The 522 Firehose

By now most of you are experienced with the unique WordPress-based ‘flow’ of the 522 course, especially in how it is different than the discussion group format of Vista, etc.   At first blush, it may not seem as easy to follow and participate in, but stick with it – find your own best way to stay afloat and master the current.  If you haven’t done so already, check out DavidP’s early posts about external RSS monitoring tools.

After Module 3, WordPress will primarily become our home base as we potentially explore a number of different platforms offered up by the moderation groups.  Your willingness to explore new technologies and crowdsource their value is appreciated.

Please share your concerns and ideas regarding the 522 experience here.


1 Brian Powell { 09.17.09 at 11:33 pm }

I put some comments under the RSS feeder tip.
I commented about the blog interface, but I was also remarking to myself about the workflow here. The frequency and duration of time spent on site is at the liberty of the student, but I suspect that getting the bulk of the work done at the beginning of the week is crucial.

This is particularly so for discussion activities where learners are to post and then comment on their peers. The first person to post sets the benchmark and those who post later are aware that they are influenced by the first posting to contribute something different and original – if not better. It is very hard for the last person to post something different, original and better without reading everything before. For those who post earlier, there is more time to comment on others later, and more time for exchange of ideas. Posting last can be a lonely affair.
Some schools provide guidelines for optimal use by the student of the discussion board. The blog format, too, could have an explicit guideline.
I’m still sorting out how I’m going to optimally go through the modules, through the postings on my rss aggregator, and course related emails, let alone selecting another tool for anticipated needs in coming assignments.
Need for convergence is the mother of innovations. The solution could have a market beyond this blog.

2 David Vogt { 09.18.09 at 6:07 am }

There may be an advantage to being the ‘early bird’ in responding to our weekly modules, but it isn’t the only strategy. Analogous to the ‘first in’ advantage of a new company being first to enter a new market, they most often get bogged down and then surpassed by followers climbing over their shoulders.

The best strategy always, and any time, is to survey the field and find something original, worthwhile, well-targeted and precise to add to the conversation. There, that’s your explicit guideline.

3 Cindy Leach { 09.24.09 at 7:46 am }

I’m hoping that adjusting to this format happens as the course moves forward. I am finding the non-linear nature extremely overwhelming, and feel like I’m drowning. I can’t seem to get a handle on everything that has been posted, getting back to make comments appropriately etc. I am hoping to dedicate the entire day today just to catching up and finding my way. I like the idea of learning a new way to approach learning, but can’t believe how much difficulty I am having with this format of presenting materials and discussions

4 David Vogt { 09.24.09 at 10:09 am }

Hey Cindy, thanks for your perseverance. I’m confident you’ll find good ways to manage the flow. For me its about finding a regular time to leap in and get up to date. Once a day or two is fine, but if I tried it one per week it’d be much harder. Keep us posted.

5 Colin Cheng { 09.27.09 at 1:53 pm }


Having used WebCT and Vista for all of my courses, I would agree with you that it is quite an adjustment. I feel that WordPress is great for the abstract thinker but for someone like myself who enjoys organization in the form of flow charts, etc. it can be a little overwhelming. I am trying hard not to let my previous experience cloud my openness to this new experience.

6 Tony D { 09.29.09 at 11:53 am }

I agree that this format has been challenging to keep pace with posts. I find it slightly less organized, however it does look more professional! I am very new all this but the challenge of learning abut new communication tools is the main reason why I enrolled in this program. Thanks for adding some diversity to my online learning experience this term!

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