOOC, from the University of Pennsylvania had already earned a bachelor’s degree, according to a survey of 34,000 students who had at least started one of the 24 courses the university offered on the Coursera platform. Although Coursera’s founders have presented their MOOCs as a way to democratize higher education by making it available online, free, to anyone in the world, the Penn survey found that in the United States and developing countries alike, most Coursera students were well educated, employed, young and male. Penn’s courses account for 20 percent of Coursera’s enrollment.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 05:20 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

    NovoED wants us to write a SIX paragraph review of our classmates ONE paragraph submission on Hickson & Goulish? Gawd!

    • Ciara 07:03 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Cometh…THE GRID!!! Argh!!! I think it was supposed to make the process easier for us but I fear it is rather counterproductive…

      • Molly Ross 15:55 on 20/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciated The Grid’s attempt to add structure to an otherwise vague guide line for reviews on NovoEd. Constructive feedback is one of the challenges in both online and offline critiques. More work needs to be done in MOOCs and hybrid learning to explore better options for feedback for artwork. Good, Fair, Excellent are not constructive feedback.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 18:51 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MOOC Profiles, ,   


    I’m taking Practice Based Research from NovoED and also Site Dance from Coursera.
    ADVANTAGE NOVOED: So much easier to find and communicate with interesting classmates.
    ADVANTAGE COURSERA: So much easier to give quick & meaningful peer review feedback.


    • Molly Ross 20:12 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Yes! I am taking both of these courses as well! Both are fantastic for content. I’ve found Cousera to be a bit sprawling in the forums. There are many more threads posted than over at NovoEd and I’ve had trouble weeding through them to give feeback. This is partly the instructors design (they encouraged individual threads with the first assignment LandMark) partly the platform design and partly my fault for not always being the most tech savvy.

    • Vanessa 21:30 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes Molly, I’m grateful for both, yet not entirely happy with either. It is interesting how “tech details” can so dramatically effect the experience you have in these different spaces. And for sure what we’re experiencing on both sites is an interaction between the platform and the instructor’s design.

      On Peer Review for example, on NovoED it takes me forever to do them, it’s painful and I hate it, and in the end I don’t really feel that I said anything useful. On Coursera I wind up doing extra ones because it’s so fast, easy, and fun to do, but I also feel like I’ve actually given the artist some sort of useful feedback.

  • Molly Ross 15:54 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , online studio, , , Studiowest   

    Studio West- a “bespoke online artist studio” 


    The Stanford/NovoEd course Practice Based Research in the Arts entered week five and launched a new function —Studio West described in the syllabus as our bespoke online artist studio space.”  I’ve spent the weekend moving into my online studio space and I am trying to understand this new platform/format/function/site. What exactly is Studio West?  (More …)

    • Vanessa 16:48 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes Molly! I think you raise many insightful and important questions about the studio we’ve all been wondering about and waiting for, for the past month. I agree with all your points. The only real answer I can give is that Studio West seems very beta.

      I can’t imagine this is the final version since the functionality is so limited. If it is still in development, it may not have the better functionalities you describe before the end of the course. But if it does achieve that, it could still be a nice tool going forward.

      Limited as SW is, it’s still nice to see images of our classmates work. That such a crippled Studio West can still be better than NovoED is perhaps an observation that MOOC platforms too are very beta. I imagine platforms like NovoED were launched on tech topics like the famous Stanford Robotics course, and they haven’t really built out to embrace visual culture yet.

      For me, meeting new colleagues is even more valuable than lecture content, so I’m eager to see platforms like NovoED, Coursera and iversity have better visual offerings, indexes of students, links to student’s own websites, the option for turned in projects to “reveal creator’s identity” and the option to “reveal peer reviewer’s identity.” The option for privacy here is fine, but I’m not doing all this work to be invisible, I want to meet the classmates whose work I find compelling.

    • Molly Ross 19:08 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Studio West has gone to Reverse Chron order! Now let’s really move in and take this site for a spin. I agree that the compelling part of this course, Studio West and this site is the ability to connect with colleagues and engage in critical dialogue.

      • Vanessa 19:43 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        huh… I’m confused… it seems like Reverse-Chron when I’m not logged in, but then when I log in it seems to go back to Chron only…

  • Vanessa Blaylock 19:18 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Collegiality, , Forum, , ,   

    I’m not positive on these details, but it seems like on NovoED you know who you are reviewing, and on Coursera you do not. One can imagine the privacy value of having Project Designer and Project Reviewer both be anonymous — HOWEVER — since I see meeting new colleagues as the single biggest benefit from MOOCs, it’d be nice if both the Designer & Reviewer had a “Make my identity known” or “Make my identity public” checkbox. (I wouldn’t even mind if the default was that the box was checked)

    It’s so frustrating to see someone’s great project and have no idea who they are. These MOOCs are all too big to permit “hanging out with the faculty” but when the structure actively prevents “hanging out with classmate / colleagues” that sucks.

    • Vanessa 19:32 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      While waiting for that checkbox — peeps who post work could also blog the work, or even an extended version with more pix, etc, and then add their URL to their turnin post. Thus providing both identity and content for anyone who’s interested.

      Perhaps reviewers could also add a link to their site.

    • Ciara 08:16 on 11/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Gosh, V. This reply does not directly address the points you raise above but it’s in the same ball park: I’ve been wondering if the interactions would be richer if we were compelled to really work together on a project rather than working in groups where, frequently, the only uniting feature is the text box that binds the individual entries… What if, rather than bringing an individual “creative project” to the table we were encouraged to build a creative project with our exciting, creative peers?

    • Michael J. Masucci 19:59 on 12/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Van. The more we are able to build potential collaborative relationships through these MOOC experiences, the more valuable they will be.
      Some individuals will prefer, no doubt, anonymity during critique. But many others, such as yourself, will desire the opposite. IT should be a personal choice, determined by each individual, and no the institution offering the MOOC.

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